How Emotional Intelligence Helps 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 leadership styles among employers. It looks to improve your relationships with others by understanding how they feel and what makes them happy or upset.
Many believe that having high levels of empathy is an essential quality for leaders. For example, someone who can put themselves in another person’s shoes and recognize their emotions is likely to be good at their job.
There are several reasons why people are so drawn to emotional intelligence. First, we all have some level of it. We all have times when we feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, for instance. So, if you’re able to identify those feelings in yourself and help other people work through theirs, then you’ve got some skills under your belt.
Second, it seems like every workplace has a story about someone who didn’t quite measure up at school but eventually won everyone over due to their profound sense of compassion.
Third, there have been lots of studies showing that higher EQ is linked to better performance as a leader. If you cannot motivate employees, you will not win many allies. And without allies, staying in your position becomes difficult.
This article will talk more about how developing your EQ could prove helpful at work. However, before we get into the details, let us take a look at two situations where low EQ might hurt your career.
Definitions of emotional intelligence
In psychology, there is a theory or concept called “emotional intelligence” (or EI for short). Some people have more EI than others do. This seems to be dependent on genetics, early experiences, and life events, but also culture. For example, some cultures value emotion over control, while other cultures don’t.
Some believe that developing your emotional skills is easier than it really is. This can be hard to believe because it takes practice!
But yes, you CAN develop your emotional intelligence even if you don’t feel like you already have a lot of it. Here are all the things that emotional skill includes, along with strategies for improving yours.
Skills of emotional intelligence
One of the most important skills that leadership experts emphasize is what they call “emotional literacy.” This term describes the ability to identify your own emotions, as well as those of others around you.
If someone else makes you feel bad or good about yourself or your performance, it can influence how you feel about yourself and what you do next.
Research has shown that people with higher levels of emotional literacy are more likely to succeed in career settings. In fact, studies have linked high EQ with longer tenure at work, increased job satisfaction, lower employee turnover, and improved communication and teamwork.
It also helps if you know when to use empathy and when to focus on results. When someone does something that made you feel bad, take time to think about why this happened and whether there was anything you could have done to prevent it. But once you've given them a chance to calm down, ask if they'd like help moving forward.
How to practice emotional intelligence
So how can you improve your emotional quotient? While there are many theories about what makes someone have high EQ, most agree that being aware of your emotions is an integral part of having higher levels.
Basing your understanding of yourself and others on a healthy foundation of empathy and compassion will help you achieve this.
Practicing self-awareness is also important since one’s level of EQ is shaped by their perception and reactions to things around them.
A key part of emotional intelligence is understanding what emotions are for your self and others. This, of course, goes beyond just identifying them, but also when they’re appropriate to have and use. For example, if someone else makes you feel bad by saying something mean, then it’s okay to say “That hurt my feelings!” or even “I don’t like how he/she made me feel.”
But aside from being aware of when other people may be having an off day, there are some strategies that can help develop yours.
You can learn how to manage your own emotions. There are several different theories about what types of behaviors work to reduce emotion intensity. Some of these focus on doing things such as imagining yourself at a happier time or taking short breaks to re-focus. Others emphasize reducing external stressors by finding ways to lower exposure to stressful situations and changing the situation so that you can better cope with any existing ones.
Whatever strategy works for you, the more you practice, the easier it will get. The best way to do this is probably through meditation, yoga, tai chi, or another type of relaxation exercise. You could try talking to a counselor or therapist about how to improve your emotional regulation. Or maybe you’d prefer practicing alone, though. That’s fine too!
Just remember that whatever you choose should make you feel relaxed, not stressed out.
One of the most important things that emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) can do for you is to help you connect with other people.
This may sound simple, but it’s not. We all have a basic need to feel connected to at least one person – we form relationships with others for much of our lives.
It’s how we survive.
If you want to be promoted at work or if you just want to keep your job, you will have to develop your social skills. You will have to learn how to motivate and inspire colleagues, how to recognize their strengths and improve them, and how to get along with them.
Some of this will be learned through interaction with others, but some won’t. Some things are just natural to you.
You have either strong or weak social instincts depending on what feels right to you and who feels right to you.
A lot of things about human nature depend on whether you tend towards more active or passive emotions.
Active emotions mean that you are in control of your feelings. Passive emotions occur when situations trigger reactions that are beyond your control.
Research shows that people with higher levels of emotional intelligence are better able to regulate their own emotions as well as those of others. This helps them enjoy their interactions more and maintain their relationship longer.
A lot of people have a misconception about what emotional intelligence is. They believe it means being able to read and control your emotions, which is definitely a part of it. But that’s only one aspect.
Having positive attitudes towards things and other people is another key component of emotional intelligence. You would know this if you ever noticed someone who seemed to be having a very bad day, but still put in lots of effort for others.
They may not agree with something, but they are willing to work with whoever is involved in the situation instead of putting them down or ignoring them.
This could be because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or because they're trying to show how much they appreciate their job by going all out.
It could also be due to personal motivation, like they spent hours earlier doing some task and now they have to do something related so they feel obligated.