How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect Communication

Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (“EI”) has become one of the most popular skills people have suggested you can learn to improve your success in business and life. It is also one of the most expensive courses you can take that promises dramatic improvements in your career and personal life.

Some say it will change how well you manage relationships, while others suggest it will increase your salary by helping you get better jobs. Some even claim it is a necessary condition for happiness.

But are all these claims true? And if so, how do we know whether someone who says they are good at EI is telling the truth?

We could not tell you with 100% certainty whether investing in this skill is worth its price, but here are some reasons why we feel it is!

Emotional intelligence is clearly important to overall wellbeing and success in life. We would like to argue that it is just as important as IQ – perhaps more so.

In fact, there is lots of evidence to show that those with high levels of emotional intelligence are consistently more successful than others.

It seems clear that being able to understand and control your own emotions is an essential part of leading a happy, productive life.

With that in mind, let us look at seven ways emotional intelligence affects communication.

1: Being aware of other people’s emotions

Most people are bad at reading other people’s emotions.

Relationship with effective communication

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

In order to effectively communicate with someone, you need to understand them – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. You must be able to read their body language, know what they like and dislike, and recognize when they are in an emotional state.

In addition, you have to be aware of how they process information. Are they logical or intuitive? If you’re not sure which approach is used in a situation, ask!

By being aware of these things, you will never underestimate the importance of non-verbal cues in communicating with people. At the same time, you should always make an effort to use both verbal and non-verbal modes of expression for good conversation.

Emotional intelligence can help you achieve this. Having high emotional quotient (EQ) means having control over your own emotions and those of others. This also includes knowing how to relate to other people — by listening and understandinging them, and changing behaviors that don’t work for relationships.

It may sound difficult at first, but practicing it will only improve your interactions with others.

Ways to improve emotional intelligence

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

One of the most important things you can do to strengthen your emotional literacy is recognize when someone else is experiencing an emotion.

This is called identifying what another person is feeling or perceiving, which is referred to as empathy.

You will have to be able to identify several types of emotions for this to make sense. For example, if someone says they are angry with you, it is hard to understand how they could feel that way unless you know what kind of anger they are talking about.

There are eight basic forms of human emotion, and knowing which one someone is feeling helps us relate better to them.

The word “emotion” comes from the Latin root monere, meaning to mourn or lament.

So understanding the different kinds of mourning makes you more aware of other people’s feelings. The same goes for happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, irritation, and so on.

Be honest with your peers

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

When you’re in a meeting, talk about what is happening and be direct and clear. Avoid vague statements or meandering conversations that seem to go nowhere.

Be honest with your colleagues – tell them when you are not feeling well, tell them if you are struggling at work, tell them if something isn’t working. If you don’t feel like talking, say so!

Don’t keep things bottled up - whether it's because you worry you won't be believed or trusted, or you're worried people will think you're too negative, unhappy or difficult to deal with, silence can sometimes be deadly for relationships.

Be honest with your coworkers

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

Being able to read another person’s emotions is one of the most important skills you can have as an employee. This is particularly true in the workplace, where communication flows both in and out.

If you don't take time to understand other people's emotions, then it will be difficult to succeed at work. You'll need to develop a habit of looking outside yourself for sources of inspiration and motivation, and that doesn't usually happen when you're hiding inside.

Your colleagues will notice if you aren’t showing any emotion, and they may start to feel uncomfortable around you. They might even come to believe that you are not open with them – which won’t make them feel comfortable working together or trusting each other.

On the other hand, if you are very emotional sometimes, this could hurt someone else’s feelings, which isn’t good. People spend a lot of time talking about themselves, so if you never talk about what you want or fear, others will assume the worst.

Emotions connect us to each other, so by knowing how to use yours, and being aware of those of others, you'll know how to communicate and relate better.

Be honest with your boss

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

As mentioned before, emotional intelligence is related to how well you read and understand other people’s emotions. When working towards improving your EI, there are several ways to test yourself.

One of these tests is to be honest with your colleagues and superiors. If you notice that someone is feeling down or stressed out, try to determine what might be causing them to feel this way.

It could be due to something at work, their personal life, or maybe even outside sources such as family.

By being aware of the causes, they can be worked upon or adjusted so that person feels better.

Be consistent when giving feedback

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

When giving feedback to your colleagues, keep things professional and direct. Avoid comments such as “You are always so lazy!” or “I can never get through work-lve with you!” instead try using statements and examples. For example, say something like, “The way you handle our project is making it hard for me to help you. I have tried talking to you about this time and again, but you never respond back. It makes working together difficult.”

If you feel that your colleague is not listening to your advice, ask if they would like you to leave them alone for one week to give their ideas more time to gel. If they agree, thank them and do it!

Emotions tend to run high in workplace situations and sabotaging relationships due to poor communication is very common. By being aware of your own emotions and how others may be feeling, you will know what to do next.

Practice having difficult conversations

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

Having a good conversation does not mean saying what you want to say without any hesitation or reflection. It means being able to recognize when something is going wrong, changing your strategy, and re-evaluating your approach.

Conversational emotional intelligence (EI) comes in the form of self-awareness, understanding emotions, and how to use emotion to facilitate communication.

Self-aware individuals are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and are willing to be honest about them. For example, someone who considers themselves very intelligent may make assumptions that other people will agree with. This can hurt relationships because they believe that others think less highly of them than they do themselves.

Similarly, some people may put off talking about things because they fear that people will think poorly of them. They might keep quiet instead of risking confrontation or disagreement.

When it comes to emotional issues, this is too often the case. In fact, sometimes silence is even seen as a sign of strength or maturity. But keeping silent doesn’t help anyone — especially if there’s an argument or dispute next time you meet.

If you don’t talk about things then you won’t know where your limitations lie and whether you need more education or training on a particular topic. You’ll also miss out on opportunities to learn new skills and strategies, and to grow.

Be realistic

how does emotional intelligence affect communication

Sometimes people get so focused on being nice that they forget what is really important to you. If someone did something bad to you, it might be easy to feel hurt or angry but if they have done nothing wrong, then why should you?

Emotions are powerful. When we feel them, we can make poor decisions because we give in to how they affect us.

If you want to improve your communication skills, then start by asking yourself whether your emotions are having an effect on others. Are they talking about things that matter to you with respect and admiration? Or are they saying negative things about you that could damage your trust or confidence in other people?

By using the tools of emotional intelligence, you will know when it’s time to put aside differences and work together towards a common goal.

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