5 Ways To Facilitate Emotional Intelligence In Online Training

5 Ways To Facilitate Emotional Intelligence In Online Training
Summary: You may have heard of IQ and EQ as related to the corporate world. Are they necessary skills or just the latest millennial acronym? In this article, I highlight 5 ways to facilitate emotional intelligence in online training.

How To Facilitate Emotional Intelligence In Online Training

We’re all familiar with Intelligence Quotient, the statistic that allegedly proves how smart you are. But as we’ve studied intelligence further, we’ve realized there are different kinds of smart. We don’t all possess straight-A capabilities. But we may be gifted with spacial, linguistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, naturalist, linguistic, or existential smarts. We might also possess logical-mathematical or bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. All these forms are partially intrinsic and partially acquired. EQ (Emotional Quotient) can be defined as people smarts...or social smarts. It’s the ability to empathize, see others’ perspective, and walk in their shoes. And yes, it can be taught. Even more, emotional intelligence in online training can be facilitated, and here are 5 prominent ways to do it.

1. Assess Thyself

(Lack of) emotional intelligence in online training can be hard to discern. For most of us, we can observe the minutest details about other people, but we can’t see ourselves. We can see the outward characteristics of those around us. But it can be hard to tell what’s going on in their heads. To complicate matters even more, we have different reactions to the same stimuli. So even if you’ve been in that situation, your response may be vastly polar.

To facilitate emotional intelligence in online training, start by finding out where your corporate learners are on the spectrum. Early in the online training course, implant an EQ assessment. It could be a multiple-choice quiz, a yes/no or true/false approach, or a slider. It could even be in RPG format. The key is to keep it casual and low-stress.

If corporate learners feel intimidated, they’ll give the answers they’re “supposed” to give instead of genuine replies. And since this test is intended to identify their online training needs, wrong answers will make online training moot. Avoid loaded questions. They add pressure and lead answers. For example, nobody ever answers “No” when they’re asked, “Do you think you’re emotionally intelligent?” But if corporate learners are walking through a video game and see a box with new-born kittens/puppies, you’ll get a clearer read. It shows empathy levels and problem-solving skills.

2. Branch Out

Aside from empathy, EQ also requires self-awareness and emotion management. In corporate settings, you need the ability to handle your feelings and stay professional. You may also need to deal with the emotions of your colleagues and clients. The best way to do so is with lots of practice. It may be as simple as making a young mother feel comfortable in your store. Or as challenging as gracefully blocking a refund request.

Branching scenarios can help enhance emotional intelligence in online training. A branching scenario is like a flow chart, but it’s more interactive. Corporate learners will be exposed to various situations and choose how to respond. The situation (de-)escalates based on their response. After the branching scenario, they can replay their responses to see if or where they went wrong, with pop-up pointers. They can then revisit the “test” implementing their corrections. Branching scenarios can also be explored via first-person game simulations. This type of online training activity can help them stay calm under pressure, lowering overall work stress.

3. Social Media Rules

The comments section seems to bring out the troll in all of us. Even if we don’t type it, we’re probably thinking about it. So set up a corporate social media group and use it to engage your team. The only rule is “no lurking.” Everyone has to be actively involved. While we can’t seem to resist being mean using our “anonymous” accounts, we’re primed to behave better around the boss. Practicing social media civility is likely to train our muscle memory.

The more they play nice in-house, the better they’ll get at handling online intensity, both at work and in their personal capacity. This is important, given recent cases. Several high profile careers were ruined by deleted tweets or Facebook posts someone dug out of their past. You could even program simulated tweets so your staff can practice engaging under pressure. They should also do trial runs with the official brand accounts. Don’t give logins to the intern until they’ve proved themselves capable of handling bad digital press.

4. Peer-Based Feedback Sessions

A sign of high emotional intelligence is being able to graciously accept constructive criticism and having empathy for others. Peer-based feedback and coaching allow employees to share knowledge, experiences, and insights. They must be able to not only provide input to their fellow coworkers but accept it in the spirit in which it’s given. If they do have trouble accepting feedback, this gives them the opportunity to explore cognitions that hinder individual growth. For example, why they find it so difficult to take peer opinions or thoughts into consideration.

5. Video Demos Dos And Don’ts

Sometimes the best way to impart emotional intelligence is to show instead of tell. Develop video demos that illustrate favorable behaviors vs. offensive actions, as well as give employees tips on how to decipher body language. For example, the video features a customer who expresses dissatisfaction with the transaction through facial expressions. Employees must be able to read between the lines and then use their EQ skills to relate to customers and identify their needs.

To be deemed emotionally intelligent, you require a keen sense of your own emotional state. You need to remain professional even when sentiments and passions run high. It’s a skill you can acquire by consistently rehearsing. In this case, practice really does make perfect. Begin by assessing your employees’ level of EQ using simple, non-leading quizzes or games. Next, use branching scenarios to explore and experience potential responses. Then, have some in-house social media interactions to learn the smart way to starve out trolls. It could turn your brand into the next digital darling, and it helps your bottom line too.

Has emotional intelligence in online training intrigued you in wanting to move further, by comprehending the special approach adult learners need to absorb the information? Read 7 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Cannot Connect With Your Online Training Course and find out more about how adult learners can achieve their goals and tackle everyday challenges, as well as ways to keep your adult learners engaged during your eLearning course.