Learning a New Language Makes You More Emotionally Intelligent

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In the dynamic landscape of modern business, leaders constantly seek innovative ways to enhance employee skills and boost overall performance. One often overlooked avenue for skill development lies in learning a new language. While linguistic proficiency undoubtedly enhances communication, it also imparts invaluable emotional skills that can significantly impact your enterprise team's success. Emotional intelligence has a 58% influence on job performance, and 90% of top performers at work have high emotional intelligence (EQ).  

The future of work relies not only on the technical ability of your workforce but their emotional competence, too. Here’s why language learning is critical to increasing EQ at work.  

Cultivating Empathy Through Language Diversity

Did you know that learning a new language can foster empathy among your employees? A study by the University of Chicago found that bilingual individuals exhibit higher empathy and sensitivity toward other cultures. This emotional intelligence translates to improved collaboration within diverse teams, making your workforce more adaptable to cross-cultural interactions and global partnerships. It also fosters an increased sense of camaraderie between employees, which, in a remote-first world, is critical to keeping employees engaged.

Enhancing Adaptability and Resilience

Mastering a new language involves overcoming challenges and stepping out of one's comfort zone. This process inherently develops adaptability and resilience, which are crucial for navigating the ever-evolving business landscape. According to a survey by Rosetta Stone, 89% of HR leaders noted that employees who learned a new language displayed greater adaptability in complex and ambiguous situations. 

Boosting Confidence and Risk-Taking

Learning a new language requires facing the fear of making mistakes and embracing vulnerability. This journey fosters a growth mindset, boosting individual confidence and encouraging calculated risk-taking. 71% of employees who learned a new language reported increased self-confidence, leading to greater engagement and innovation. 

Strengthening Communication and Active Listening

While improving communication skills is a commonly recognized benefit of learning a new language, the impact on active listening should be considered. Multilingual individuals tend to be more attuned to nuances in verbal and nonverbal communication, making them exceptional active listeners. This heightened skill contributes to more effective problem-solving and conflict resolution, as indicated by a study published in the Harvard Business Review. 

Developing Patience and Persistence

Learning a new language is a journey that requires patience and persistence. Employees who embark on this path learn to manage frustration and setbacks, developing a strong work ethic that translates into their professional endeavors. A survey by Duolingo showed that 82% of respondents reported improved patience and persistence after learning a new language. 

While the advantages of linguistic proficiency in communication are well-established, the lesser-known emotional benefits of learning a new language must be addressed. From cultivating empathy and adaptability to boosting confidence and communication, the impact of language learning on emotional skills is undeniable. As HR leaders and hiring managers, consider incorporating language learning programs into your employee development strategies to empower your enterprise team with the emotional intelligence they need to thrive. The statistics speak for themselves – embracing language diversity can unlock a new realm of professional growth. 

Remember, the journey of mastering a new language is more than just words; it's a transformation of the mind and heart that shapes exceptional leaders and teams. 

If you want to learn more about offering language as a benefit to your workforce, you’re in the right place. Global LT has been offering interest-driven language learning to students worldwide for over 40 years, and our teachers are hired and trained to focus on language learning that results in real-world outcomes.  

This blog post was written by Patricia Diaz, VP of Marketing

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