In today’s world, many employers are looking for employees with a high EQ—emotional intelligence. I’ve found an employee who can bring joy and positivity to the office is often more likely to stay with an employer for longer than someone who is negative, sarcastic or cynical toward others.
Companies want employees who can work well as part of a team and cooperate with others effectively to achieve common goals. A workplace that encourages openness and participation from all employees can be less stressful for everyone and more productive as a result. Let’s look at five different ways you can improve workplace emotional intelligence.
1. Build a support network.
To enhance your emotional intelligence in the workplace, a fantastic approach is to establish a supportive network. Networking allows you to connect with individuals who can assist you in areas where you may struggle, such as tackling complex problems, managing your schedule effectively or seeking guidance when necessary. In addition, building a supportive network can help you form genuine connections with others and create a welcoming community of like-minded professionals.
Strong connections can make your time at work more fulfilling, as you have people to celebrate your victories and commiserate with during tough times. Here’s how to start building support at work.
• Find people who are like-minded and interested in the same things that you are. Whether that’s a professional network of fellow gym-goers, sports fans or co-workers who enjoy similar hobbies or activities, this can be a great way to meet like-minded people and find support.
• Attend professional development courses or training where you can meet like-minded people and learn from experts in your field.
• Find a mentor in your field who can offer you advice and help you with certain things that you’re not so good at.
2. Cultivate a culture of cooperation.
Better cooperation among employees can help reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. When employees feel seen and heard, it can boost morale increase productivity, and create a sense of pride. Some ways to cultivate a culture of cooperation at work include:
• Provide employees with opportunities to get to know one another outside of work. This can be through team-building activities or informal meetings.
• Encourage your employees to participate in company-sponsored community service activities.
• Engage your employees by asking them questions.
3. Learn to recognize and respond to tension.
Learning how to recognize and respond to tension can help improve your emotional intelligence at work. This also helps to curb unprofessional behavior in the workplace. Bear the following in mind.
• When someone is tense, try to identify what is causing the tension.
• If you want to diffuse the tension, try to diffuse it away from the situation. This could be by laughing or changing the topic of the conversation.
• When someone is feeling the effects of tension, try to address the situation with a warm and welcoming tone.
4. Teach emotional intelligence skills.
When teaching emotional intelligence skills in the workplace, focus on skills like emotional regulation, empathy, self-awareness and interpersonal awareness. You can teach emotional intelligence at work in any of the following ways.
• Establish an emotional regulation policy in your office that outlines what is and isn’t appropriate communication. For example, this could be a policy that says, “Don’t say anything that is going to make someone else feel bad.”
• Set up a company-wide mindfulness or stress management program. This could include things like guided meditations or taking a walk.
• Start an empathy program. Ask different workspaces or departments to reflect on their own experiences of discrimination and bias in the workplace. This information could be placed on the intranet or in an employee manual.
5. Take time to reflect and debrief.
Emotional intelligence skills like self-awareness and self-management are developed through practice. It is important to reflect on your experiences, practice emotional intelligence skills and debrief on what happened during the day. It is also important to take time to reflect.
• Keep a journal where you can write down any experiences that you have while at work. These can be things that make you feel good or bad or what others did or said that made you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
• Create a playlist on your emotions where you can add any feelings that you experience while at work. This could also be a mood board or a Pinterest board.
Emotional intelligence is something that every employee can develop and improve. Improving workplace emotional intelligence is an important step in fostering a positive and productive culture.
By creating time to understand how our work is affected by our emotions, we can create healthier and more successful workplaces. Together, by developing stronger emotional intelligence skills and creating a space for healthy dialogue between colleagues, we can make strides in cultivating a more emotionally aware and supportive environment at work.