How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace
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Many people believe that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) is something you are either born with or you’re not, like your biological makeup. However, there is an alternative hypothesis that says developing your emotional IQ isn’t about having a natural talent for it, but rather, it's dependent on how well you understand and manage your own emotions.
This theory goes one step further by suggesting that anyone can learn their own internal mechanisms of control, which help them regulate their emotions. In fact, this skill set is just as important as quantitative skills such as math or verbal communication expertise, because without it, someone will never know what kind of impact their behavior has on those around them.
If you're looking to improve your emotional intelligence at work, here are five easy ways to do so.
It may seem impossible at times, but having a good level of emotional intelligence (EI) will take time to improve upon. This can be difficult if you are a person who does not use your emotions very often or if you don’t know how to control them when you do.
Having low levels of EI is actually quite common as most people are only focused on material things such as money and success. These thoughts are great and everything, but they don’t necessarily make us happy.
Material wealth doesn’t always make us feel rich and achieving success doesn’t always make us feel successful. So, it makes sense that thinking about these things usually isn’t enough to satisfy our needs.
That is why there are ways to develop other types of EI – like empathy and altruism – which go beyond simple happiness. These qualities help us understand what makes others feel good and motivate us to try and give them this for ourselves and for others.
So, while it may take some time to find out how to manage your own emotions, developing your empathy and helping-others tendencies can have significant benefits for your career and life.
Make eye contact
Looking into someone’s eyes can be one of the most powerful ways to connect with them. It is an easy way to gain their trust, and it can strengthen your bond with that person. When making eye contact, try not to look away quickly or for too long – keep the interaction short and sweet!
Your emotional intelligence will improve if you are aware of your emotions. Try practicing simple self-reflection exercises, such as asking yourself what you feel like right now and why. Also ask yourself whether certain behaviors and actions make you feel happier or sadder.
A lot of people get stuck trying to improve their emotional intelligence because they believe it is impossible to change how you feel about something or someone. This can be difficult to realize if you’re not aware of your own feelings!
By being conscious of your emotions, you will eventually learn what makes you feel good and bad about yourself and others. Once you know this, you can work on changing them to make sure that they are positive.
It may take some time before those changes actually have an effect though. That does not mean you failed – it just means you need to try different things until you find one that works for you.
There is no right way to do anything, so don't compare yourself to other people who seem to be more successful at improving their EQ. Your success depends on you and your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as what strategies work for you.
If you start to feel depressed about a situation, stop and ask yourself why you are feeling down. Is it because you cannot handle certain tasks? Or is it due to poor communication from colleagues or superiors?
You might want to talk to someone about it, but only if you are comfortable doing so. Sometimes we keep our thoughts to ourselves for fear of embarrassment, or maybe we even expect criticism instead of support.
Whatever the reason, going beyond justifying the emotion will help you address the problem and move forward.
Share your experiences
It’s easy to talk about all of the things that you learned during your education, but few people actually share their educational experience with others.
Most students learn how to use certain tools or techniques in school, but very little emphasis is put onto applying what they know outside of the classroom. This can be tricky for employees who want to improve their emotional intelligence (EI) as there are no formal courses that teach this.
Share your educational experiences with other people by talking about lessons you have learned and strategies you have applied throughout your career. If someone asks you about something you just learned, do not hesitate to show them how it applies to yourself or the person you are speaking with.
This will make your colleagues admire your knowledge more and give them the opportunity to ask you questions about these concepts. Also, if you notice one of your coworkers has done something particularly impressive, tell them about it!
They might even invite you both to lunch so that you can discuss why their actions made you praise them.
Be honest with your peers
As mentioned before, leadership is influenced by how well you manage your own emotions. If you keep hidden things from your colleagues, they will not be able to trust you, which can negatively impact their confidence and productivity.
As difficult as it may seem at times, there are certain situations where telling the truth comes with a cost.
You have to consider whether what you say will further damage relationships or if speaking up will prevent bigger problems down the line. It’s important to weigh these options and make the right choice depending on what the situation calls for.
If someone does something that hurts you, go ahead and tell them about it. Hopefully, they’ll understand why it hurt you and learn from the experience.
Be careful though when doing this with people who work close to you so that they don’t think you’re trying to take over or get more credit than them.
Listen to others closely
A large part of emotional intelligence is being able to listen to and understand what other people are telling you. This can be difficult when there are lots of different voices coming in, or if they contradict each other.
By using your ears as a tool to improve EI, you’ll find that most of the time, what people want from you is their innermost feelings and thoughts.
This is why it’s important to pay close attention when someone else speaks. You should try to make an effort to understand how they feel, rather than assuming something about them.
It will also help you determine whether their actions show that they have confidence in you, or if they seem scared of you. Either one could be helpful to know!
Running through potential reasons for their behavior will also give you some insights into their roles at work and in their personal lives.
Don’t be egotistical
Many people lack emotional intelligence because they are always thinking about how great they are. Your colleagues may feel intimidated by you, or even worried if you don’t seem quite like everyone else. You could make some of them feel very uncomfortable or even angry by saying something that doesn’t reflect well on you.
If you want to improve your EQ, try being more aware of other people’s emotions. This will take practice, but it is possible. The next time someone talks to you about work, ask yourself why they are feeling what they do and whether their tone indicates they are happy, sad, stressed, or excited.
Try also to put yourself in others’ shoes when considering an action. If you think someone has done something bad, consider whether this makes you feel bad too.
A key element of emotional intelligence is being able to identify your weaknesses and learn from others’ strengths.
This is difficult if you don’t know yourself well, you feel like you're never good enough and you have trouble accepting praise.
Some people are more talented than us and this can make it hard for them to understand how much effort we've put into something or how great they made us feel.
It can also be tough to accept that someone else got the job ahead of you because they're better at their jobs than you.
But when you do recognize a strength as yours, you should acknowledge it and give credit where credit is due. You should also use what you learned to strengthen your weak areas. - Business Insider
Improve your emotional literacy by learning about emotions and empathy. For example, studies show that people who were raised with parents that communicated values such as honesty and fairness grow up understanding social norms and why things happen.
They develop mental tools to help regulate their own moods and those of other people. People who were taught self-confidence grew up feeling confident, while kids who received less confidence grew up developing their inner voice that says “I am not sure I belong here, so maybe I shouldn't try my best.”
Instead they may develop a sense of entitlement, thinking that just because they asked to do something, they deserve to do it.