With a new year upon us, organizations are doubling down on finding innovative strategies to continue to grow their companies in sustainable ways. These areas of growth include increased revenue, more effective corporate governance, to a greater understanding of their consumer, and the social impact that their organization has on the world around them. An area that needs continual cultivation is the role of emotional intelligence as a signature instrument of progress. The responsibility of nurturing emotional intelligence or EQ as a critical business tool has even greater importance in this ever-changing business landscape highlighting the prominence of mental health and wellness as a foundational piece for the future of business success.
When we discuss the ideas of mental health and well-being, it can often be viewed as something so incredibly daunting. Yet, in looking at the year ahead, the pathway to greater corporate success is to not shy away, but rather find the mechanism to embrace the need and carry out a plan of action that can have effective results. The road ahead is to minimize distractions and focus on goals. By breaking down these objectives into smaller successes it becomes more manageable to develop strategies and see the opportunity for an organization to gain its foothold and create a balanced program that builds a more inclusive culture from the inside out.
So, where does an organization begin? How can corporate leadership implement these tactics to develop a company with a holistic set of values while reaffirming a competitive advantage from both employer acquisition and retention to customer satisfaction? First, let us begin with the idea that organizations need to embrace the notion that the foundational principle is authenticity. Acknowledging what organizations know, and what they don’t know about mental health and well-being is the starting point. This level of authenticity opens the pathway for greater conversation and asks the question, what is needed, and what can be provided to benefit the organizations’ health for the long term? Authenticity allows for mistakes to be made but also creates a lane for conversation to happen where key stakeholders can help shape policy and define best practices.
In having a level of authenticity, the other vital ingredient in the mix is fostering greater empathy. Too often empathy is not seen as a business tool, rather, it should be seen as one of the most significant characteristics in any management toolbox. In an era where the future of work is being redefined at such a rapid pace, there is a demand for the value that empathy offers and how to better grasp what is needed from employees and customers alike. This emotional connection reaffirms the adage that “business is about people.” Despite new advances in technology and innovative strategies, the value of the person is paramount in the overall process.
Finally, the last element to enrich a greater mental health and well-being strategy across the business landscape is the magnitude of kindness. The definition of kindness is that of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Yet, in the world of business kindness has too often been pushed aside and seen as a negative. As the business world continues to evolve, there is a place for kindness, in fact, an obligation for companies to recognize it as a key to success. As the role of mental health and well-being becomes a more essential aspect of management practice so too does the role of kindness. Kindness can be innate for some, for others, it is a skill to be harnessed over time. It is through the power of listening that this possibility can be revealed.
In the next Mindset Matters column, we will continue this theme of EQ, mental health and well-being, and the power of active listening to serve as a necessary business apparatus that will harness the potential for organizational development and a way to rethink business principles.