Working with emotional intelligence is mandatory. We’re spending around 8 hours of our day, cooped up with people from different backgrounds. Conflict, irritation and annoyance are inevitable but how you manage your emotions in such circumstances plays a vital role here.
Data shows that people with higher emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ), are more likely to have higher job satisfaction. It also boosts the work performance of employees ultimately making them productive members of the workplace.
Interest in working with emotional intelligence is slowly becoming more commonplace due to this. Nowadays, more workplaces are focusing on cultivating this elusive quality in their employees.
Our Emotional Intelligence and Our Intelligence Quotient
Emotional intelligence is just, if not as, important as our intelligence quotient (IQ). Despite this fact, most people focus largely on IQ. To understand what EQ means, we’re going to define what emotional intelligence means.
Emotional intelligence relates to your ability to read, understand and then manage your emotions and your feelings in a given situation.
Based on this definition, emotional intelligence plays a bigger role in our social interactions than IQ does. This isn’t to say that one quality is better than the other. They’re equally balanced and can be considered to be two sides of the same coin.
This is because we need both in order to work, live and socialize with others. There’s no need to pick and choose between the two. So, if you’re wondering why work with emotional intelligence? The answer here is, why not work with both?
Importance of Working with Emotional Intelligence
There’s usually some confusion about working with emotional intelligence because people feel that it’s not needed. However, if you have ever had a bad boss, an annoying co-worker or a group project to work on where others did not pull their weight as much, you can easily testify to what lack of emotional intelligence does.
Over time, these issues start to create a negative work environment, with poor communication, misunderstandings and poor productivity everywhere. On the other end, emotional intelligence at work improves productivity, boosts employee satisfaction and helps the business grow.
More businesses are now working with emotional intelligence and this is easy to see in the various organizations. Google offers benefits like maternity leave, daycare services and more that shows their consideration for their employees.
They understand that while the employees work for them, at the end they have their own lives to live as well. By keeping them happy, companies like Google are able to ensure their productivity doesn’t suffer.
It should also be noted that businesses that are considered to be more emotionally intelligent, are sought after. People want to work with businesses that care about their employees. It also builds a workplace environment full of motivated individuals.
10 Qualities of Working with Emotional Intelligence
From managing conflict to building a good workplace dynamic, working with emotional intelligence allows you to do all these things. However, what happens when you’re not working with this trait? It can be hard to identify these signs or qualities if you’re not paying attention.
For this reason, we’re noting down the qualities that various employees exhibit when they are working with emotional intelligence.
The Good Qualities
The following are a few good qualities of working with emotional intelligence.
1. Healthy Work-Life Balance
Knowing when to work and when to play is necessary as it ensures that employees take their tasks seriously. You’ll rarely ever find them working overtime but if they feel the project calls for it, they’re not afraid to put in a few extra hours.
People who have this balance figured out are also more likely to designate a few minutes of their working hours to socialize with others before returning to their work. As a result, they have a healthy personal life and a professional one too!
2. Better Focus
Employees who are working with emotional intelligence tend to be more focused than others. They’re not easily distracted from their tasks. They’re more likely to ensure that all important tasks are finished within the given deadlines.
Their understanding of what is at stake makes them pay more attention to the need to get the task done. As a result, they’re able to ensure that all important work is prepped, finished and ready to go when it is needed.
3. Go with the Flow
People who’re working with emotional intelligence are the most likely to adjust to any new change that comes into the workplace or their life. Change is a constant component at work and having someone who goes with the flow and is easy going is better for the team.
They’re also more likely to think fast on their feet and be able to deal with pressure better than others. This makes them easier to get along and better at their work too.
4. Stick to Their Boundaries
Someone who knows their boundaries and sticks to them is practicing emotional intelligence. Everyone we meet is not going to immediately turn into our best friend. These people understand that having boundaries allows them to filter the people they interact with.
They’re also mindful of the workplace hierarchy and understand when to share and when not to over-share at the workplace.
5. Curiosity and Interest
Being curious about the project, showing interest or being creative are all signs of working with emotional intelligence. Employees who aren’t afraid to think out of the box are good people to have on your project.
It’s not just their skill sets that make them this way. They’re also emotionally intelligent and interested in seeing how the project will turn out.
With these good qualities, you can see just why working with emotional intelligence is a very desirable quality for one to have in the workplace.
The Downside of Working without Emotional Intelligence:
Not working with emotional intelligence can put a lot at risk. The following are a few bad qualities that come with not working with emotional intelligence:
1. Inability to Control Emotions
Yelling, shouting or holding a grudge based on workplace decisions can be signs of someone who isn’t emotionally intelligent. They’re unable to separate the personal from the professional. They are the last person anybody would want to work with.
Their impulsive nature could also seriously ruin the productivity, creativity and workflow of a project if they’re not allowed to get their way.
2. Poor Relationships
People with poor emotional intelligence are unable to have fulfilling relationships, be it at work or in their personal life. Their impulsivity, lack of self-awareness and inability to read the other’s emotions makes them more likely to have poor friendships and workplace relationships.
This also translates into a person having a lack of empathy towards the wants and needs of others. In the workplace, this means the clients will often suffer.
