A large part of our performance at work depends on how we work with other people. Whether you are an individual contributor or a team leader, part of your productivity would depend on how well you work with others. In trying to do that, our ability to understand and manage our emotions and those of others is the key. Emotional Intelligence, despite being a scientifically debated term, tried to capture just that.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

In a simple term, emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the skill that helps in understanding, managing, and using self emotions in multiple situations like stress handling, conflict management, and making informed decisions. 

However, it is not only limited to self emotions, but it also entails managing and respecting the opinions of others. And that is why emotional intelligence is very important in the workplace especially for those who are in leadership roles.

Many times, working professionals are more familiar with IQ which is quite relatable to cognitive intelligence. However, in the workplace, emotional intelligence is what we subconsciously use but never completely understand. 

Possessing high emotional intelligence implies that you are able to use the following aspects to your and everyone’s advantage:

    • Self-awareness
    • Self-regulation
    • Empathy
    • Motivation
    • Relationship management

Why is it Essential to Develop Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

Perusing the above EQ components, they clearly fit well in expanding efficiency at the workplace. The below messages from a well-recognized EQ expert Daniel Goleman suggests the same:

“The interest in emotional intelligence in the workplace stems from the widespread recognition that these abilities – self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and social skill – separate the most successful workers and leaders from the average. This is especially true in roles like the professions and higher-level executives, where everyone is about as smart as everyone else, and how people manage themselves and their relationships gives the best and edge.” 

– Daniel Goleman

Also, research published by Elsevier Ltd in 2012 suggested that there is a moderate positive relationship between emotional intelligence, leadership behaviour, and organizational commitment.  

Using the following two points, we can precisely summarize the importance of having people with a high EI at the workplace:

  1. They are really motivated as they are strongly allied with their overall work performance
  2. Due to their qualities (self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and social relationships), they are found satisfied with their job and at the same time people working in the team also tend to show the same signs

Further, EI and EQ have broad applications at the workplace, however, for the below three areas, emotional intelligence intervention is very helpful:

  • Leadership roles
  • Project management roles
  • Human resource management roles

How to Identify People with High Emotional Intelligence?

People with high EI have the following characteristics and they can easily:

  1. Influence other people as they are emotionally aware of others thought processes
  2. Read situations accurately
  3. Stay calm and think about the possible solutions even under an extremely stressful situation 
  4. Manage difficult situations without damaging others feelings or panicking 
  5. Accurately express themselves and their emotions
  6. Sure about their priorities 
  7. Read facial expressions, silent cues in the conversations, squint into others eyes and not with sympathy but with empathy
  8. Smile and quickly find situations when they can truly indulge in side-splitting with other people

Now that you know what is emotional intelligence, why it is essential at the workplace, and how to identify people with high EI, it’s time to master the art of EQ. 

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence Which Helps In Corporate World:

Learning emotional intelligence skills is not easy, however, like any skill – mastering the concepts and practicing them regularly will surely deliver improvement. But to ease this crucial learning journey for you, we have made a detailed checklist:

1. Learn the Art of Assertive Communication

This style is a middle way of passive and aggressive tone where you need to learn the following things:

  • Don’t directly hurt the feeling of others
  • Control your tone of saying things
  • Discuss things until you are not satisfied with the answer
  • Focus on nonverbal conversation
  • Practice 3Cs of assertive communication – confidence, clear, controlled
  • Be mindful

Example of assertive communication to a colleague who is insisting on an urgent meeting right now:

“I understand that you want to finish this thing and I need to finish what I’m doing.

So how about meeting in half an hour?”

Enroll for an assertive communication course learn assertive communication skill

2. Learn to Recognize and Handle Negative Emotions

At a workspace, you will meet people who will use harsh words, reject your ideas, and put you in a stressful situation. All these incidents might boost negative thoughts and drain your mental energy. But, you need to learn and recognize the art to control negative energy. You can start with:

  • Not reacting immediately
  • Not directly jump on to a conclusion
  • Put yourself in shoes of others

Take courses like Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills to handle negative emotions

3. Make Empathy a Part of Your Life

Empathy is not only essential at the workplace but also works well in personal life. It is like listening to others without judging and it is also about making decisions by taking others in confidence. You can start with:

  • Giving others a room to put their points
  • Listen carefully 
  • Respect even those people who show the difference of opinion

Consider Taking a Course on Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work to learn how to empathize

4. Think like a Leader

It is observed that most of the leaders have high EQ and that’s why if you too wish to maximize the power of EQ, it’s time to think like a leader. The following ways can help:

  • Take initiatives
  • Learn and utilize problem-solving skills
  • Follow high standards
  • Command over communication

Courses like Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence can help you Upgrade as a Leader

5. Learn to Respond Wisely Than Directly Reacting

Reactions are triggered by emotions but an emotionally intelligent person will try to command responses and control reactions to turn things in a constructive direction. Also, people respond consciously and react subconsciously. Thus, the more sure you are about your words at the workplace, the better it will be. Also, it avoids conflicts, stress, and unhealthy workspace. You can start from:

  • Notice how you feel 
  • Take time to answer and if it’s a planned meeting, take time to prepare well
  • Follow empathy and respect other’s view
  • Drink water when you feel excessive pressure
  • Meditate
Learn the art of Conflict Management with Emotional Intelligence

The Parting Note

Having strong emotional intelligence skills is not only limited to specific people, but people like you, and I can also learn, increase, and master this skill. Also, since EI is among the most sought after skills, thus, a lot of organizations also conduct emotional intelligence workshops and training sessions which help in getting a good EI/EQ indicator at the workplace. 

Do let us know your experience on how emotional intelligence has helped you and what measures did you take to nail the art of EI.

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