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5 Key Skills For Emotional Intelligence At The Workplace

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, recognize, and manage one’s emotions and those of others, crucial for building relationships and deal with workplace challenges with compassion.

A beautiful, heartwarming story comes from Indra Nooyi’s days as CEO of PepsiCo. Right after she assumed office, she started sending personalized letters to parents, thanking them for the great job their children had done as executives in the company. This act of gratitude earned her the admiration of her team, allowing her to bond well with them!

Indra Nooyi truly serves as a great case study to validate the fact that emotional intelligence is one of the most valued assets of a leader.

So what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, recognize, and manage one’s emotions and those of others. Kindness, concern, care, and compassion build the framework of a society where cordial relationships thrive. The trait of emotional intelligence is a highly desired quality, both in our personal and professional lives. Be it a friend or a relative in whom you wish to confide or a spouse with whom you want to spend a lifetime, what you seek is an emotional connection.

Even in our jobs, we need such support to perform well and give our hundred percent. However, it is a different situation in the work environment where interactions happen between people with different temperaments and diverse backgrounds.

In the present day scenario where there is so much stress and cut-throat competition, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent more than ever in order to promote a healthy work atmosphere. It can be rather stifling to be in a setting where your feelings are neglected and you are constantly misunderstood. So there needs to be a savior in the form of a leader or co-worker who perceives your emotions every step of the way.

Emotional intelligence encompasses a wide range of skills. Here are some of the important ones that need to be inculcated.

Be self-aware by identifying your emotional strengths and weaknesses

Self-awareness is among the most top-rated emotional intelligence skills. One needs to be vigilant about how they are feeling. Just as knowing one’s strengths enables a person to utilize themself to the fullest, discovering the weaker emotions is equally imperative in order to work towards dealing with those feelings in an effective manner.

Those who are proficient in managing their emotions do a fine job in perceiving the feelings of others, and they know the ways to motivate others.

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Mastering the technique of self-regulation

Self-awareness and self-regulation go hand in hand. Once we are aware of what qualities we have and lack, it becomes easier to manage those behaviours and emotions.

The worst thing is to act on a sudden impulse. If any action of others has annoyed you, do not react immediately. Take a deep breath, and try to sort out your thoughts. You will be surprised that you will come up with a healthier, more positive response if you do not lose your cool and act methodically.

The rule of thumb is to keep in mind that emotions are transient. So be patient, and do not take a rash decision at the spur of the moment.

Empathy is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence

A happy, healthy environment cannot exist in the absence of empathy. Empathy is a much needed skill, not just for leaders but for anyone who has stepped into the workplace.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes in order to understand his or her needs and feelings. Give a listening ear to anyone who talks about their problems.

Management needs to facilitate a process of open communication with employees. A leader needs to look beyond an employee’s productive best and be sensitive enough to watch out for worker burnout.

Interact with others and hone your social skills

Keep in mind that you are not a Robinson Crusoe marooned on an island with no one to talk to. Being an introvert and wanting to keep to yourself is not an excuse.

Look around you, and you will discover like-minded people who share the same wavelength.  Discuss and exchange ideas with others, and this will help you to arrive at creative solutions.

Leaders cannot achieve success alone. They need to assess the mindset of their employees in order to build relationships and resolve conflicts in the organization. Only with collaboration, communication, and a shared vision can goals be achieved.

And finally, the cherry on top: Be motivated and make positivity the mantra!

Optimism is what makes our lives sunnier even on cloudy days. The trademark of an emotionally intelligent person is remaining positive even when adversity strikes.

Motivation is a key component in enabling one to move forward on their career path. To stay motivated, one needs to set goals. Unless you have a target out in front of you, your job will not be satisfying nor challenging. Be passionate about anything you do; focus on those aspects of the job that make you happy.

A thought provoking quote comes from Dale Carnegie: “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” Obstacles are inevitable, but leaders need to encourage their employees to go beyond those roadblocks and reach the finish line!

Image source: CoWomen via Unsplash

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About the Author

Rashmi Bora Das

Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...

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