Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
You have probably heard about IQ (intelligence quotient) as a way to measure intelligence and ability. But what about EQ?
EQ (emotional quotient) reflects (=shows) your emotional intelligence. As researchers began to figure out what factors contribute to a person’s performance at work, they came to realize that emotional intelligence is one of the key traits of successful performance.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as those of others. Consequently (=as a result), people with a high EQ have better soft skills, and leadership skills, are much easier to work with, and enjoy working as part of a team much more than those with a low EQ.
The lesson we can draw from this is simple.
The higher your EQ is, the more valuable you are as a professional.
How can you improve your EQ?
Dr. Daniel Coleman who studied emotional intelligence identified that it consists of 5 key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. You can enhance (=improve) your EQ by focusing on each individual component.
- Self-awareness is the ability to understand and process your own emotions. It is also what helps you evaluate your skills and contributions in an objective, non-biased way. People with low self-awareness can be stuck doing a job they hate and feeling miserable without understanding the reason for their unhappiness or doing anything to improve their situation. They also usually make terrible coworkers because they either overestimate their value to the team or underestimate their skills and avoid taking on (=accepting) challenges.
- Self-regulation is the ability to control your emotions. People with poor self-regulation typically create a toxic work environment no one wants to be a part of for too long. On the other hand, people with good self-regulation know how to deal with negative emotions so that they don’t become a burden (=a heavy load) on themselves and others. Such people are also much more stress-resistant as they have effective coping strategies for handling stressful situations without letting the stress affect them.
- The third component is motivation which is closely connected with goal-setting. Emotionally intelligent people are always motivated to do their best because they work towards a clearly defined goal. This is the kind of people you want on your team. Not only do they have a vision of what to do in order to succeed but they will also motivate other teammates to grow and improve.
- Empathy is in other words the ability to understand other people’s feelings. Professionals who are good at empathy can accurately sense what mood someone is in and how best to approach them with an offer or a solution. This makes them shrewd (=intelligent) negotiators and excellent team leaders.
- Social skills are overall communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Having excellent social skills means that you can communicate your vision and inspire others to follow it. Social skills also help you navigate (=manage) any social interaction both in the workplace and in your personal life which means they are vital skills to have.
How do companies measure EQ?
It’s pretty likely that you have already had your EQ measured without knowing it. Whenever your company does a performance assessment, they are measuring your EQ along with other relevant skills.
Your emotional intelligence is being tested:
- During a self-assessment where you are asked to evaluate your own performance and contribution. Remember that the higher your self-awareness is, the more likely you are to assess your contributions accurately.
- During a 360-degree assessment. The feedback you give about your coworkers and the feedback they give about you reflects your self-regulation, empathy, and social skills.
- During a one-to-one interview with a manager or supervisor. This is the perfect time to discuss your motivation and set career goals for the future.
How and when do we use emotional intelligence in the workplace?
There is a huge number of specific scenarios where emotional intelligence plays a big role. For example:
- Problem-solving and negotiations — even if you work in a technical role, you still need to communicate with people (customers, coworkers, stakeholders, etc.) to solve problems.
- Everyday teamwork — your social skills are put to the test every day when you communicate with your teammates.
- Conflict resolution — being able to de-escalate a conflict situation and focus everyone on finding solutions in an emotionally charged environment is only possible if you are emotionally intelligent.
- Giving feedback — emotionally intelligent teams foster (=create) an environment where feedback is given on a daily basis. It is also important to learn to give feedback in a constructive and positive manner. This is where empathy comes into play once again.
- Salary negotiations — knowing your value and having the empathy to raise the money question at the right time can really help you get that pay raise.
Your hard skills can get you a job but it is your emotional intelligence that will help you move up in your career and stay successful. Improving your emotional intelligence is a gradual, life-long process. The good news is that with conscious and persistent practice, you can dramatically improve your EQ.
English For IT is here to help you do just that : )