Emotional intelligence in procurement: why is it so important?
Emotional Intelligence (EI), also called Emotional Quotient (EQ), is a concept that emerged in the 1990s among psychologists, spreading rapidly to other sectors, including the organizational environment.
Read on and learn how this ability can generate benefits in many areas, including the purchasing sector!
Emotional Intelligence in the corporate environment
Emotional Quotient was first defined academically in an article published in 1990 by American psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer as “the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and those of others, using this information to guide thought and action.”
However, the psychologist and writer Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. at Harvard is considered the father of Emotional Intelligence for having popularized the subject by publishing a book on the subject (in 1995). And it was precisely this work, titled Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, that moved the corporate world by stating that IE plays a particularly important role in the work environment.
In order to verify if this statement is correct, a survey conducted with 2,662 American managers revealed that 71% of those interviewed value the Emotional Quotient more, when compared to IQ, in their employees. Of those, 75% said they were more likely to promote an employee with high EQ and 59% said they would not hire a candidate with high IQ and low EQ!
The study, conducted after the 2008 financial crisis, showed that in periods of economic uncertainty – such as the one we are currently experiencing because of COVID-19 – companies need people who can handle high levels of stress.
In this sense, it is natural to prefer professionals who can make better decisions to solve difficulties, keep calm under pressure and have greater empathy – typical characteristics of those with high EQ.
But, it is necessary to highlight: the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) will always be very important for professional development because it involves, eloquence or learning capacity – among other essential requirements in any function.
Emotionally intelligent professionals and teams
We can say that Emotional Intelligence is able to help in the evolution of any career, because emotionally intelligent professionals can have self-control and maintain their motivation, enhancing their performance. But what about teamwork: does IE influence the community?
According to the researchers Druskat e B. Wolff, this is a reality. Teams with a high Emotional Quotient build a solid foundation of trust, effectiveness and cooperation, which is reflected in overall performance. Not to mention that organizations with a culture of emotional intelligence reduce absenteeism levels, while those with engagement increase.
However, attention is needed to excess Emotional Intelligence, say teachers Nikos Bozionelos of the French EMLyon Business School and Sumona Mukhuty of Manchester Metropolitan. Investigating the performance of 309 managers, the analysis concluded that managers with too much QE can have difficulty making difficult decisions – such as letting go of a team member who is not meeting expectations.
In other words, the balance between the two quotients will make the professional more complete. And the same goes for team building: by mixing individuals with higher IQs with others with good EQs, the team will tend to be more efficient.
Emotional Intelligence in the Purchasing Sector
Digital transformation has been influencing the purchasing sector, and it is essential to act in a way that is compatible with this technological advance.
In addition, the area is subject to changes in the economy, in the supply chain and in company policies, requiring procurement professionals to remain flexible – the attachment to old processes, for example, could be very bad for the company and for the professional’s career.
Given these factors, or even during a complex negotiation, a good EQ level can be very useful. But is it possible to develop Emotional Intelligence? According to experts, yes!
Accompanied by psychologists, 132 people had the opportunity to develop their emotional skills and, at the end of a year, not only demonstrated (lasting) improvement in this type of intelligence, but also experienced greater physical and mental well-being, lower levels of stress and improvement in their social relationships.
Based on this experience, to achieve a higher degree of Emotional Intelligence, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Recognize your own emotions and how they influence your performance;
- Accept the fact that you cannot control everything and avoid making hasty decisions based on intense emotions – learn more in an article that shows how to use emotion for better negotiation;
- Find ways to relieve stress at work – it can be a hobby, watching a good movie, or a physical activity;
- Listen actively to what others have to say;
- Empathize and pay attention to how you respond to people;
- Work on your motivation, emphasizing what you love about your work and maintaining a positive attitude.
Experts say that we are all emotionally intelligent, but each one needs a different time to work on their feelings and develop the Emotional Quotient which can undoubtedly be a great ally for the procurement professional.
Another way for the procurement area to obtain benefits in their routine is by hiring a company specialized in indirect materials to optimize the purchasing process and obtain the best results.
Get to know Soluparts and discover the advantages of having a specialist in the purchase of spare parts. Request a quotation without any commitment and try it out!