“Research shows that Millennials have a greater emotional intelligence (EQ) than do adults in other generations. EQ is the essence of social media. Boomers have plenty of EQ too; they’ve just never been encouraged to show it or share it. The best leaders have always had high EQ: perceiving, assessing, and managing emotions . . . It’s been called people sense, or intuition, or how to simply make friends and influence people.”
FUSE - Jim Finkelstein
As we are constantly making sense of the co-generational workplace, it is imperative to recognize and question our own emotional intelligence, or EQ.
Why do Millennials have a greater EQ?
According to FUSE, Millennials came from a child-centric culture, and historically, have been asked how they feel about every aspect of their lives. They were not asked to suck it up when they lost, told that it’s just life when things didn’t always go their way, or sent to their rooms without dinner when they acted up. Instead, they were encouraged to express their feelings. Try to find a Millennial who has settled an argument by a fistfight, or handled a disagreement with a teacher without some parent intervention. Their feelings matter.
Why is it important to develop EQ, you ask?
The better question I believe, is how do we avoid and prevent relationships from sabotaging the business? Finkelstein stresses that “it is not a question of strategy that gets us into trouble; it is a question of emotions.” This is why savvy employers (during the recruitment process) establish rapport by inquiring about applicants’ interests outside of the job. FUSE shows that expert employers stress the qualitative aspects of the company, its mission, and any community work that it does. Empathetic listening is what strikes the chord with Millennials. So why not strive to create that vital opportunity for Boomers and Millennials to play well together in the corporate sandbox?
How to develop a better EQ?
Having a greater EQ, does not mean being soft. Allot time for the social media stuff. Connect with employees and coworkers on a slightly more emotional level. Focus on wellbeing. Focus on the difference between needs and wants. Consider the feelings of those you work for. You don’t have to go full hippie in order to have concern for others. But be aware. Make yourself more aware of your emotional surroundings, and encourage others to do the same.