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Organizational Changes: Understanding your Employee is Crucial Before Enforcing Organizational Changes

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Iberkis Faltas
October 26, 2018

Iberkis Faltas – Old Shoes Monument, Cartagena, Colombia

One of the most critical factors that top management must take into consideration when accessing organizational changes is the point of view of those who will be affected by organizational changes the most. Resistance to changes and the struggle to adapt to new policies and regulations are only a few of the challenges faced during organizational changes. It requires the involvement of every person in an organization because resistance to change is a roadblock that can also inhibit the continuous implementation of the proposed changes. Learning how use emotional intelligence gives management the advantage of improving organizational processes, including dealing with the difficulties that can arise during the application of organizational changes.

Extensive academic research on emotional intelligence shows three significant emotional intelligence conceptualizations that can help us to soften the blows during organizational changes. Mayer, Salovey and Caruso have a four-branched ability model, which highlights essential abilities in a person: The ability to perceive and use emotions to facilitate thinking and thoughts. In other words, it’s the ability to understand emotions to enhance relationships and performance, and the ability to manage one’s emotions to promote professionalism and performance. Goleman’s emotional intelligence performance model focuses on skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, social responsibility, teamwork, communication and conflict management resolution. These are skills that also help individuals enhance performance, in addition to strengthen team unification and communication. This emotional intelligence concept centers on the individuals’ cognitive abilities which influence social responsibilities and other skills essential for leadership and customer service. This emotional intelligence concept has been widely used in professional and organizational settings. It has been used also to evaluate management and leadership practices, as well as employees and organizational performance, converging on self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and relationship management. Bar-On’s emotional intelligence concept focuses on a set of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and competencies that explore a wide range of human behavior in the workplace. When dealing with organizational changes, emotional intelligence helps us to explore individuals’ self-regard and the way they see and project themselves, their emotional assertiveness in relation to performance independence, self-actualization, empathy, social responsibility, interpersonal relationship, stress management, flexibility, tolerance, impulse control, adaptability, problemsolving and collaboration. The goal is to determine the impact that organizational changes can have on the employees and the overall organizational behavior. Emotional intelligence is connected to our abilities to understand, recognize and use the information found in our environment to facilitate and enhance thoughts. It also helps us be vigilant about our emotional responses during critical situations, to create a better, well-balanced workplace.

Sometimes, management focuses too much on how to solve conflicts, without taking the proper time to explore what is causing the conflict in first place. When implementing organizational changes, we must look the internal and external factors causing the problems. It might sound a lot, but in really it is not. We should learn how people adapt, how they work in teams, and how sharp are their collaboration and adaptability skills. This information is relevant because those are skills that have a direct impact on human behavior and actions, and further so on their resistance to change.

We all know that organizations are changing fast. Research shows that in contemporaneous professionalism, emotional intelligence has an equally or more important role than intelligent quotient. Only organizations that are open and adaptive, constantly developing their own internal philosophy and culture, in sync with modernism and contemporaneous professional practices will survive. Emotional intelligence and organizational awareness, complemented with the appropriate identification of problems, will find a common ground of interest, motivation, and goal, that will facilitate the integration of organizational change.

Managers! Take a minute and look around your organization: Without its people, your organization would have never existed. Appreciate your employees. When considering organizational changes, also consider the impact and well-being of your employees because they are the present and future of your organization.

Psychologists David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey explained six principles of emotional intelligence practices that I believe should be considered by all organizations:

  1. Emotion is information and should be practice to understand your organization better
  2. Trying to ignore the emotional data inside your organizations does not work, ignoring it makes the problems worst
  3. We can try to hide emotional data, but it takes double the effort of hiding the problem than just confronting it
  4. All decisions must incorporate some form of emotions; we must recognize those emotions in order to be able to use them for the greatest good inside the organization
  5. Emotions follow logical patterns, help us to organize logical thinking, to be able to make logical decisions
  6. Emotional specifics exist, we just need to know what they are, and where to find it

We must wear other’s people shoes to understand their walking’s habits completely. The needs to access and understand how people feel in the workplace is essential. Let’s not keep forgetting about it.

Author: Iberkis Faltas, Ph.D., Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, Concentrations: Law & Policy | Management & Leadership, Emotional Intelligence Professional Coach www.linkedin.com/in/iberkisfaltas

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