How Emotional Intelligence Drives Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Imagine if all team members working in your team were of similar backgrounds, with similar strengths and weaknesses and all are aging together along with the company – while they may keep gaining experience but as time goes boredom may creep in – and at some point, in the continuum, there may be feelings of missing out on fresh ideas, cultural dynamics, vibrancy, agility, or more such critical elements that includes a dynamic work culture and environment.
Diverse teams (e.g. diversity in age, gender, culture, locations, beliefs, identities, race, spirituality, personalities, backgrounds) are about 35% more productive than non-diverse teams. Their revenue generation statistics are equally high. When an organization focusses on diversity, they increase their chances of success.
Diversity in the workplace allows for strengths and weaknesses to be spread out so that their effects are maximized and minimized, respectively.
While we are aware of the benefits of diversity, it can also become a problem if managers are bringing in people who, all of them, want to be in charge. Competition can be healthy, but it can also be dangerous when it spirals out of control.
Key skills which help manage the highs and lows of emotions at the workplace is Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence. There must be emotional diversity as well.
Emotional Intelligence expert Daniel Goleman explains the connection between emotions and our ability to lead. Leaders can become more effective by understanding what others are feeling. Studies show teams innovate better when they are diverse and put aside “micro – inequities”, says author Daniel Goleman.
Diversity + Emotional Intelligence + Inclusive Culture* = More Success
Different people bring a wide range of ideas, skills, and personalities. They have unique perspectives. Leveraging heterogeneity in race, gender, and the myriad other factors that make people who they are can offer real competitive advantage. Deliberate and thoughtful assembly of diverse and inclusive teams brings thoughts, ideas, and views that would otherwise never be considered.
Individuals, who have high Emotional Quotient can flex their communication styles as per situation to prevent any adverse effects, resolve conflicts, reduce stress, and can improve relationships.
It also helps individuals to connect feelings and make decisions about what matters. The figure below shows: Inclusion Equation to build *Inclusive Culture.
Emotional intelligence includes the following core elements:
Self-Awareness – It’s all about knowing your own emotions and how they affect your opinion and actions, and to know about your strengths and weaknesses, and how confident you are.
Self-Management – Self Management controls and manages yourself and your emotions, internal resources, and abilities. It also includes your ability to manage your impulses.
Social Awareness – Its means that a person has empathy. He or she understands the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, feels comfortable socially and identifies the power dynamics in a group or organization.
Relationship Management – A person knows well how to build up and maintain healthy relationships, and communicates clearly, always tries to inspire and influence other people, works well in a team, and knows how to manage conflict or reduce conflict.
Among the five attributes (including mindfulness), if we closely look at social awareness, we can understand how Emotional Intelligence (EI) Drives Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion because emotional intelligence allows individuals to understand people they work with, manage stakeholders, and be productive, making it easier for teams to bring out the best in everyone. EI establishes a healthy environment. A business can benefit if they have a team with good EQ. People will understand each other, appreciate each other as well. It helps in encouraging group bonding. Social awareness drives diversity. Individuals with good EQ can be influencers, they enjoy wide social network.
Equity starts with Emotional Intelligence, how?
When we together develop our emotional intelligence, we will be better in equity among us. To build an equitable community, we must acquire a vast set of emotional literacy skills to drive equity.
Let us take example of gender equity here, gender equity means that despite your gender identification, there is the ability to have fair, just and reasonable opportunities in work and life. Still in some places both in personal and professional life we see gender inequity, e.g., women less promoted, lack of education facility to the girl child, etc. but if a person has high or good EQ then he or she will drive equity because the a person believes in capability, also have empathy for all, and feels that we are in it together and can step forward on purpose or goal.
From all the above discussions, we can conclude that Emotional Intelligence Drives Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Conclusion: Emotional literacy skills can improve personal life, professional life. Individuals can utilize these skills to build good life, create better community, team, groups and society.