Did you know that more than 75% of the Fortune 500 use emotional intelligence training? If you’re a business owner and leading a team, you’ve likely come across the concept of emotional intelligence, or EI. It’s everywhere. And for good reason.
Across life and business, people with high levels of EI have an advantage. They tap into their knack for building solid relationships and use those connections to lead successful lives. As you can imagine, having a strong sense of self is at the core of this important leadership skill. Self awareness, social awareness, and the ability to manage control are all part of having high emotional intelligence.
It’s an especially important trait for leaders in the real estate industry. As a broker owner, when you display empathy and learn to speak other people’s language, you’ll be surprised to see how much easier it is to navigate your relationships—with everyone from clients to agents. And, how the quality of relationships impacts your bottom line.
In this post, we have everything brokers need to know about what it is, why it matters, and how to grow.
What is emotional intelligence?
In 1990, researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey coined the term while studying behaviors in the workplace. A few years later, psychologist Daniel Goleman wrote the groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence, which impacted the way people, especially leaders, look at how they manage themselves from the inside out.
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you.
During an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Goleman highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, saying, “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but … they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.”
When thinking about your own emotional intelligence, you can break it down into categories, which include:
- Self-awarenessSelf-regulationMotivationEmpathySocial skills
At its core, it’s about relationships and respect. People with a high level of EI are aware and present, allowing them to act effectively in the moment with greater odds of meeting the needs of themselves and those around them.
Making the real estate connection
Relationships are also the key to a successful real estate business. That’s why brokers are investing in building stronger emotional intelligence for themselves and their teams.
Let’s start at the foundation. We all have a unique perspective. It’s difficult to see beyond our line of sight. Whether you’re working with your agents or clients—everyone approaches situations differently. But when you start to expand your EI, your ability to see beyond your perspective and gain an understanding of where people are coming from grows. As a result, you become better equipped to allow people to open up and be free. They’ll begin to build deeper trust with you, leading to strong relationships that last.
For example, if a member of your team is underperforming and the reasons aren’t obvious, it’s easier for you to find out the reason why if your EI is high. You can push your pre-conceptions aside and use empathy and awareness to tap into the root of the issue, and hopefully, work together to get the agent the tools they need to thrive.
When working with clients, the higher your agents’ EI, the greater their ability to get honest feedback about property must-haves and opinions. That way, you can rest assured knowing that your clients are getting their dream results because they feel comfortable enough to open up and say what they really want.
Your level of awareness impacts the bottom line
As a broker owner leading an agency, you have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your team. According to research by Goleman, 80% of team members were disengaged when they had poor relationships with their leaders. And 50% of people left an employer if they were unhappy with leadership.
Unhappy team members lead to negative customer experiences. Today, customer experience is one of the biggest impacts on business results. In fact, according to multiple surveys, nearly 90% of people will not return to a brand after one bad experience. On a better note, people are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report negative experiences.
What does all of this have to do with emotional intelligence?
Travis Bradberry, an emotional intelligence expert, studied the EI of people across the average workplace. He discovered that this trait was the strongest predictor of high performance in all types of jobs. In the findings, 90% of the top performers were high in emotional intelligence, with a higher average income per year. He also found that emotional intelligence accounted for up to 60% of the job performance for leaders.
How real estate brokers can increase emotional intelligence
Improving your emotional intelligence starts with awareness. Let’s review our categories:
- Self-awarenessSelf-regulationMotivationEmpathySocial skills
Start with self-awareness
According to research by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, 95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 15% actually are. Awareness begins with acknowledgement. Take a moment to breathe, reflect on how you feel, be honest with yourself, and move forward with a deeper sense of reality.
While you’re working through your own self-awareness, let your team in. Talk about the concept of emotional intelligence and how everyone can work on being more self-aware. The more unaware people are inside your office, the less successful you’ll be as a team. Decreased self-awareness can also decrease motivation, which leads to lower engagement.
Our reactions as humans tend to be automatic. As you develop and grow your emotional intelligence, you’ll start to realize that you’re less reactionary and more responsive. You started with awareness. Take those same steps (breathing and collecting yourself to be as present as possible) and do what it takes to manage your emotions in the moment. Maybe that means taking a walk. It might mean calling a close friend.
Once you feel a stronger sense of calm, you’ll be ready to appropriately and intentionally respond to stress and adversity.
Fine tune your social skills
The final three categories of emotional intelligence—social skills, motivation, and empathy—work together.
Empathy is a shared trait of exceptional leaders. It helps people accept feelings and empower different perspectives, which enables them to communicate and collaborate more effectively and lead from the top down.
In fact, a global leadership firm ranked empathy as the number one leadership skill, reporting that leaders who master empathy perform more than 40% higher in coaching, engaging others, and decision-making. Empathetic leaders have better social skills, which in turn, leads to happier teams that are more motivated to sell real estate.
So how do you increase your emotional intelligence right now?
Do the work!
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of increasing your EI (happier teams, increased client loyalty, bigger bottom line, etc.), you can start to take the steps to increase your awareness, empathy, and control.
One way we help our broker owners increase their emotional intelligence—business coaching. We offer a comprehensive coaching and support network designed to help our partners succeed and grow. Coaching is one of the most effective ways to increase your self-awareness and develop the skills to self-regulate. It’s difficult to improve yourself alone, which is why we are always here to support our broker owners.
As you can see, the tangible bottom line benefits of emotional intelligence exist. When you work to improve EI across your brokerage, investing the time and effort, you will realize the impact now and well into the future.
If you’re ready to take a positive step forward to improve your mindset and grow your business, get in touch with our team. Through business coaching and other broker-focused resources, the Weichert team has your back. Contact our team today.