Emotional intelligence (EQ) is understanding, controlling, and utilizing your emotions to positively impact everyday situations, such as alleviating stress, clearly communicating, and de-escalating conflicts. EQ in the workplace can improve professional relationships and find greater success.
EQ encompasses four characteristics:
- Self-management encompasses the ability to control impulses, express yourself in a healthy way, driven, communicative, and adaptable.
- Self-awareness allows you to recognize your emotions and the impact they have on your thoughts and actions. You’re able to identify your strengths and shortcomings, which provides you self-confidence.
- Social awareness refers to your level of empathy for others, including picking up on social cues, being sociable, and recognizing your organization’s foundation lies in the core of its workforce.
- Relationship management is the ability to foster and maintain healthy relationships, including conflict management.
So why is developing and supporting emotional intelligence so vital to the workplace? Because EQ impacts your performance, physical health, mental health, relationships, and social intelligence – all of which are key components to success.
Here are some quick tips for building emotional intelligence.
Self-reflect. Take a moment to evaluate how you reacted (i.e., behaviors, emotions expressed) under stress. Were your thoughts or actions rational? If the stressful situation required you to make a decision, were you pleased with the decision you made? Emotions highlight invaluable snippets of yourself and others. Understanding what emotions surfaced under stress, how you handled those emotions, and analyzing the outcome of the situation, you can learn from the experience to better manage your emotions to develop an improved response for similar future situations that may arise.
Connectivity. Connecting to your emotions is rooted in your attachment style, which is oftentimes formulated in early life experiences. For example, if your legal guardian understood and valued your emotions in your early life, you are likely well connected to your emotions. Here are some questions you may ask yourself to better understand the way your emotions influence your thoughts and behavior:
- Do your emotions flow from one to another (i.e., anger to sadness, happy to anxious)?
- Do your emotions cause physical feelings (i.e., racing heart, lump in your throat, watery eyes)?
- What is the level of intensity of your emotions (i.e., are they visibly noticeable by you, by others)?
Mindfulness. Practicing focus on the present and without judgment cultivates a Buddhist-like approach to observing, understanding, and managing your emotions in the present moment. It is aimed at providing a calmness and increase self and social awareness. Social awareness provides cues to help you recognize how others may feel and better gauge what is important to them.
Communication. Communication, including nonverbal communication, is critical to creating more valuable, successful, and rewarding relationships. For example, creating awareness of nonverbal communication cues, such as yawning, facial expressions, and mannerisms, can prevent you from sending unintentional cues to others about what you think and feel. Implementing humor can provide a natural remedy for stressful situations. Laughter has been shown to calm your nervous system. Additionally, learning from conflict offers an opportunity to grow relationships. As conflict is oftentimes inevitable in relationships, healthy and constructive resolution can strengthen relationships.
Human Capital, and its Vensure Employer Services partners, recently hosted a webinar on “Increasing Emotional Intelligence” discussing in-depth the importance of increasing EQ, how to increase EQ, and characteristics of EQ in the workplace. Contact Human Capital to speak with an HR services expert to develop and support emotional intelligence in your workplace.