How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect Job Performance
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ for short) has become one of the most popular leadership theories. Many claim that it is essential to successful leadership. In fact, some say that high levels of EQ are what makes someone qualified to be leader.
This theory was first proposed in 1990 by Peter Salovey and Daniel Mayer at Yale University’s School of Psychology. They coined the term “emotional quotient,” or EI, and designed an assessment tool to measure it. Since then, there have been many different ways to define emotional intelligence, but they all share these two main components — understanding your own emotions and those of others and how to use them effectively.
Emotional intelligence can help you achieve your goals and fulfill your potential. It may even determine if you succeed as a leader, manager, or team member. But without it, your career cannot fully advance. That’s why it is so important to develop this quality.
Why is emotional intelligence so important?
There are several reasons why having higher levels of emotional intelligence is helpful. First, no matter what position you hold, everyone around you will put their trust in you. As such, your job requires interacting with people frequently, which means being aware of their feelings and behaviors.
As mentioned before, another part of emotional intelligence is understanding your own emotions.
Relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance
Over the past few decades, there have been many studies that link emotional quotient (EQ) with workplace success. These studies look at two main areas of EQ: motivation and empathy.
Motivation refers to understanding why you should do something before deciding to actually do it. It includes things like desire for reward or incentive, need for recognition, fear of loss, etc.
Empathy is feeling what others feel and can be defined as “the ability to understand and identify with another’s emotions.”
There are several theories about how emotional skills influence employment outcomes. Some say it has nothing to do with career success, while others believe it makes no difference either way.
A theory called the motivational control model says that people who are more motivated choose better actions and are therefore more successful in the long run.
On the other hand, the self-regulation model suggests that people who lack emotion regulation skills are not able to focus on their work due to their own internal struggles.
Ways to improve emotional intelligence
One of the most important things you can do to enhance your emotional intelligence is recognize and understand your own emotions.
This is not an easy task, but it is something that everyone should strive for. When you are able to identify what makes you feel happy or sad, you will know how to fix your moods and motivate yourself into doing good tasks.
You also need to be aware of how other people make you feel. If you notice that someone is making you feel bad, try to figure out why they made you unhappy and if there is anything you can do to avoid them or talk to them about it.
It would be helpful to remember that feelings arise due to changes in hormones as well as external stimuli.
Hormones such as serotonin and dopamine affect our mental state so having adequate levels of both of these helps us regulate our emotions.
External factors like stress come from events or conversations happening around you and how you perceive them.
Become more authentic
Most people are not very good at recognizing their own emotions or understanding how others feel. If you try to conceal your true feelings, it can hurt important relationships in your life and prevent you from performing your job well.
On the other hand, if you overreact to things, you may do something that is harmful or disastrous. With emotional intelligence, you will know when to contain your emotions and when to let them take control.
By being aware of your emotions, you will be able to identify what is causing them and then address the root cause appropriately. For example, instead of arguing with someone about why they should trust you, find another way to bring them around so that they agree.
You also have to recognize when someone else is feeling strong emotion towards you. Sometimes, this is because they like you and want you to succeed, but sometimes it’s due to fear or anger.
It’s okay to say “I don’t understand” or “That makes no sense to me,” but beyond that, trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you figure out what’s going on.
Develop your resilience
While emotional intelligence is clearly important to success, there are ways to manage your emotions even when they are running high. This is called resilient or self-control of emotion.
Resilient people recognize that things will probably not go their way sometimes, but they still achieve what they set out to do. They may deal with a situation by moving onto another task, avoiding the source of stress, talking about it or taking action to reduce the effects of the problem.
Some experts suggest that being emotionally intelligent is actually creating the environment for these sorts of responses. If you're able to identify the cause of an angry mood or feeling, then you can work to avoid making someone feel bad.
Alternatively, if you're aware of how something makes someone else unhappy, you could try to change the thing or find a solution. For example, if someone close to you is going through a difficult time, maybe trying to be supportive is more effective than pointing out why they are suffering.
Learn to laugh at yourself
A lot of people consider being funny as a gift, but for some it is not. For them, making jokes comes very hard if not impossible. They try their best, but they just cannot seem to find the right joke or way to tell a joke.
This seems like an odd thing, but there is a reason that this is so. When you make fun of yourself, your emotions come out.
You feel better because you took time to acknowledge what happened and why you made the mistake. By taking breaks to reflect on your mistakes, you are giving yourself time to relax and re-calibrate.
By learning how to laugh at yourself, you will also learn how to be more compassionate towards others who may make similar mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes, even professional level workers. We all have things we struggle with and we need to accept ourselves for these struggles. It is important to recognize these weaknesses so you can work on them, but only after you learned how to laugh at yourself.
In fact, there is some evidence that suggests emotional intelligence can actually hurt your career. Too much empathy may be a bad thing if you want to climb the ladder at work!
Studies have shown that when people perceive their colleagues as having higher levels of emotional intelligence, they feel discouraged from trying hard or taking initiative because they think these individuals will always get good results due to an easy time drawing emotions from others.
This perception can even create a sense of discouragement in employees who already put in lots of effort. It could also make them reluctant to challenge the status quo since such changes might not yield positive results either.
Furthermore, high emotional quotients (EQ’s) are sometimes seen as negative qualities, which can hinder someone’s ability to connect with other people and promote teamwork. All of this can negatively affect employee morale and engagement, leading to less efficient productivity and performance.
On the flip side, low EQ’s can limit someone’s success by preventing them from interacting effectively with others and fostering team spirit.
In fact, research suggests that people who practice mindfulness have higher emotional intelligence. This is because emotional quotient (EQ) includes understanding yourself and other people, as well as how to use emotions for good or bad.
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere at any time. It does not require special equipment or facilities, and you do not need to be trained in psychology to benefit from it. All that’s needed is a regular place to perform the exercises, and someone to help you when you’re struggling.
There are many ways to achieve mindfulness. Some focus on breathing, others on listening to sounds, still more on watching their hands. The important thing is to find what works for you and keep doing it!
You don’t even have to think about what you're practicing while you're performing your daily activities - just let go and see what happens. Over time, as your subconscious mind catches up with the conscious one, you'll get better and better at staying focused on what you're doing, and being aware of what's going on around you.
Get a good night’s sleep
When we are tired, our emotions can get the better of us- it is a natural human reaction to become stressed or even angry when things do not go your way.
When you are well rested, though, you will be able to control your reactions to what happens around you, which goes a long way in helping you stay calm and focused.
Sleep has been shown to reduce emotional arousal, and thus helps keep stress levels at a minimum. In fact, there is some research that suggests poor sleeping patterns may actually contribute to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
If you find yourself becoming too stressed out due to work, try making changes to ensure you have enough rest. For example, if you are in an office, ask someone to cover for you while you grab a coffee run/smoke break. Or perhaps you could offer to take over another person’s responsibilities for a few hours.