People skills are one of the fundamental components of understanding someone’s emotional intelligence, or EQ. But can observing and understanding the way people interact with others actually give us insight into other aspects of their EQ? Can we learn where an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are, just by observing their people skills?

In the science of emotional intelligence, people skills are often broken down into multiple subcategories. These include things like:

  • Leadership
  • Influence
  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Team building

All of these facets of what we lump together under the heading of “people skills” seem similar, but are actually deeply interwoven with other aspects of emotional intelligence. Observing the way individuals use their people skills, whether it be a job candidate, an executive, or a client, can help us understand how developed they are in other categories of EQ and react accordingly.

People Skills in Practice

Take for example, leadership. Leadership, more than most other people skills, requires a strong sense of of self-motivation, self-confidence, self-control. It also requires a very high ability to understand the motivations of other people and the levers and buttons that can be pulled and pushed to heighten those motivations and point them to a common goal.

How is this Information Useful?

It provides a template for building leaders within the organization. An employee who is exceptional at connecting and bonding with other employees, but who has shown poor ability to lead, can be trained into a leader by understanding that the missing components are likely some combination of internal drive or self-confidence. Boosting their confidence and finding ways to motivate them can turn an average or poor leader into a great one, and a great leader is always an asset to an organization.

In an age where organizations comb through reams of paper and petabytes of data to optimize every facet of their processes, they still often ignore one of the most readily available sources of data offered to them – the people skills of their employees.

Finding a way to reliably collect and process this information can allow organizations to optimize their human resources the way they have optimized their material resources. In a time where every competitive advantage is critical to long-term success, ignoring this chance at improving efficiency can be a costly mistake.

Is Monitoring Employees’ People Skills Really an Ideal Solution?

The main difficulty with setting up a program to monitor people skills effectively is that even trained psychologists have difficulty assessing and grading people skills in a real-world setting.

While creating an observation and oversight program is a good first step, the optimal solution is to create an EQ testing schedule to really assess your employees’ skills and emotional intelligence. Doing so can help you understand where your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities lie. Once you have that, it becomes much easier to get your human resources in line and moving in a direction that can markedly improve the bottom line.

Optimizing human resources is perhaps the last great bastion of corporate efficiency, and it’s a tough problem to solve. Observing your employees’ people skills can be the first step on cracking this problem, and can provide the information that managers need to understand the health of their company and what they can do to improve it.

Ultimately, that’s the most important lesson that your employees’ daily interactions can teach, and ignoring their signals can be the first step on the road to irrelevance.

If you want to learn more about how you can implement an EQ testing schedule within your organization, contact us.