How Can Emotional Intelligence Be Applied In The Workplace

Recent studies show that emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most important skills you can develop as an employee, or even a business owner. With EI, you are aware of your emotions and how to regulate them effectively.

This includes being able to identify your own feelings and those of others, as well as knowing what causes these feelings and how to manage them. It also means understanding why other people may be feeling certain ways and what you can do to help them feel better.

Businesses look for employees with high levels of EI because it makes for happier workers and colleagues. And we all know about the importance of teamwork in our society today!

If you’re already working for a company that values emotional literacy, keep doing what you’re doing but raise your score. If not? Then start practicing. Here are some tips for improving your EQ at work…


Many employers now recognize that emotional quotient (or EQ, sometimes referred to as “emotional literacy”) is an essential workplace skill. A few years back this would have been considered something special; now it's just part of the job requirement.

Emotional intelligence isn't simply having rich friends and a kind personality- that's a starting point, but rather being able to read and understand human behavior and influence. This applies both to yourself and to others.

Have patience

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

Sometimes, even when everything is going well, people do not respond to you immediately or they put off what they need to do for too long. This could be because they are waiting for someone else to make the next move, they do not know how to approach you, or they do not want to deal with you at this moment.

Everyone has different levels of energy and motivation, and this can change from day to day, hour to hour. It is also possible that they may need time to think about their response before giving it to you.

In some cases, there may be nothing you can do except wait until these things have been addressed. You may have to accept that you will never get your job done, or will never see them agree with you.

As hard as this may be, remain calm and focused on other tasks. Do not take it personally – it may be difficult for them to show their true self under such conditions.

Make eye contact

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

Making eye contact with someone is one of the most powerful ways to establish rapport, understand emotions, or get things done. When you look people in the eyes, they feel that you are listening to them and believe they have your full attention.

When we don’t make direct eye contact with other people, it can sometimes be because we don’t want to show how much emotion we have invested in their conversation, our lack of self-confidence may prevent us from looking them directly in the eye, or we might not know what position they prefer when talking.

Whatever the reason, avoiding eye contact can hurt your relationships and lower your emotional intelligence.

It can also be an easy way to conceal your true feelings. In fact, research shows that making indirect eye contacts can actually increase stress for others. This article will discuss some reasons why leaving out eye contact is bad and strategies to improve your own EQ.

Why is missing eye contact bad?

Making eye contact is a universal sign that others perceive as friendly. It helps to create trust and connection between two individuals. When you avoid eye contact, you send mixed signals about whether you are comfortable sharing thoughts and secrets with this person.

In addition to limiting open communication, there are some specific reasons why omitting eye contact is detrimental:

You may be trying to hide something.

Be realistic

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

A lot of people get stuck in emotional intelligence theory because they want to apply it directly. You cannot take these skills away unless you are also giving those with low EI someone else to blame or pointing the finger at them for their own lack of empathy.

This is not an effective way to use EQ. It creates internal struggles that do nothing but hurt your self-esteem, and may even create a cycle where individuals with lower levels of EQ feel worse about themselves than before.

Instead, choose to be more aware of your emotions and how others’ influence yours. If you notice someone getting angry, try to understand why they are (is it due to something happening earlier?) and if there is anything you can do to help them relax.

Share your experiences

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence (EI) can be applied in several different areas of life, including at work. Being aware of and understanding your own emotions is a starting point to improving your EI.

Once you have identified what makes you feel negative or positive about something, you can apply these feelings onto other things. For example, if you are hungry, you will probably eat whatever food available.

By applying this theory to employees, you could identify what factors make them unhappy and try to find solutions to those problems. This would include pay raises, improved working conditions or even quitting due to poor performance.

If an employee knows how they made you angry, they will likely avoid such actions in the future. Also, if someone else does something that upsets you, take some time to calm down before responding to show more control over your reactions.

The last thing we want as employers is for people to walk away from their job because they cannot handle their responsibilities. If this happens, it sets a bad precedent and creates a problem next time there is a position open.

Be honest with your peers

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) can help you achieve success at work and improve workplace relationships. However including others in your conversations doesn’t just happen naturally for some people, even if they seem chatty or like “good talkers.”

It takes practice, but thinking about how to bring up difficult topics, being aware of other individuals’ emotions, and asking open questions can all contribute towards having more successful conversation.

By being able to recognize and manage your own feelings and those of others, you will be better equipped to deal with everyday disagreements that may arise.

You could also use this knowledge to strengthen interpersonal relationships by acknowledging and appreciating the strengths of other people, instead of focusing only on their weaknesses.

Listen to others closely

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

Over time, listening to people close up will help you understand them better. By paying attention to what they say and how they say it, you can determine if their words are true or not, whether they are telling you lies about someone or something, and if they are trying to get your trust.

By being aware of these things, you can begin to understand emotional intelligence. What kind of ear do you have? Are you able to recognize emotions people put onto the screen when talking to you or are you too distracted by the next thing that person says?

If you notice that there is an increase in tone and intensity, then chances are they are hiding something. If you find out what those things are, you now know some tricks to evaluate emotional intelligence.

You also learned why they may be feeling that way so make sure to address that before moving forward with any business relationships or tasks.

Don’t be egotistical

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

Even if you don’t recognize it, everyone around you is feeling emotional pain at some time or other.

If you are someone who doesn’t show much emotion, people may not realize how they affect you.

Your colleagues and superiors will feel hurt when they perceive that you don’t care about what happens to them. They will try harder to meet your expectations and achieve their goals, which can burn out quickly.

And they will keep trying longer than necessary, because they need you to help them succeed.

On the other hand, if you display strong emotions frequently, people might think you don’t have anything inside you.

Be humble

how can emotional intelligence be applied in the workplace

A key component of emotional intelligence is to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. This is particularly important as someone who has never before worked for an organization or with people so that you can learn how to improve yourself and others.

As a new employee, you may not know what makes other employees happy or unhappy. You also might not realize some of the things that make certain individuals feel stressed out or overwhelmed.

By being aware of these factors, you can help them find ways to work through their problems. It could be changing assignments so they are more likely to enjoy their job, finding better resources or equipment to use, offering friendly advice, or even letting them take a break if needed.

Being able to read other people is a very valuable skill because it helps us understand why people act like they do. Many times we spend our time trying to figure out what made someone else become frustrated or angry, but we miss the part where they realized their personal strength and used it to cope.

Embrace mistakes

A lot of people have a hard time accepting mistakes as part of life. They believe that anyone who makes a mistake should feel bad about themselves and need to be punished or corrected.

This isn’t always true, though. When someone makes a poor decision, it shouldn’t hurt their self-esteem unless something much worse happened. We all make mistakes, which is why we call them errors.

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