Developing Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Say you’ve heard a lot about emotional intelligence (EQ), but let’s be honest, most of what we hear about EQ is on a personal development level, which is good. But with the days of remote work, working from home, and the new normal, you can agree that EQ is also crucial in our workplace. 

What is Emotional Intelligence in the workplace?

The rise of EQ in the workplace became prominent after people began noticing how their colleagues, employees, and bosses manage themselves and harness difficult or toxic situations. They showed traits such as self-awareness, self-management, empathy, people skills, and motivation to work, which screams emotional intelligence.

So, in essence, emotional intelligence in the workplace is as simple as you being able to understand, express, and manage your emotions in line with the situations and the people around you. This way, you’re able to handle and solve problems well. Also, you’re able to build and maintain good work relationships.

Why is Developing EQ Important in the Workplace?

Speaking in truth, we all have different personality types, which means different ways we deal with situations and challenges. We also have different ways of adapting to a changing world, and pivoting through these experiences requires a certain level of EQ.

Developing emotional intelligence gives you a strong and more effective leadership style. Culturally, we’re moving away from the old “profit or nothing” leadership mentality, developing EQ helps to foster a healthier relationship with your team. It helps keep them more engaged and less likely to leave the workplace.

Developing EQ also increases the team’s job satisfaction, work motivation, and job performance. EQ also gives a deep and a more holistic approach to business, unlike the popular profit and loss managerial system.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What happens when there’s a lack of EQ in the workplace?

With a lack of EQ in the workplace, you’d notice poor communication, poor decision making, increased turnover, low resistance, low productivity, performance, and job satisfaction.

Is there a connection between emotional intelligence and leadership?

Yes. As a leader, you set the tone and culture of your organization, so, a lack of emotional intelligence will show in your verbal and non-verbal communication. And, this lack can result in lower employee engagement and a higher turnover rate.

If you have high EQ, it catches on to every other member of your organization. Also, because it’s contagious, your team members follow suit and get intoxicated by the positivity and productivity you exude. Hence, there’s this trickle-down effect that influences everyone on your team from emotionally intelligent and compassionate leadership.

Can someone be a master at EQ?

Everyone can’t be a master at emotional intelligence, but you can become better at it. EQ is a life-long process that you must learn and practice every day, non-stop. Nonetheless, you can enhance your emotional intelligence with other traits and skills.

Ways to Develop Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.

No one is born with emotional intelligence. Instead, we learn emotional intelligence, which means that you can develop it on your own. Plus, sometimes, with the help of others around you. 

Some common ways to develop emotional intelligence include:

Practice Self-Awareness – Take the time to reflect and become familiar with what makes you tick, what lights your fire, and what cools you off. It’s until you can identify, understand and maintain your emotions that’s when you can do the same for others.

Be Aware of the Moods of Those Around You – Rather than joining the pessimist clan, find a reason to have a good day and keep an optimistic outlook. The thing is, moods are contagious so, if you’re that happy person in the room, that’s a light in the tunnel.

Try to Empathize with Others – Empathy shows emotional strength, as it helps you relate to others and respect their not-so-similar opinions and situations. 

Adopt Active Listening – Before you speak, think and make sure that you understand what people say before commenting. Pay attention to gestures and expressions, as this will help you communicate your views better with respect. It’s all part of being a good leader and has nothing to do with weakness. 

Be Open to Criticism and Feedback – Understand where the criticism is coming from, don’t be defensive, and don’t take it to heart. Instead, if you see the feedback is what makes sense, work on it. If otherwise, appreciate the suggestions given and move on.

Be Approachable and Sociable – Smile, give a positive presence and use the right social words and gestures based on your relationship with the people around you. Don’t be too sarcastic, and don’t be too blunt. 

Ask For Help – Sometimes, in developing your EQ, you may not be able to row your boat yourself. So, you can ask for help from a mentor or friend who exhibits certain EQ traits. You can also attend training, seminars, or workshops to learn more and practice emotional intelligence. As you know, practice makes perfect.

To sum up,

Developing emotional intelligence always proves to help in areas such as management of conflicts, stress, uncertainty, and anxiety within the organization. It also helps you to manage your self-control, be trustworthy, conscientious, adaptable, motivated, achievement-oriented, and to be able to collaborate with others in a well-organized manner. 

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