Ways to Boost Your EQ at Work

Emotional Intelligence (EI) has become one of the most sought-after soft skills for IT companies seeking personnel. This is due to the increasing recognition that individuals who possess a high level of EI have superior interpersonal abilities, as well as the ability to effectively manage challenging circumstances. In Daniel Goleman’s “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”, EI is considered twice as important as technical skills or Intelligence Quotient (IQ), making up 67% of the abilities determined essential for exceptional leadership performance.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capability to recognise, evaluate and regulate one’s own emotions and those of others. Simply being aware of your own emotional state is not sufficient; understanding how your emotions impact those around you is equally important. Developing an understanding of how others think and feel is essential to manage relationships and make a positive impact on them.

The Components of Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, identified five elements that combine to form emotional intelligence.

Self-Awareness: It refers to the capability to make decisions by taking into account one’s feelings, abilities, limitations, desires, principles, aspirations, and their impact on oneself as well as others in an intuitive way.

Self-Regulation: It requires the competence to control or redirect disruptive emotions and impulses while being adaptable enough to cope with unfamiliar situations.

Motivation: It involves leveraging motivational factors, deriving enjoyment from learning, and persevering through obstacles while pursuing a goal.

Empathy: It is important to consider the emotions of others when making decisions, especially when possible.

Communication Skills: It involves managing relationships to bring about behavioural changes.

Enhancing Your EQ: Techniques for Personal Development

While some individuals demonstrate a natural inclination towards emotional intelligence from a young age, others may struggle to develop this skill. Fortunately, emotional intelligence is a proficiency that can be acquired and improved gradually through various methods. Some of these techniques include:

  • Cultivate a genuine interest in other people:

    Empathy and showing authentic interest in the lives and experiences of others serve as the foundation of emotional intelligence (EQ). It is critical to consistently attempt to understand the perspectives of others and gain better insight into the rationale behind their actions and decisions. If you wish to create a positive work environment for your colleagues, one approach is to learn about their sources of joy and contentment. Expressing your concern for others is also conveyed when you take the time to closely observe their words and body language, allowing you to pick up on the subtle nuances of what they are saying and not saying.
  • Avoid hogging the limelight:

    Team members who frequently take credit for their team’s success may develop bitterness among their colleagues. While it is important to take pride in your own achievements, it is also imperative to recognise when it is appropriate to step back and assist others in their success. Doing so can help foster strong relationships with your coworkers and ensure that everyone feels valued for their contributions.
  • Value Perspectives:

    The ability to accept constructive feedback is crucial if you want to achieve professional success. Rather than taking criticism personally, it is important to understand that feedback is designed to provide useful insights and should be treated as such. Additionally, it is important to create an environment where your colleagues, friends, and those you lead feel at ease when providing direct, honest feedback, even if it may not be pleasant.
  • Self-Assess:

    By engaging in introspection and reflecting on your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) through a basic analysis, you can gain valuable insight into how to enhance your performance in the workplace. This can help you avoid uncomfortable situations and enable you to handle challenging situations more effectively. Furthermore, being aware of your weaknesses and potential pitfalls can help you better understand the emotions of others. Having a strong sense of your own emotional intelligence will empower you to regulate your own emotions better. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you conduct a SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding of your assets and drawbacks, and to help you prepare yourself more effectively against potential threats.
  • Sincere Congratulation is Crucial:

    If you value your colleagues, you will learn to express your appreciation for them in the most appropriate manner. As a general rule, individuals tend to respond positively to compliments, and they will have a more favourable impression of you if they believe that your compliments are genuine.
  • Objective Evaluation is Essential:

    Due to the variety of educational experiences, financial backgrounds, and religious beliefs, it is probable that not everyone will share the same opinion as you. As a result, it is critical to respect the viewpoints of others, even if you disagree fundamentally. It may be advantageous to attempt to persuade them of your perspective using well-reasoned arguments and an empathetic tone. Although we should aim to express our position with kindness, we should not be tolerant of those who hold an ineffective and damaging mindset when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Lastly, our current level of knowledge should not hinder us from learning and broadening our horizons.

To summarise, it is crucial to be mindful of the subtle nuances as well as the attitudes, emotions, preferences, and viewpoints of those around you. It is important to acknowledge that you may not always prevail in a disagreement and be prepared to apologise if you inadvertently cause offence. I am certain that implementing these techniques will improve your interpersonal interactions and set you on a course towards achieving professional success.

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