How Emotional Intelligence Improves Workplace Relationships
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) has become one of the most important skills employers look for in job applicants. While some people may have an instinctive understanding of how to control their emotions, most do not.
With the explosion of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, employees are constantly exposed to other individuals’ feelings. This exposure can be very powerful, but only if you know what to do with it.
If your colleagues’ moods affect your work, there is something missing from your own emotional toolbox. You should try to understand why they are feeling the way they are, and find ways to address that issue without doing more harm than good.
This article will discuss several reasons why having high levels of emotional intelligence is crucial for workplace relationships. We will also review some studies that show that being emotionally intelligent is a significant factor in employee retention.
Your emotions affect your behavior
We all have certain feelings that we experience, but some people are more aware of them and how to control them than others. This is what makes some people seem colder or less friendly towards other people.
People who lack emotional intelligence tend to underestimate the effect their actions have on others. For example, they may think it’s not much of an effort to be kind to someone, so they do not put in much energy into being compassionate.
In fact, research has shown that when you try to be friendly to another person, it can take up to twenty-four hours before you see results. That means if someone was having a bad day, you could easily walk by them without noticing any change in their mood.
This is why it is important to recognize your own emotions. By doing this, you will know when something needs your attention and you will take action accordingly.
For instance, you could notice that your friend is unhappy and need help with his/her homework, so you give him/her some tips. Or you could notice that your colleague looks stressed out and distracted every morning, so you ask whether he/she is okay.
Your behavior affects your relationships
We all have our own internal struggle to feel good about ourselves. Sometimes, you can be doing something that you know is wrong, but you still feeling bad about yourself.
At other times, you may be trying hard to do your best, but you don’t feel like it’s enough. You feel deficient in some way and this can make you think less of others — which is definitely not healthy for workplace relations.
Research shows that having high emotional intelligence (EI) helps you deal with these types of situations. This means being able to recognize your emotions and what role they play in your life.
It also means understanding how these feelings affect people around you.
Being aware of your emotions and having emotional intelligence
Over time, high levels of emotional intelligence can have profound effects on workplace relationships.
This is because emotionally intelligent people recognize how their colleagues feel and are conscious of their own feelings. They also use these feelings to motivate others to do things for the team.
When they notice that someone else is feeling down or stressed out, they may try to cheer them up by talking about something related to the job. Or if you’re in a bad mood, they may keep it private so that person doesn’t spread their negativity around.
In addition to helping you get through your day, this kind of behavior will make other people want to be like you. People who work for you will admire your EQ and want to develop theirs.
Developing your emotional intelligence
Over the past few years, there has been a growing emphasis in the workplace on what is referred to as “emotional literacy” or “Emotional Quotient (EQ) skills.” These are described as ways to perceive and manage emotions in yourself and others, and thus improve interpersonal relationships.
Some experts believe that we have limited access to our own feelings and therefore cannot understand why other people feel certain ways. In addition, they say we develop mental health conditions due to lack of control over our emotions.
However, research shows that when you apply the three key components of EQ — understanding, using, and managing emotion — then it can actually help you deal with your emotions and those of others more effectively.
You see, just like having general knowledge makes it easier to learn new things, being aware of your own emotions helps you cope better with life’s challenges. Likewise, knowing how to relate to other people gives you an edge by helping you gain their trust and cooperate with them. Finally, being able to recognize and respond appropriately to someone else’s emotions enhances teamwork and communication.
Relationships in the workplace
Having good relationships at work is a pretty important thing to have. Yours with your colleagues, superiors, and subordinates are what help you achieve your goals and keep yourself motivated.
If you’ve ever noticed that some people seem to get along better than others, these individuals usually have a high level of emotional intelligence (EI).
And I’m not talking about just normal “emotion” management, like when someone else does something that makes you feel bad for a little while, but instead, how well you manage your own emotions.
Emotional quotient or EQ is considered one of the most significant predictors of success in life. That’s because it impacts how effectively we deal with other people – whether they're close friends, strangers, or even family members.
So if you want to improve your career, boost your productivity, and promote teamwork, then you should be investing in your emotional intelligence. Here are five ways to do that.
1) Use emotion as a tool
A lot of things can influence our mood, from external factors such as stress and relationship issues to internal ones like health and nutrition.
But none of this matters unless we use our feelings to perform our daily tasks. For example, if you’re trying to motivate team members, then using positive emotions to emphasize the benefits of their mission can be very effective.
The key to a great workplace relationship
As we mentioned before, relationships are always more than just two people talking to each other about things they like and doing things with each other.
They’re also one person being supportive of another person during times that may be tough or even difficult.
Emotions connect us as humans, so when someone else is experiencing an emotion, we feel connected to them.
This is what creates trust – knowing that there is at least part of this world that they share our experiences with.
It’s also why having emotional intelligence (EI) is important.
EI refers to your ability to understand your own feelings and those of others, and how these emotions influence behavior.
Taking responsibility for your relationships
In order to improve workplace relations, you have to be willing to take personal responsibility for them. This could mean taking initiative to connect with colleagues, or it could mean acknowledging a colleague's contribution before moving onto another person.
It can also include offering constructive feedback and listening to what other people have to say -- even if you don't agree with their approach to things.
Above all, being able to recognize and manage your own emotions is an important quality in anyone's work life.
Recognizing the importance of relationships
As we have seen, emotional intelligence is important at work because it helps you relate to others. It also helps you manage your own emotions so that they don’t affect other people around you.
But what if I told you that having high levels of emotional intelligence in yourself was not as helpful as many might think? In fact, some studies suggest that being very aware of one's feelings is actually linked with poorer workplace relations.
Why would this be? The reason has to do with how emotionally intelligent people process information about situations. This sort of processing is called analytic thinking, and it makes sense of things by breaking them down into parts.
When someone does something that makes you feel bad or angry, your brain automatically assigns blame to these individuals for making you feel that way. Sometimes they are conscious of doing this, but more often than not, they aren't. They could even be ignorant of the effect their actions had on you.
This happens because they lack empathy — the ability to understand and put yourself in another person's place. Because they can't empathize, they may fail to realize that there is something going wrong inside you, and that this may be why you felt hurt.
So instead of helping you deal with the situation, their lack of understanding may make it harder to achieve resolution. This can backfire and create an endless cycle of negative emotion.