The importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace is often underrated.
However, the truth is that this skill can significantly help you move your career forward.
There’s a lot that’s going to determine your success at work. Firstly, you need to have the skills to carry out the job itself. As well as this though, you’re going to need to have good emotional intelligence, in order to work well with your colleagues.
The term ’emotional intelligence’ was coined in the 1990s and has been used consistently in most workplaces, but what does it mean for you? This guide will help you develop better emotional intelligence in the workplace to help you get ahead at work.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
First of all, you’re going to need to know what ‘emotional intelligence‘ means for you. Simply put, it’s your ability to manage your emotions, and manage the emotions of others. In the workplace, this means you’ll need to be able to gauge the emotional needs of your workmates, and meet them if appropriate.
At the same time, you’ll need to manage your own emotions in order to help you get the most from your role. Once you start really investigating emotional intelligence, you’ll be amazed at how much your emotions can affect you and your colleagues at work.
How Does This Differ From Personalities?
As you’ve read this, you may be thinking ‘Yes, that’s just personalities. Everyone in the office has a different personality’. This is true, but it is a different thing to emotional intelligence. Your personality is the way you see the world and interact with it.
Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is the way you manage your emotions in the workplace, meaning that you’ll be able to manage your interpersonal relationships professionally.
This means that emotional intelligence in the workplace will be slightly different for everyone, as you look to manage your emotions depending on your own personality.
How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
There are a few different ways you can develop your emotional intelligence. Here are a few ways you can get started:
Sensitivity: Those that are more sensitive to others’ needs are valued in the workplace. Look to pay attention to what your workmates need from you. Can you offer a hand, without endangering your own workflow?
Can you easily gauge how others are feeling and how that may affect your workloads? Give and take makes workplaces run smoothly.
Flexibility: Being rigid in your thinking isn’t going to help you in the workplace, and it certainly won’t help you relate to your colleagues better.
Try being open-minded, and be flexible in what you can do. If you take suggestions from colleagues, you’ll see new ways of working that are better for everyone.
Calmness: Everyone’s worked with someone that’s flown off the handle when things go wrong. This attitude doesn’t help when the chips are down, and can, in fact, engender worry and even fear in the workplace. Instead, look to be calm when things go wrong.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, look for the solutions that will help you out of the predicament at hand. Keeping a clear head can help you find solutions quicker, and get things back on course.
Empathy: Your view is not the only one of the workplace. Reach out to others, and ask them what they think of a certain project or idea. If you take on their thoughts, you’ll be putting yourself in their shoes. This gives you a more rounded view and helps you get the most out of anything you work on.
Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important
There are so many other things you need to be doing in the workplace, why should you spend time on improving your emotional intelligence? Is it really as important as some say it is? It really is, because in short, it’ll improve your experience at work.
As well as this, it’ll improve the experience of everyone who works with you. If you’re a leader, you’re someone who has a high emotional intelligence. Here are a few benefits of working on yours:
Teams will work together better: If a team knows how to relate to each other, then you’ll work together better on projects. This can be either in person or online, such as in the writing communities. If you all respect each others’ opinions, then things will go much more smoothly.
Employees will feel understood: This is especially important if you manage a team at work. Employees work better when they feel as though their manager understands their needs. If you can read them well, then you’ll know how to talk to them and get the most out of their work, every day.
You’ll connect better with colleagues and clients: Being emotionally intelligent means that you can relate to everyone you come into contact with at work. The better you can do this, the better relationships you’ll be able to form. This is important when you’re looking to build up long-term working relationships with others.
You’ll be the best choice for promotions: If you’re looking to move up the career ladder, this is the best way of doing so. You’ll be able to show that you could manage a team of people, all with their own needs and motivations.
Improving the Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Now you know why it’s so important, you can start improving the emotional intelligence in the workplace. Here are a few ideas as to how you can get started:
Encourage openness: A good start is to encourage a workplace where colleagues can express their needs. For example, a colleague should be able to say they need to work without interruptions for a while and be listened to. Let them explain their needs, and respect them.
Use emotional intelligence to motivate: As a leader, look at what motivates each employee. What makes them tick? Use this to keep them motivated and on top of their game.
Let others express their emotions: There is a place for emotions in the workplace. Allow others to express theirs, and they’ll find it much more fulfilling to work alongside you.
Emotional intelligence is a skill that you can develop, and you’ll see the benefits right away once you do. Put this advice to the test and see for yourself.
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