How Emotional Intelligence Affects Workplace

Recent studies show that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is often referred to) can have profound impacts in our workplace lives. While there has been some discussion of this concept before, these recent studies really emphasize how important it is for employers to assess and develop their employees’ emotional quotients.

As we grow up, we are exposed to various levels of emotional intelligence. These experiences make us more or less capable of understanding and regulating emotions in others.

Some people learn how to control their own strong feelings, while others cannot. Some use their skills efficiently, while others not at all.

But whether you know it or not, your level of emotional intelligence comes down to two things:

* Your ability to recognize and understand your own emotions

* And how you manage those emotions when they arise in yourself or someone else

So what does this mean for you? As an employer, here are a few things that may depend on your individual EQ — and why you should be aware of them.

1. Does it matter if you're good with emotion?

That's a very general way to put it, but yes, it matters!

The answer depends largely on the job position you hold and the responsibilities you have. In fact, research shows that higher-level professionals like vice presidents and senior leaders tend to score lower on measures of emotional intelligence than do individuals who work under them.

Ways you can improve your emotional intelligence

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

A lot of people focus only on what they call “technical” or “practical” skills when talking about EI. But there are actually eight components to this factor.

These components include: self-awareness, understanding others, motivation, empathy, use of emotions, control of one's own emotions, handling stress, and resolving conflicts.

Self-awareness is knowing who you are as a person and being able to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as how you interact with other people.

Understandings refer to knowledge and concepts that help you relate to other people. For example, if someone comes across as angry, it may be because they feel misunderstood or invalidated.

Motivation refers to why you want something. Is it due to desire, obligation, passion, or need?

Empathy means having feelings for, and understanding of, the experiences and perspectives of others. This includes putting yourself in their shoes and feeling what they would think and do under certain circumstances.

Use of emotion involves acknowledging, labeling, and then acting upon your feelings.

Control of your own emotions entails being aware of your feelings and taking some time to regulate them before you act on anything.

Stress happens when we have too much work to complete, deadlines we cannot meet, or situations beyond our control make doing what we should take a little longer than expected.

Become a better listener

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

Being a good listener is one of the most important skills you can develop at work. It’ll help you achieve your goals and it’ll boost employee engagement and productivity.

Research shows that employees who feel heard and understood perform better than those who don’t. On top of that, well-informed colleagues are more likely to give their full commitment because they believe that what they say matters.

It’s also worth noting that being a great listener isn’t just something people talk about doing. Only around 10% of workers claim to be excellent listeners.

The other 90% could do with some lessons in listening.

Be consistent

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

Consistency is one of the biggest keys to developing your emotional intelligence. This means showing up for work every day, staying focused during meetings, being able to control your emotions in relationships, and keeping yourself calm and level-headed.

Consistency is also important because it removes distractions that could potentially hurt your team or company. If you consistently show up and remain professional, people will trust you and look to you for leadership when needed.

And if you can’t maintain your composure, then you shouldn’t be working here! No one should have to deal with someone who isn’t capable of controlling his or her emotions.

It takes a lot more than just having high emotional IQ skills to be successful at work, but without them, you won’t last very long. You’ll end up hurting others by accident or going too far over the top with your anger. Or you may get so frustrated that you don’t do your job well.

On the flip side, you might not say enough good things about another person and this could negatively affect their confidence. It would be like leaving a tip behind!

Emotions are powerful, which is why they’re necessary at times. When used properly, however, they can help us achieve our goals and make us happier.

But we need to know how to manage them.

Make eye contact

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

Making direct, meaningful connections with people is a powerful way to enhance your emotional intelligence. When you make good interpersonal contacts, you develop trust within groups of people.

When you are able to recognize and understand other people’s emotions, you can better predict how they will respond in various situations. This helps you keep track of what is happening in the situation and whether someone else will help you achieve your goals or not.

By being aware of these things, you can more quickly determine if it is time to try changing their behavior for the better or not.

You have to be willing to put in the effort to establish relationships though. It takes time to build strong human connections.

Nobody has ever developed true friendships in a short amount of time unless he or she was very socialized as a child.

So, don’t expect to become an expert at this soon! But once you do find yourself developing deeper bonds with others, you have raised your overall EQ.

You now know some of the important qualities that personify success in workplace settings. You have shown leadership by creating productive work environments through relationships.

Emotionally intelligent individuals also seem to get along well with others. They are typically viewed as trustworthy and likeable.

The opposite of those traits is narcissism. Narcissists think too much about themselves and want praise all the time.

Don’t be egotistical

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

As we have seen, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is often referred to) can play an important role in your career. It may even determine whether you succeed or fail at certain levels of employment.

But while being able to recognize and control your emotions is vitally important, becoming obsessed with how smart you are is not.

Becoming too focused on your IQ makes you more likely to develop “I'm smarter than them” attitudes that could cost you professionally. This might include taking unnecessary risks, ignoring warning signs and refusing to acknowledge mistakes.

Be authentic

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

A lot of people who talk about emotional intelligence (EI) have little experience with it, or no formal training in it. Therefore, they may put up false fronts when interacting with others. This is not only annoying to those around them, but can also be misleading if you work for someone else.

If you work for someone that has high demands, pressures, and deadlines, they may not appreciate being let down by your personal life or time lapses. This can hurt your relationship with them as well as your performance under their eye.

By this point, we’ve touched upon some important points about authenticity. So now, apply these concepts to prove why having low EI is detrimental to success at work.

It’s an easy way out- trying to seem more intelligent than everyone else so that people will feel comfortable around you. Or, using social skills to manipulate other people into giving you what you want. Both of these strategies are clearly not good ideas; if you use them, you’ll get caught eventually.

In fact, there’s even a term for such behaviors: narcissism. While most people have a degree of narcissistic personality disorder, anyone can develop limited amounts of it.

Be honest with your peers

As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence (EI) is like plain old-fashioned IQ. While some may have higher quantitative IQ scores than others, all people possess either high or low levels of EI to some degree.

That means there are sometimes people who seem normal, stable, and steady one day and then the next they can’t contain their emotions and it takes its toll on those around them.

It also means that when someone does show signs of emotion loss, it can be difficult for colleagues to determine if this behavior is due to poor control over their own emotions or if something more serious is going on.

If you notice a colleague acting irritable or depressed every week, do not assume that he/she is just under a lot of stress at work or that his/her personal life is getting in the way of being successful.

This could indicate symptoms of workplace bullying.

Bullying is a very common occurrence in the workplace. It happens most often between individuals of similar rank or position within an organization, and it frequently goes unreported because victims feel too ashamed, intimidated, or unprepared.

Some of the things involved include harassment, intimidation, ridicule, humiliation, threats, and physical violence.

People who suffer from chronic job dissatisfaction, which seems to get worse instead of better, are likely experiencing workplace burnout.

Be honest with your manager

how emotional intelligence affects workplace

As mentioned before, emotional intelligence (EI) is a skill that helps you understand how to recognize, manage, and control your emotions. When you are able to do this, it can have profound effects on your career and personal life.

At work, being aware of your feelings and keeping them in check can help you perform your job more effectively. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by what you're doing, take a break- even if it's for just a few minutes.

You don't need to keep pushing through until you crack, but taking breaks allows your body to relax and reorient itself. In addition, people may notice that you seem less engaged at work and they may feel that you're not working as hard.

Your colleagues and superiors will likely perceive you as someone who has their best interest at heart, which can boost your reputation.

However, there are times when it makes sense to push yourself harder than usual. For example, if something important is due, or if you've invested too much time in an exercise routine that isn't going well, you might want to put more effort into getting things back on track.

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