Nine in 10 (91 per cent) of Canadian managers and supervisors recognize the importance of improving their emotional intelligence in the workplace and believe it is possible to do so. And yet, across all sectors, managers and supervisors scored as having more challenges than strengths in the skill areas that were measured, says a survey by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. The survey measured the emotional intelligence of managers in Canada, specifically relating to how they may respond to the emotional distress of their employees. “Emotional intelligence in the workplace encompasses skill areas such as the ability to deal with other people’s negative emotions and reactions, to understand and manage our personal reactions, and to communicate effectively, including resolving conflict,” says Mike Schwartz, senior vice-president of group benefits for Great-West Life and executive director of the centre. “While clearly recognizing the importance of these skills, almost half (47 per cent) of respondents are rated as challenged in one or more of these skill areas and only one per cent of managers were rated as strong across all measured skill areas.” The skill areas where respondents experience the most challenges in working with distressed employees are communicating effectively and understanding their own emotional reactions. The survey found nearly one third of managers/supervisors had some challenges in these areas.
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