How Can Emotional Intelligence Be Used In The Workplace
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ for short) has become one of the most popular workplace qualities to promote. With all the talk about leadership skills and motivation theories like “self-management” and “theory of value,” it seems that everyone is trying to develop their own personal bar of EQ.
But what does EQ actually mean? And more importantly, how can you use this quality at work?
This article will go into detail on some ways that you can apply your employee’s EQ to help them perform better at work and improve their working relationships. It will also look at some situations where someone’s high EQ could backfire and hurt their career or even threaten it.
Why is emotional intelligence important in the workplace?
Over the past few decades, there has been an increasing emphasis placed on what we refer to as “emotional literacy” or "soft" skills in the workplace. These are non-cognitive abilities that play a major role in successful work relationships and functioning outside of the office.
People with higher levels of emotional intelligence perceive emotions in others more quickly and accurately, which helps them understand why other people act like they do. They also use these feelings to predict how someone may respond at a given moment, and know when it's time to take action.
In addition to understanding human behavior, individuals who have high EQ can control their own emotions better than those who struggle with this. This helps them keep their cool in stressful situations and avoid becoming distracted by their reactions.
It seems obvious, but proving it takes effort. Luckily for you, here are 9 ways to develop your emotional intelligence.
Ways to improve one’s emotional intelligence
Developing your emotional quotient (EQ) is an important thing to do as it can have significant impacts on your career and personal life. EQ comes into play when you are interacting with people, understanding emotions, and learning how to manage your own emotions.
It's also interesting to note that while some people may think that they have high levels of emotional intelligence, what really matters is whether you're able to recognize someone else's level of emotion and if you know how to apply this knowledge to help them feel more relaxed or confident.
So here we will talk about eight ways to increase your emotional intelligence.
Teach people how to be happy
Recent studies show that being able to identify and understand your emotions is one of the most important skills you can develop as an employee.
Research shows that employees who are able to recognize, describe and manage their own emotional states and those of others are more likely to succeed at work and achieve higher levels of happiness outside of work.
This is particularly true for younger workers, who may not yet feel like they have mastery over their emotions.
By educating yourself about emotional intelligence (EI) and developing these skills, you will help promote workplace harmony and efficiency.
You’ll also learn how to reduce stress and improve job performance, which will only benefit your employer and yourself.
Given that nearly half of all Americans suffer from mental health issues at some time during their lives, it makes sense to invest in your personal wellness.
Here are five ways to increase your emotional intelligence.
1. Use emotion regulation strategies
Emotion regulation refers to actions you take to either activate or deactivate a specific emotion.
For example, someone with limited emotion regulation would get easily stressed out when there is a noise sensor going off in their office. They might start thinking negatively about their boss and what they cannot do anything about.
People with high emotional regulation could handle such situations better by realizing that this is just a noisy floor sensor and nothing else!
There are three main types of emotion regulation: cognitive, physical, and behavioral.
Understand your coworkers
It’s easy to talk about emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace, but doing so is only half of the equation. The other part is actually applying EI to your colleagues and friends.
By this, we mean acknowledging their emotions and how they affect them and you, and changing your behavior accordingly. For example, if someone tells you that something doesn’t work or isn’t working for them, acknowledge these things as legitimate points of view and see whether there are ways you can help them fix it.
If you do come across an emotionally intelligent person, try to apply some of their skills to yourself. For instance, ask yourself what you would do if someone like Elena did not seem invested in keeping you in a job she thought was failing. What strategies could you use to promote your own success?
Try asking people about themselves and what makes them feel happy or sad. Some great questions to ask include: “What are your personal goals right now?”, “Are you married/dating? Do you have kids?”, and “What makes you feel happier at work — what puts a big smile on your face?”
You can also ask about important life events such as anniversaries, birthdays, and retirement parties. These are all good opportunities to test peoples’ emotional intelligence by how well they respond to these milestones.
Make eye contact
Making direct, meaningful connections with others is a powerful tool for business professionals. When you make good eye contact, you show interest in someone or something. You look them in the eyes, which shows that you are paying attention to what they have to say.
When your colleagues, superiors, and subordinates do not feel seen and heard, it can affect how well they work together and how motivated they are to put in extra effort.
It’s like when you go into a restaurant and there’s no one sitting at the table eating. Or when you visit someone’s house and everything looks messy and cluttered. In both cases, the other person does not feel loved or wanted.
This can be due to lack of personal hygiene, dishes left lying around, food scattered all over the place – even if there was enough for everyone involved. It could be because nothing seems to belong to this space and time so it feels as though things just get pushed aside.
In both instances mentioned above, the people who spend their lives in these settings never really felt loved or needed. This is why you often see reports about workers giving up their pay cheques and going without lunch because they don’t feel valued.
Making eye contact helps to create trust and feeling connected between individuals. If you want to increase emotional intelligence in the workplace, then practicing adequate eye contact is a great way to start.
Be honest with your peers
As seen before, emotional intelligence can play an important role in workplace relationships. However, it is important to be aware of when you are being dishonest.
When you make false promises or tell untruths to someone, this takes away from their trust in you. In addition, it is very difficult for others to verify whether what you say is true because they do not have access to the truth.
If you want to see how well people believe you, look at how willing they are to work with you. People will usually give you more credit than necessary if you seem like you know what you’re talking about.
Be careful about offering false assurances or making claims that cannot be verified. It is better to be transparent and straightforward instead.
Everyone has different levels of intensity when they talk, so try to recognize these differences and determine whether something seems overly strong or weak. If you find something feels off, then chances are it does!
Never assume things about other people unless there is no other choice. We all have bad days, but some take longer than others to reach such a level.
A lot of people use emotional intelligence as a way to justify their own selfish behaviors in the workplace. They may even go so far as to claim that they are not able to control their emotions, so it is okay for them to be disrespectful or take advantage of others because they do not have strong feelings about things.
This isn’t true emotional intelligence. It is possible to manage your emotions while at the same time understanding why other people feel the way they do.
It is important to recognize that you will never know what everyone else is feeling unless you ask them directly. And yes, it can be uncomfortable when you make an effort to understand someone but there are ways to do this without making them feel bad.
Emotional quotient (EQ) tests like those done by Daniel Goleman don’t tell you how much EQ someone has, only if they have some EQ. People with lots of EQ often show less emotion than people who lack it, which makes sense since they are more likely to use reasoning to explain why something made them feel a certain way.
But using logic to understand why someone feels the way they do doesn’t mean that you lose interest in them. It could actually help you connect with them more effectively.
Learn to laugh
A strong sense of humor is one of the most important qualities for professionals to have. If you cannot make someone else’s bad day better, then why would they ever feel like going to work again?
Everyone experiences setbacks at some point in their life, which can cause them to become stressed out or even depressed. Therefore, it is very important as a professional to be able to recognize a situation that needs a little funny joke, or need someone to commiserate with you about your own misfortunes.
The more sensitive people are, the harder it can be to maintain their composure when things don’t go their way. You must learn how to identify such situations and use appropriate humor to distract others from the stressful event.
It also helps to strengthen relationships by showing interest in other people’s lives. By adding laughter into the workplace, employees will appreciate your efforts more. Your colleagues will reward you with praise and gratitude for helping to lighten up the atmosphere.