Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and then use your emotions in an optimal way to assist in guiding your behaviour in the most positive ways. In addition emotional intelligence is also about recognising and understanding accurately emotions in others. So already you can see the benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace. If only we had of had access to and understood this information years ago, I can think of numerous situations in the workplace it would have been very useful from negotiations and general sales to office relationships. Going forward beyond 2020 (and what a year it has been!) I really believe that businesses that have owners, managers and staff that are well versed in emotional intelligence will thrive.
The key features, principles and strategies of emotional intelligence can be applied broadly within the workplace, resulting in much improved workplace relationships. However the application is most effective when applied from not only individuals but also corporately and is essential for success in the workplace. It is imperative that leaders/managers are aware of the five components of EI; self -awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills and then actively seek ways to encourage and implement them amongst staff to build workplace relationships.
Self-Awareness: This is the first place to start, understanding accurately your own strengths and weaknesses, how you act, what you say and any non-verbal body language can affect others in the workplace. If you are under pressure due to lack of planning, letting emotions take over and not dealing with them correctly will affect the staff around you. It’s always good to remember that before we react, intense emotions are fleeting and acting on them may be detrimental to success in your career. Self-awareness can also be helpful in defining your goals, your purpose and give you a realistic self-confidence. In addition the great thing about self-awareness is it enhances every area of your life, including of course the relationships outside of work.
Self-Management: This is linked directly to self-awareness and it is useful for controlling impulsive emotions, following through on commitments made and being able to adapt to workplace changes. The aim is to be role models for the rest of the team and others in management positions. When the team and management see others controlling their moods, impulses, stress, disruptions, displaying integrity, etc. they will want to do the same.
Internal Motivation: When a manager knows what motivates staff generally and individually (if possible), different rewards/ recognitions suitable to the team/individuals can be put into place which raises the positiveness and optimism in the workplace producing a stronger cohesive team. In addition when a manager encourages staff to self-regulate and explore techniques to help deal with work related stress a better equipped team will emerge.
Empathy: Simply put into practice empathy means to treat others with how you would like to be treated and putting yourself in other peoples’ shoes. This is especially important in regards to sensitivity to cross-cultural differences. By actively promoting empathy in the workplace, it creates opportunities to form emotional connections that have the outcome of trust and a collaborative problem solving approach. I love this quote from Daniel Goleman:
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands.” ~ Daniel Goleman
Participation in monthly empathy exercises at staff meetings would be an excellent place to start promoting empathy in the workplace.
Social Skills: These are the skills required to handle and influence other people’s emotions effectively. Leaders shouldn’t have to force their team to move in the same direction, the team should want to follow the vision of the company, admire the management and directors and know their leaders want what is best for them personally and career-wise.
Emotional intelligent leaders and employees and the achievement of business objectives are directly related. There is no doubt about it leaders have a direct influence on the culture, mood, work effectiveness, results and therefore profits in a business. To read more about this topic also go to my blog page at www.jacquipreugschat.com.
The benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace are vast. Studies conducted over the years have proven that leaders and employees that are well conversed in EI go further in their career, have higher job satisfaction and performance, handle stress more effectively, have less burn out which therefore has a positive effect on their physical and general well-being, are more confident in themselves, are better at adapting to change, have improved communication skills and have a clear company vision aiding in team morale. This in turn leads to company survival and growth.