What is Emotional Intelligence at Work?

Human beings are driven by emotion, and how we feel can greatly affect how we approach tasks, people, and events. Though we’re used to dealing with different emotions every day, it can become more challenging when we have to navigate through it at work – where crucial and objective decisions have to be made every day.

This is why emotional intelligence in the workplace can be tricky. Maintaining an environment that fosters emotional intelligence can save the team a lot of stress and help create a harmonious workplace.

Understanding emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one of the many smarts that we can have. In our personal circles, this can take the form of having empathy for our loved ones or lending an ear to someone who needs to vent.

Though these things may feel natural to us when we’re dealing with friends and family, colleagues can be a different story. That said, drawing boundaries is key to keeping feelings in check at work. This doesn’t only apply to how you respond to others but also to how you control your feelings and not lose your cool every chance you get.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to size up your emotional intelligence.

  • When making decisions, do you factor in other people’s opinions?
  • At work, do you listen to other people actively?
  • Do you help resolve conflicts at work instead of adding fuel to the fire?
  • Are you someone who has a hard time relating with others?
  • Do you decide at the height of your emotions?

Being self-aware is one of the ways to gauge how your feelings affect your career. Though emotional intelligence in leadership is a crucial factor in team dynamics, being in tune with one’s emotions is also vital for everyone – including those who aren’t handling management posts. After all, having a good leader might be futile if everyone else can’t keep their emotions in check. 

How to improve emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence examples at work can involve being aware of how your feelings or decisions affect others. It can also take the form of mastering your emotions and not letting them obstruct how you decide.

Here are a few tips for practicing emotional intelligence in the workplace:

  • Try to maintain a healthy mental attitude. That said, it helps to give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt before you do something rash that you can’t take back. Before jumping to conclusions, talk to the person involved to iron things out in a direct way.
  • Make a conscious effort to be calm and keep your cool when things don’t go your way. When you get upset, and emotions are high, breathe in and out ten times before saying anything. 
  • List down possible outcomes when trying to make decisions.
  • Practice empathy by trying to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. By doing so, you might understand the matter more holistically. 
  • Listen to other people’s input and take the time to consider their ideas instead of shutting them off. 

You can also try to get to know your colleagues so that you can relate to them better. Doing so will allow you to listen to their feedback and pay better attention to things that they’re not verbalizing. Are they not 100 percent on board the task? Why aren’t they performing as well as they used to?

In the end, it’s helpful to know that everyone can be in sync with their emotions if they try hard enough. In addition to that, everything boils down to communication. By calmly expressing yourself, you can get issues resolved without jeopardizing team dynamics and work-related tasks.