How To Apply Emotional Intelligence 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 theories. It looks at how well you control your own emotions as an important factor to success in the workplace.
This theory was first developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer back in 2002, two psychology professors at Yale University. They defined it as “the set of skills that enable people to recognize their feelings and those of others, and manage these emotions effectively”.
Since then, there have been many studies which prove the link between high EQ and job performance. And although some say this is already common practice, having a strong EQ can help improve employee productivity, engagement, teamwork, and satisfaction at work.
There are several reasons why employers should promote EQ. Here are five benefits of investing in emotional literacy at work.
Make it clear what you want
A few years ago, I read an article about how to motivate people more effectively. In the article, the author mentioned that one of the key ways to inspire others is by understanding what they are trying to achieve and then asking them what their goals are.
If you work for a company, there’s probably a pretty good chance that you have ideas about what you would like to see happen next. You may even know what things you need to do to make that happen.
Make it clear what you need
A lot of times, people get into trouble emotionally at work is because they project their emotions onto others. You may be familiar with this concept where someone gets upset about something and then feels like they have to deal with it for an extended period of time.
That person usually ends up taking things way too seriously and having a bad day because of that. It could be something very small or very big – it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is whether the other person can relate to your emotion. If they don’t understand why you are feeling a certain way, then you will feel less confident moving forward. This can cause more emotional turmoil for both of you!
Emotions connect us as humans. We feel them for a reason and when we can identify those reasons, it helps us process information better.
If you notice that you are being projected feelings, try to see if there is any logical reasoning behind them.
Be honest with your peers
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence can be applied to any area of life, including the workplace. Being able to read other people is one of the most important skills you can have as an entrepreneur or employee.
By this we mean being aware of how they are feeling at any given time and if what they say makes sense. For example, someone may tell you that their colleague has a bad day and it could possibly be due to something you said or did several days ago.
It’s best to give them some space and understand that sometimes things just don’t go well for some people. You were not the only cause of theirs, so try to put yourself in their shoes and think about whether what they said made sense.
Be honest with your supervisor
As mentioned before, emotional intelligence (EI) is an important skill to have in the workplace. However, there are some situations where it can be difficult to apply this quality.
If you’re ever unsure of how to respond to something or someone, try thinking about what element of EI you possess. Does she/he show strong emotions? Do they seem distracted when talking to you? If so, then chances are they aren’t showing much emotion at all.
By using your own skills to identify whether there’s something off about their behavior, you’ll know what action to take. Don’t hesitate to speak up!
By being aware of your leadership strengths, you’ll also be more confident in the roles that you play in the company. You’ll feel better about yourself if you realize that you’re not only taking good care of your job, but also helping others grow through your actions.
Be honest with your coworkers
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence can be applied in the workplace in several ways. One of these is being honest with colleagues. You may feel that something does not set well with you, or that someone else is not doing their job properly, but instead of letting it escalate, try to work through it calmly.
By taking some time off work or asking for help from other people, you will show self-confidence and trust in yourself as well as your team. Your colleague may also appreciate your honesty and approach to solving the problem.
If there are any procedures or rules about how to handle certain situations, then knowing what those are could help you. For example, if you know that having a conversation after hours is bad practice, then don’t do it.
Instead, come back the next day when things have calmed down. This way both you and your coworker will be able to talk more logically without getting too stressed out.
Know your coworkers well
It’s easy to assume that people who are like you are more likely to understand you, but this isn’t always the case. People are not only influenced by their own personal experiences, but also what they perceive of other people.
As a leader, you must learn how to read other people and be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses so you can motivate them towards achieving goals while still letting them feel comfortable in the workplace.
By being aware of others’ emotions, you will never have to ask why someone is acting nervous or angry – you already know because you recognize it as an emotion.
Your colleagues may not tell you everything about themselves, but if you show interest in knowing more about them, then they will let you in on something special about themselves. This could be anything from telling you about their family, past career achievements, or even how to use computer software efficiently.
If there’s one thing everyone has in common, it’s wanting to succeed and make money, which is great for you to know! But beyond that, find out what makes each person truly happy and try to bring these things into the work environment.
This will help promote team spirit and productivity, and hopefully keep some of those workers you invested time in keeping jobs.
A lot of people get stuck in emotional intelligence theory because they want to know how to apply it in their lives, but there is a problem with this approach. The concepts involved in EI are too broad and theoretical.
The term “emotional literacy” has become popularized recently due to the rise of social media. But just like reading an average book can be limiting if you don’t read any other books, having limited knowledge about emotions is similarly limiting.
By that same logic, someone who reads one good book about leadership will be very limited in their understanding of leadership. They may learn some things about what makes a leader talk tough or what traits make a great leader, but they won’t be able to evaluate whether those leaders were effective until they compare their leadership styles against the ones of others.
Similarly, while such a person might learn something about empathy from the chapter on that word in the dictionary, they would still be unaware of the different types of empathy and how to use them in various situations. In fact, they wouldn’t even know what words mean unless they took a psych class first!
So instead of helping people achieve greater overall awareness and application of emotion, using theories of emotional intelligence as standalone courses could actually have the opposite effect. It could put people into pretentious over-explanation mode which isn’t conducive to real skill development.
Listen to others closely
As mentioned earlier, listening is one of the most important skills you can develop as an employee. Not only does it help you connect with people more effectively, but it also helps you keep knowledge up-to-date by hearing what other professionals are doing.
If you’re always rushing through your work without giving much attention to detail, then you may be missing out on crucial information that could benefit you or someone else. You might not know something that makes another person feel good or confident about their job, which could hurt their morale. Or you might miss out on opportunities because you don’t recognize there’s a need for change.
As a leader, you should pay special attention to how other people perceive you. Are they looking forward to meeting you? If so, great! But if they seem nervous, try to find out why. Does this go back to something you said or done before?
It’s your responsibility to make sure that everyone feels comfortable in the workplace, which includes making eye contact, responding to them when they talk, and asking questions. When someone seems distracted, consider whether they’ve been busy ahead of time or were just not feeling well, and offer some sympathetic comments.