Emotional intelligence in the workplace

We place immense importance on intelligence quotient (IQ) in the workplace, however emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace is an often overlooked human quality which can facilitate effective communication, management and relationships within the workplace.

Those with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they are feeling, how to interpret their emotions and how these emotions can affect other people. A team of high EQ employees (including managers) is likely to stay calm and in control in pressure situations and develop/maintain genuine working relationships. 

So what are the key elements of EQ? Emotional intelligence is comprised of well developed social skills with elements such as self awareness, self-regulation, motivation and empathy. Can EQ be taught? EQ skills can be improved and should be part of any organisations business strategy and elearning. 

Here are some tips to improve emotional intelligence.

  • Learn conflict resolution – Leaders must know how to resolve conflicts between their team members, customers, colleagues. Learning conflict resolution skills is vital if you want to succeed.
  • Learn how to praise others – As a leader, you can inspire the loyalty of your team simply by giving praise when it’s earned. Learning how to praise others is a fine art, but well worth the effort.
  • Slow down – When you experience anger or other strong emotions, slow down to examine why. Remember, no matter what the situation, you can always choose how you react to it.
  • Hold yourself accountable – Make a commitment to admit to your mistakes and to face the consequences, whatever they are. You’ll probably sleep better at night, and you’ll quickly earn the respect of those around you.
  • Practice being calm – The next time you’re in a challenging situation, be very aware of how you act. Do you relieve your stress by shouting at someone else? Practice deep-breathing exercises to calm yourself. Also, try to write down all of the negative things you want to say, and then rip it up and throw it away. Expressing these emotions on paper (and not showing them to anyone!) is better than speaking them aloud to your team.
  • Put yourself in someone else’s position – It’s easy to support your own point of view. After all, it’s yours! But take the time to look at situations from other people’s perspectives.