How Can Emotional Intelligence Help The Service Industry
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (“EI”) has become one of the most popular topics in business. It is now even considered to be a major factor in determining someone's success or failure.
Some say that it can actually help you climb the ladder at your current job as well as find a new position. Others believe that it can create a more productive work environment where people feel happier and connected with each other.
Many employers offer training courses in EI because they think that this will benefit their staff. Some programs are free while others cost money depending on what level you are at the organization.
How to read your customers
A few years ago, I worked for a company that sold educational toys. We had one of the best sales teams in the business, but we were still struggling to make ends meet.
One of our team members was very knowledgeable about children’s education games, so she would constantly tell her colleagues about new products she found online or at craft stores. It didn’t help much though because nobody bought anything.
The reason? Nobody ever asked anyone else what they wanted – they just assumed everyone around them knew what product would be most helpful.
This is something that happens all too often in the service industry. People with high emotional intelligence (or EI) are hard to come across because they control their emotions well. They are not easily provoked and do not take things overly seriously.
But it’s important to understand how people feel otherwise you may risk losing business. You need to ask questions, listen to answers and respond accordingly.
Emotions play an integral part in selling. By being aware of yours and others, you will know when to bring up difficult topics and which ones to avoid altogether.
You can also use your knowledge of emotion to determine if someone is likely to buy a particular item or not. This makes going into more detail less threatening and possibly even motivating some people to invest in a product or not.
Speak with your customers
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence is not only important in the work place, but also for business owners. If you are too focused on making money, then people will begin to feel disconnected from you as an individual and a company.
As a business owner, employees will be spending their time interacting with you, so it is important that they trust you and look up to you. It is their job relationship, so make sure you show them respect by being able to talk about anything – even if it’s not related to work.
Your staff may come to you with questions or concerns, so ensure that you do not keep these to yourself. Act quickly and solve the problem, but do not ignore the issue unless you want to create bigger problems down the line.
Interpersonal skills like empathy and understanding of other people can go a long way towards helping the service industry. Once again, this comes under the umbrella of emotional intelligence.
Make it clear what the customer should do
As mentioned earlier, one of the major components of emotional intelligence is understanding other people. This includes understanding how their personality functions, as well as knowing when they are trying to conceal something or distract you from something.
By using your natural intuition and practicing self-awareness, you can be more aware of these things and therefore able to help others understand them.
In the service industry, this applies particularly to the staff that work for you. If there’s someone who doesn’t seem like his or her normal self, maybe it’s because they don’t feel comfortable around you, OR THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE PARAMETERS YOU GAVE THEM!
For example, if you asked someone to meet you at a restaurant at 8 p.m., and they didn’t show up until 9, they may not know whether to come in late or early, so they just pick any time and arrive there.
Provide customer service that people can recognize
Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (EI) has become one of the most popular psychology theories. While it was once considered a trait only certain individuals have, EI is now understood as an ability to identify and manage your emotions so they do not get out of control.
It’s also referred to as “self-awareness,” which means recognizing what you feel in various situations and how those feelings influence other things in your life. This way of thinking about emotion comes from the work of Daniel Goleman, who wrote his book on emotional intelligence titled Emotional Intelligence.
Dr. Goleman studied psychologists at Harvard and noticed that some were more successful than others. He wanted to know why some are more effective than others — and he linked it to emotional intelligence.
Since then, many organizations have made emotional intelligence a part of their workplace culture. A growing number of studies show that employees with high levels of emotional intelligence are better at their jobs than ones without. They will likely succeed faster and longer due to this quality.
Help your customers be more authentic
As human beings, we all have our in-betweens when it comes to being honest with people. Some of us are totally fake with everyone, acting like everything is just fine even if we don’t really feel that way inside.
Some of us keep things very close to the chest because we're afraid people will look at us differently if they knew what was going on.
And some of us can’t seem to quite figure out how to ask for what we want or need from others. We get so nervous about hurting their feelings by saying “no” that we never do.
It's impossible to achieve success as an entrepreneur or business owner unless you learn how to be more open and authentically yourself around other people. You'll find yourself in situations where you have to be straightforward, and you won't always know what kind of response you'll get from someone.
But if you cannot help being dishonest sometimes, then you'll fail to thrive as a leader and person.
Help your customers be more realistic
Sometimes, in the service industry, people get very excited about things or want to see you have a lot of fun with work. This can sometimes make you feel pressured to keep the mood light and fun even when you would rather not.
This can be tricky because you need to maintain good relationships with your colleagues and avoid creating an uncomfortable environment.
It is important that you understand how different individuals handle stress so you can help them deal effectively with it. If someone seems overwhelmed, try talking to them and finding out what is making them stressed.
You could also suggest ways they might be able to reduce their stress levels, for example by having a short break. It may be helpful to do the same if they do seem over-stressed.
Use your time wisely
A few years ago, I read an article about how most people have lost touch with what it means to use their time effectively.
It’s like we’re so focused on getting more done that we forget why we should be doing anything in the first place.
We become busy working to meet external deadlines or internal quotas instead of being productive and investing our energy into things that matter to us.
I think there is some similar thinking when it comes to emotional intelligence.
We get so focused on developing our EQ that we lose sight of the reason why we need it in the first place.
Why are we here if we aren’t going to enjoy this life? Why are we spending all this time trying to be happier than we were yesterday if we’re not planning to enjoy today?
And yet too many of us seem to be wasting our lives by chasing happiness at any cost.
There’s a way to balance that out, though. You can choose to invest your time in things that make you happy, but only if you know what makes you unhappy and you’re willing to give up something else to avoid it.
You have to be aware of your weaknesses before you can learn how to prevent them from holding you back.
The same goes for emotional strengths.
Know when to say when
Sometimes, even in the most professional of situations, you have to walk away. You need to give up hope that something will change and work that you’re trying to accomplish has run out of momentum.
This is not a case of giving up or quitting; it is a case of recognizing that your effort was wasted.
You spent time doing things you knew were wrong, and now it is too late to do anything about it. This situation has changed, and you can either choose to stay and try to save these people from themselves, or you can let them make their mistakes alone.
It is important to know when to say when. If you are having trouble letting go, then you should probably look into how emotional intelligence works to see if this applies to you.
Emotional intelligence helps us understand our emotions so we can control what effect they have on us. It also teaches us how to recognize other people’s emotions and why they feel the way they do.
In the service industry, such as bartending or serving, there are always going to be times where someone needs to learn when to ask for help. They may need guidance with money, personal issues, or job related ones.
Your responsibility as a trained emotionalist ends here. Unless they ask you to continue working with them, you should leave them alone and hope that they figure everything out on their own.