Oyinkansola Alabi (Dr.). Founder, Emotions City. www.emotionscity.com.
In today’s world, many employers are looking for employees with high EQ: emotional intelligence. I’ve found that an employee who can bring joy and positivity to the office often stays with an employer longer than one who is negative, sarcastic, or cynical towards others.
Companies want employees who can work well as part of a team and collaborate effectively with others to achieve common goals. A workplace that encourages openness and participation from all employees can be less stressful and therefore more productive for everyone. Let’s take a look at five different ways you can improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.
1. Build a support network.
To improve your emotional intelligence in the workplace, building a support network is a fantastic approach. Networking allows you to connect with individuals who can help you in areas you struggle with, such as tackling complex problems, managing your schedule effectively, or seeking help when you need it. Plus, building a support 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 sympathize with when times are tough. Here’s how you can start building support at work.
• Find people who are like-minded and interested in the same things as you. Whether that’s a professional network of fellow athletes, sports fans, or colleagues who have similar hobbies or activities, this can be a great way to meet like-minded people and find support.
• Take 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 give you advice and help you with certain things you’re not very good at.
2. Cultivate a culture of collaboration.
Better collaboration between employees can help reduce turnover and absenteeism. If employees feel seen and heard, they can boost morale, increase productivity and create a sense of pride. Some ways to cultivate a culture of collaboration at work include:
• Provide opportunities for employees to get to know each other outside of work. This can be done through team building activities or informal meetings.
• Encourage your employees to participate in company-sponsored community service.
• Involve your employees by asking them questions.
3. Learn to recognize and respond to tension.
Learning how to recognize and respond to stress can improve your emotional intelligence at work. This also helps curb unprofessional behavior in the workplace. Please note the following.
• If someone is tense, try to identify what is causing the tension.
• If you want to reduce the tension, try to divert it from the situation. This could be by laughing or changing the topic of conversation.
• If someone is feeling the effects of tension, try to handle the situation in a warm and welcoming tone.
4. Learn emotional intelligence skills.
When teaching emotional intelligence skills in the workplace, focus on skills such as emotional regulation, empathy, self-awareness, and interpersonal awareness. You can teach emotional intelligence at work in one of the following ways.
• Establish an emotional regulation policy in your office that outlines what is and what is not appropriate communication. For example, this could be a policy that says, “Don’t say anything that will make someone else feel bad.”
• Establish a company-wide mindfulness or stress management program. These could be things like guided meditations or taking a walk.
• Start an empathy program. Ask different workplaces or departments to reflect on their own experiences of workplace discrimination and prejudice. This information can be posted on the intranet or in an employee handbook.
5. Take time to think and debrief.
Emotional intelligence skills such as self-awareness and self-management are developed through practice. It’s important to reflect on your experiences, practice emotional intelligence skills, and debrief about what happened during the day. It is also important to take time to think.
• Keep a diary in which you can record any experiences you have on the job. These could be things that make you feel good or bad, or what others did or said that made you feel uncomfortable or uncomfortable.
• Create a playlist about your emotions where you can add all the feelings you experience at work. This can also be a mood board or a Pinterest board.
Emotional intelligence is something that every employee can develop and improve. Improving emotional intelligence in the workplace 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. By developing stronger emotional intelligence skills together and creating space for healthy dialogue among colleagues, we can make progress in cultivating a more emotionally aware and supportive environment at work.