Is Emotional Intelligence the Key to Strong Healthcare Leaders?

We’re all familiar with the term IQ, but at this year’s MGMA Annual Conference, the focus was on a different idea—EQ or emotional intelligence. The Jordan Search Consultants’ leadership team attended this conference and heard from Shelly Waggoner, MS, CEBS, SHRM-SCP on the topic. Waggoner explained that emotional intelligence is made up of 4 core skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Acknowledging these behaviors can make the healthcare industry smarter—and recruiting efforts more meaningful.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

EQ is a set of behavioral abilities that impact work performance. This idea began in the 1930s when psychological research supported a connection between “social intelligence” and work productivity.

EQ’s connection to Healthcare

Although the term EQ has existed since 1930, emotional intelligence practices are just now finding their way into healthcare. Not surprisingly, the recent focus on this type of intelligence corresponds with the push for enhanced patient-centered care. In fact, it is proven that EQ leads to higher patient satisfaction and improved clinical performance. After all, healthcare is not only medical, but also highly emotional.

EQ is especially relevant when it comes to identifying strong physician leadership, which is critical for organizations in today’s healthcare environment. According to the American Board of Physician Specialties, “All doctors are intelligent, but it takes more than an impressive IQ to be a good leader. Emotional IQ, empathy, and the ability to build consensus are highly valued traits that can reveal someone’s leadership potential.”

Measuring EQ in Healthcare

There is no doubt that recruitment is the best time to introduce EQ measurement. One of the primary tools available to help identify levels of EQ is personality testing. The topic of personality testing in healthcare is a highly debated one due to the long-held belief that physicians require a broader, knowledge-based set of skills that are more important than an individual’s particular personality. But with healthcare employers facing increased hiring pressure due to physician shortages, the high cost of health professional turnover, and the focus on population health, more and more organizations are examining the value of integrating personality assessments into the recruitment process.

The key question organizations are asking: Is there a measurable benefit to personality testing in physician recruitment and development? If so, how can organizations successfully leverage the available resources and implement personality testing processes into their organization to cut turnover costs and more strategically plan for the future?

If you’re interested in exploring the answers to these questions specific to your organization, Jordan Search Consultants is here to help. Contact djlarson@jordansc.com for more information.

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