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How To Become More Emotionally Intelligent At Work

Emotional intelligence (developed by Daniel Goleman) is made up of the personal and social competencies of self awareness, self management, motivation, empathy and social skills. Emotional intelligence is just as important for success in the workplace as technical ability. Emotionally intelligent people tend to be good communicators, caring and considerate, able to manage their emotions and keep calm, they trust their intuition, are highly motivated, team players and show great empathy to others.

So I thought it would be good to look at how you can become more emotionally intelligent at work. Here are some ideas to try:

Become more self aware. How self aware are you? Take an honest look at yourself. Understand and be clear about your values and beliefs, pay attention to your feelings at work and what your feelings are telling you, understand your capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, work on self improvement and trust your intuition. Once you really understand yourself you are in a much better place to communicate and relate to other people.

Control emotions. Do you allow your emotions to influence your behaviour at work? One of the key facets of emotional intelligence is self management. Build up self control by keeping your emotions in check, remember to think before you act, be open and honest, show integrity and accept change happens and be adaptable. All of these take practise so you will need to keep them at the forefront of your mind throughout each day.

Work on your social skills. How are your communication and relationships at work? Things to consider here are using the most appropriate form of communication for each interaction, giving people your time, asking open questions, being clear and concise, building rapport, being polite and respectful and looking for common ground. The more we work on our social skills the better our communication and relationships will be.

Really listen. How often do you really listen to others at work? Listening is the best source of information. Think about a recent conversation. Was your attention wandering? Were you interrupting the other person when they were speaking? Were you just listening for the space so you could say what you wanted to say? Were you only listening to what you wanted to hear? What information did you miss when you were not listening? How do you feel when you are talking to someone and they are not listening to you? Really listening involves not only hearing, but also understanding what is being said, including what the other person is thinking, feeling and how they see the world. This includes not only listening to the words but also picking up on the non verbal signals you are receiving. Really focus in your workplace conversations on listening and reflecting back what you have heard to check you have understood.

Build empathy. Are you aware of the feelings, needs and concerns of others? Start to think about each interaction from the perspective of the person you are communicating with, be interested in them and their concerns, consider how the other person may be feeling by noticing their use of speech and their body language and don't be judgemental. The more empathetic we are the easier it is to find common ground and build relationships.

Support others through uncertainty. Change and uncertainty are ever present in the workplace. Understand the organisation and team dynamics in your company, support your staff, colleagues and contacts through change and uncertainty by regular consistent communication, being available to them and by keeping everyone focused on their goals and objectives.

Focus on self motivation and motivating others. How motivated are you and your team? Consider what motivates you and others at at work and how to get the best out of yourself and your team. Think about what you can do to motivate your team, work on be positive and optimistic, drive to improve the performance of you and your team and keep everyone focused on achieving the strategy and goals of the company.

Seek outside help and support. You may find some of the above areas challenging so don't be afraid to seek help and support to develop your emotional intelligence.

Hopefully the above will help you in becoming more emotionally intelligent.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: February 2020

Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.


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