Your emotional intelligence plays an important role in paving the way for you to gain handsome benefits in the workplace. Additionally, emotional intelligence is key to further cultivating and advancing your career. When you use your emotional intelligence, you are significantly growing better relationships with your colleagues, supervisors, as well as your clients. This means that by developing your emotional intelligence, you are also developing a more positive work environment for you and your colleagues.
If you are new or unfamiliar to the term, this article will prove to be especially helpful for you. This article serves as a comprehensive guide towards understanding what emotional intelligence is, its key principles, the necessity of developing it, as well as strategies on how to exactly develop it.
Understanding Emotional Intelligence
In our path towards understanding the impact emotional intelligence has in our workplace, we need first to answer one important question. What is emotional intelligence?
Simply put, emotional intelligence is our ability to acknowledge, understand, and manage our emotions. When you have high emotional intelligence, you are better able to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy. It is important to know that this applies both in and outside of your work setting.
In developing your emotional intelligence, there are five basic factors that will prove to be beneficial. Below is a comprehensive description of each of the five factors as well as illustrations of how this translates to the workplace.
The most primary and important quality needed in developing your emotional intelligence is empathy. In simple terms, empathy is the capacity to understand and share the feelings of another person. When you put yourself in the shoe of your colleagues and walk for miles with it, you can better handle a multitude of situations in the work setting more efficiently and successfully.
An example of this would be when your colleague shows signs of dissatisfaction and stress on which you can react with empathy by helping solve the cause of their dissatisfaction and stress. An important aspect of empathy is the acknowledgment of other people’s feelings and thoughts without judgment.
2. Social skills
Having strong social skills makes you more efficient in listening, speaking, and resolving conflicts. Of course, this applies both in and outside the workplace. Social skills, essentially, are the tools you can use to communicate and interact with your colleagues more positively and effectively. When you develop your social skills, you are, at the same time, developing and advancing your career. This is especially the case for those in management and leadership positions.
Self-regulation is your internal mechanism that helps in cultivating and promoting mindful, deliberate, and considerate behavior. Furthermore, self-regulation is your ability to manage and adjust your emotions in order to have a more positive effect on interactions. When you become better in controlling your feelings, you also become better in keeping situations professional and positive. When you do this, you can have a stronger and more favorable impression on other people, may it be your colleagues, supervisors, or clients.
Aside from self-regulation, you also need a healthy dose of self-awareness. Self-awareness is your capacity to identify your emotions as well as your triggers. When you are more aware of your thoughts and feelings you have a better understanding of how your colleagues, supervisors, and clients perceive you. What this results in is a more positive and healthy relationship with your peers.
Your motivations are your desires, determination, and willingness to do something. How this relates to your emotional intelligence is grounded in the fact that your determination is what cultivates and promotes you to achieve things. When you have a strong sense and willingness to complete your tasks and goals, you are successfully displaying your high emotional intelligence to your peers. This results in a positive outlook from your colleagues, supervisors, and clients.
The impact of emotional intelligence in the workplace
In the work setting, displaying a high level of emotional intelligence can provide you with a number of benefits. Being able to acknowledge, understand, and manage your emotions as well as those of your peers gives you the necessary tools to better guide and help them. Your emotional intelligence impacts your work greatly and we have collated five evidence of its importance in the work setting.
1. Ability to understand non-verbal communication
When communicating with other people, it is not enough to acknowledge only what comes out of their mouths. It is also important to understand their non-verbal cues to get the big picture from your communication. When you develop your emotional intelligence, you are also developing your capacity to understand non-verbal communication.
2. Self-awareness leads to good communication
Being better at understanding your feelings and emotions leads you to become more self-aware. This skill is essential in adjusting your behaviors in front of colleagues, supervisors, and clients. A good example of this would be if you had a difficult night and instead of taking it out on clients, you are able to filter and change your behavior as deemed necessary to create positive and pleasant communication.
3. You can develop strong interpersonal skills
The more you develop your emotional intelligence, the more you develop your interpersonal skills. Furthermore, when you have strong interpersonal skills, you can better help your colleagues and simultaneously help the whole office. This is because our emotions are very contagious. When you are showing drive, responsibility, cooperation, and empathy, you are also inviting your colleagues to do the same.
4. Emotional intelligence promotes progress
When you and your team show a high level of emotional intelligence, you can easily promote improvement and progress. A team that is empathetic and that acknowledges each other’s emotions and needs can easily make better decisions and finish goals more effectively.
5. Emotional intelligence leads to career development
After all the benefits and impacts having strong emotional intelligence has on your work, we believe this one is the most satisfying for you. Having strong emotional intelligence paves the way for the development of your career. Factors such as bonuses, pay raises, and promotions become closer the more you display your strong emotional intelligence.
Developing your emotional intelligence
Now that you understand the meaning and importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, you are ready to develop and improve your emotional intelligence. Depending on the situation, there are different methods you can use to improve your emotional intelligence. However, we have collated a few general strategies you can use to develop your emotional intelligence.
1. Know your weaknesses
In your journey towards improving your emotional intelligence, you will first need to identify and understand your weak points. Knowing your weaknesses helps in self-assessing and guiding you towards what you need to improve. Once you know your areas for improvement, you are a step closer to becoming a better communicator. It helps significantly to make a list of your areas of improvement and look back to it frequently. The key is to be honest with yourself regarding your weaknesses.
2. Look back into your history
Once you have acknowledged your weak points and have done a thorough self-assessment, you are ready to begin the next step. This step is essentially evaluating yourself by reviewing and looking back into your history of emotional intelligence. You can do this by reviewing past e-mails and text messages. When you do this, you are able to have an opportunity to reflect on how you have handled past situations. Furthermore, when you reflect on your past situations and communications, it allows you to get a sense of how you handle things leading you to understand how you can handle future similar situations more successfully.
3. Be open to feedback
Being open to and receiving feedback is another important aspect for you to understand your emotional tendencies. You can start by receiving feedback from people who you know and trust to help you. Being open to honest feedback can reveal an entirely new perspective for you. Furthermore, when you understand how other people perceive you, you can use this as ammunition to make positive change.
4. Ask for help
Improving your emotional intelligence is something that you can’t do alone. You will need to consider asking for help from your supervisors and colleagues if you want to improve your emotional intelligence in the workplace.
5. Practice daily
Make it a habit to work on improving your emotional intelligence on a daily basis. Practicing everything that you have learned so far continuously every day will definitely boost your emotional intelligence. What you should remember is that improving your emotional intelligence is not a one-time thing. Instead, true development comes when you make an effort to practice daily.
Now that you have grasped what emotional intelligence is, its key principles, why it is necessary to develop it, as well as ways on how to improve it, you are ready to show your colleagues, supervisors, and clients a new you. This new version of you is one that can better understand and manage their emotions, can communicate more effectively, and is generally more empathetic. What this means is that you are ready to pave the way towards the advancement of your career.