How To Apply Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

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 emotions and what kind of impact those around you can feel from your moods and levels of emotion.

This is important because we all have different levels of empathy, or understanding other people’s feelings. We also cannot assume things about others unless they tell us themselves.

By improving your ability to recognize and manage your own emotions as well as those of others, you can achieve several goals including higher job performance, increased productivity, lower employee turnover, and better team relationships.

There are many ways to improve your emotional intelligence so this isn’t something that will happen overnight. However, with the right strategies, you can start achieving these benefits now.

Here are some tips to help you develop your emotional intelligence.

Have patience

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

Having a good level of emotional intelligence means having enough control over your emotions to recognize them, understand what they are telling you, and be able to manage them before they get out of hand.

This is not easy if we’re not used to it or have never been trained in how to do it. It takes practice, so don’t expect to suddenly feel like you have this thing mastered immediately. But keep trying, because eventually you will!

By applying EQ to your workplace relationships, you can achieve some incredible things. You may even find that you enjoy working more than you did before, due to less stress and engagement with colleagues.

It’s worth investing time into developing your emotional intelligence — not only for yourself but also for those around you.

Make eye contact

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

As we know, one of the most important things for effective communication is making appropriate eye contact. When you look away from someone, it can make them feel excluded or even if they feel uncomfortable, terminated.

When you make direct eye contact with someone, you show interest in their conversation, you acknowledge that they exist, and you give them permission to talk. It creates trust, as well as respect!

Making eye contact also helps to establish rapport, which is an essential part of workplace relationships. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who has worked with you before.

Keeping your eyes open shows engagement, whereas closing yours down indicates lack of interest. But when you manage to find the middle ground, it demonstrates that you have some degree of emotional intelligence.

Surprisingly enough, there are actually studies that prove that being more aware of other people’s emotions makes you happier.

Be realistic

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

A lot of people get stuck focusing on their emotional intelligence as if it was a skill that can be practiced or learned like juggling, learning how to bake, or practicing yoga. But there is no way to improve your emotional intelligence unless you are willing to put yourself under pressure while also recognizing when such pressures occur.

This isn’t something that happens every day, even less so at work where demands are always changing and things come up more frequently. It takes a little bit of practice to know when these situations arise and what to do in them, but starting off on the right foot is important for your success at work.

If you don’t, then you will never truly learn anything about emotional intelligence. You will constantly have opportunities to test out your skills, but you won’t see results because you didn’t prepare for those results.

Don’t expect perfection from yourself, but do try to be aware of your emotions and why you feel the way you do around certain individuals and situations. When you do this, you will begin to understand others more clearly and develop stronger relationships. You will also notice that your own self-confidence grows as you recognize your strengths and weaknesses more objectively.

It may not seem like much, but small changes like these add up over time and really make a difference.

Share your experiences

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

As discussed earlier, emotional intelligence is an important factor in achieving success and happiness at work. However investing in other people’s emotions can backfire if you are not careful.

If you use social skills as a means to gain more power, you have to remember that like attracts like. If everyone around you is happy all the time, then it will only strengthen their inner circle and shield them from external challenges.

This may be appropriate when someone else’s job ends because they choose to leave or get fired, but it isn’t very motivating for anyone who wants to stay employed. It also creates internalized oppression where employees feel that they cannot speak up due to fear of being criticized or made fun of.

On top of this, studies show that workers with higher levels of empathy perform worse than those without. This is why it is extremely important to share your experiences so that others can relate to you.

Be honest with your peers

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

As mentioned earlier, EI is not something that can be totally trained or learned. But there are some strategies you can use to improve your emotional intelligence skills. One of those strategies is being honest with others about how you feel and what makes them feel bad.

By being aware of these qualities, they can be used for good instead of evil. For example, if someone made you feel bad by saying something mean, try to understand where their feelings came from. Also, if someone else does something that makes you feel bad, acknowledge the effect it had on you before moving on.

When people say things that make you feel bad, ignore them unless they really ask for your input. That could hurt their friendship or even go as far as having legal issues!

If you find that your job has become too stressful, look into ways to change positions or develop other career paths. If nothing changes, consider looking for another job.

Listen to others closely

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

As we know, emotional intelligence (EI) is a skill that helps you deal with emotions in yourself and other people. It also helps you understand why individuals behave as they do. The more you use EI skills, the better it will get trained into your subconscious mind.

By having this understanding of the reasons behind someone’s actions, you can predict how they are going to react in certain situations. You can then take appropriate action to prevent bad outcomes or create positive ones.

In the workplace, being able to listen well is an integral part of success. If you don’t, you may not only lose out on opportunities to learn about the company and its goals, but you could even find yourself the target of internal investigations or lawsuits.

If you're looking to improve your listening skills, here are three tips for becoming a more attentive listener.

Don’t be egotistical

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

A lot of people think that being emotional is a bad thing, something you should try to eliminate from your personality if you want to succeed. But I believe it makes you more successful at work.

I have seen many great leaders come in and out of the workplace with all sorts of emotions. They can get angry, upset or frustrated, but they also show passion and enthusiasm for what they are doing.

These qualities are very attractive to others and create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and thoughts.

So how can we develop our leadership skills while still having strong personal relationships?

By applying EI, we learn how to recognize and manage our own feelings as well as those of other people. This helps us keep our composure and control over any situations, which creates confidence.

Be humble

how to apply emotional intelligence in the workplace

Most people are not like you, so don’t compare yourself with them. Develop your own set of skills instead by trying new things and learning from others.

It's easy for people who aren't familiar with you to underestimate you because they don't understand you. This can cause you to feel insecure or even depressed about how much talent you think you have.

Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what you have. You're probably more talented than most other people in your field, which is definitely something to be proud of!

By being aware of this fact, you'll stop feeling bad about yourself and will start developing self-confidence. People will also respect you more since you recognize your strengths.

"I'm just as good if not better than anyone else," isn't a healthy way to feel about yourself.

Be honest about your weaknesses, but never make excuses about them either. If you do, it'll keep you from improving and changing.

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