The work environment is a melting pot of people with different characters, backgrounds, and workings styles. It is a blend of personalities who work together under one organization. While many factors influence an individual’s behavior in the workplace, emotional intelligence plays a large role.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to recognize and manage their own emotions. Further, it also refers to one’s ability to recognize and understand the emotions of others.
As a psychological theory, emotional intelligence was first developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer. The concept of emotional intelligence at work and its five components was popularized by Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist. Published in 1995, Goleman’s book entitled “Emotional Intelligence” was well-accepted by many and has been perceived as a new concept that was beneficial in the work environment.
What are the five pillars of Emotional Intelligence?
According to Daniel Goleman, there are five key components of emotional intelligence:
Self-awareness. Being self-aware means having an understanding of how you feel. With this, you also know how your emotions and actions can affect people around you.
Self-regulation. This pertains to a person’s ability to stay in control. People who can control their emotions are less likely to verbally attack others or make impulsive and emotional decisions.
Motivation. Motivated individuals have high standards for the quality of their work. Having inner motivation allows people to do their best at work.
Empathy. This is all about putting yourself in somebody else’s situation. It is being able to understand how others feel and remains respectful of their emotions and reactions.
Social skills. Having social skills help in developing healthy, respectful, and trusting relationships. This also enables an individual to resolve conflicts diplomatically.
Why is emotional intelligence significant in the workplace?
Emotional intelligence has many benefits in the workplace. Leaders and employees who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are more likely to create a collaborative and supportive work environment that is conducive to productivity. In general, emotional intelligence helps in:
Establishing rapport and maintaining good work relationships
Considering business decisions
Remaining calm under pressure
It is especially helpful for leaders to have a high level of emotional intelligence. By understanding their emotions and how they influence actions, leaders can work with their team members effectively and respectfully. A leader who establishes good rapport with their team creates an encouraging and collaborative work culture.
These are just some examples of how emotional intelligence can be applied in the workplace. Its benefits can go beyond the work environment and help in personal situations as well.
How can I improve my emotional intelligence?
The road to a high level of emotional intelligence is not an overnight accomplishment. It takes much effort and time to practice and develop. However, it can be achieved by setting specific goals and actions that focus on each component of emotional intelligence. Here are some examples:
Practice being calm, especially in stressful situations.
Re-examine your goals and motivation.
Pay attention to the things that trigger you emotionally.
Ask a trusted teammate for feedback.
In difficult situations, try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person to see things from their perspective.
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