3. Do Not Like Change
One of the biggest signs that someone is not working with emotional intelligence is that they’re not open to change. Their inability to adjust poses problems for them. Additionally, it can also translate into making one less adaptable, flexible or embracing of change.
It might not seem like a big deal but the inability to change can seriously hamper the growth of a company. Kodak’s closure in 2012 was a big example of this.
4. Communication Skills are Bad
Not working with emotional intelligence affects your communication skills. People with poor communication skills will usually not share important details. They also find it unnecessary to discuss projects or be unable to make others aware of their wants and needs.
In a professional environment, such habits make one more likely to work poorly in team projects, create conflict or end up alienating themselves.
5. Cannot Take Criticism
People who’re not emotionally intelligent are unable to take any criticism on their work. They’re more likely to take things personally and end up with a bruised ego. Working with emotional intelligence is a necessity because one can get a lot of criticism from clients too.
Instead of viewing the criticism as an opportunity to improve their skill sets, they are more likely to hold a grudge against whoever is criticizing them.
As you can see, there’s a stark difference in the good qualities and bad qualities that you experience when you’re working with and without emotional intelligence.
5 Components of Emotional Intelligence
Before you start focusing on working with emotional intelligence, you need to understand what major components it has. This allows you to take a closer look at emotional intelligence and understand how it makes an impact on the workplace.
The following are the major components of emotional intelligence:
1. Self Awareness
A person should be able to recognize the effect of their own emotions. This also means accurately self-assessing to know both their strengths and their weaknesses. Most people that are working with emotional intelligence also have self-confidence.
They’re more aware of their capabilities, their self-worth and are confident in their actions.
2. Self Regulation
This relates to the ability of self-control in a person. They should be able to manage their impulses or disruptive emotions which can affect them negatively. A person who knows how to self-regulate is also considered to be more trustworthy.
They’re also known to be adaptable and innovative. The novelty of a new idea and the challenge is exciting and invigorating for them to tackle.
3. Self Motivation
The achievement drive of a person, to improve or meet the standard of excellence is a necessary quality in the workplace. Most people who are working with emotional intelligence are able to reflect this asset with ease. They show great dedication or commitment to the company and have optimism.
This self-motivated drive also gives them the flexibility to adapt, conform and apply new techniques that help them achieve their goals with ease.
Being able to read other people’s emotions, feelings and perspectives is a great quality to have. For most workplaces, this is a necessary skill set as it improves the group dynamics. Empathy also means being able to anticipate, perceive and predict the other’s needs.
In a service-oriented business, this quality can translate into happier clients because you’re able to predict what they need and cater to those needs without wasting any time!
5. Social Skills
All workplaces require leadership, communication and teamwork. Your socialization skills allow you to coordinate, manage and lead with synergy in a team. When you’re working with a group of diverse individuals, who have their own skill sets, personalities and bonds, your social skills will play a major role in how you manage that group.
Poor social skills will negatively impact the entire output of the team and also reduce the overall productivity.
All five of these components make up the EQ or EI of a person. These traits are usually inherent and inbuilt in people but the good news is that you can learn to be more emotionally intelligent too.
20 Tips for Working with Emotional Intelligence
If you’re interested in working with emotional intelligence, you can easily apply a number of different exercises, habits and tips that can help you do this. Used as part of a team-building exercise or on their own, these tips can do wonders in helping you develop emotional intelligence with ease.
The following are some easy to apply tips. To make things even easier, we’re breaking them down into stages:
In this stage, you should try to accomplish the following steps with your team:
- Assess the needs of the organization.
- List down their personal strengths and their limitations.
- Provide feedback to your employees with good intentions and care.
- Allow them to pick by establishing an open learner’s choice and voice.
- Encourage participation instead of demanding it.
- Try to link professional learning goals with their personal values.
- Adjust expectations to be more realistic and reflective of the person and their skills.
- Gauge the readiness of the employees for working with emotional intelligence.
Now, you can move to stage two which has the following different steps for you and your team to try:
- Start to foster a positive relationship between trainer and employees.
- Encourage change based on self-recognized and directed goals instead of dictating.
- Set clear, achievable goals for employees with the help of manageable steps.
- Give frequent feedback based on the progress you are seeing.
- Use methods that are more hands-on and observational to yield better results
- Incorporate a support system that your staff can rely on.
- Apply and show various examples or models of the desired behavior you want.
This is a more advanced stage and you’re going to focus more on maintaining and transferring the skills learned here. It has the following steps:
- Improve emotional awareness with the use of thought patterns to prevent relapses into emotionally unaware behavior.
- Provide opportunities for them to practice working with emotional intelligence.
- Focus on improving organizational culture to enhance learning in this area.
By this stage, you should have seen a significant change in you and your team. This final stage just has the following steps for you and your team:
- Conduct a final evaluation on the change, training benefits as well as overall productivity from working with emotional intelligence.
- Continue working on improving emotional intelligence and hosting bi-annual training sessions and evaluations.
Using these tips, you’ll ensure that you’re working to your maximum potential and are nothing but an asset to any workplace!