If we’ve learned one thing during the recent Covid-19 restrictions, it’s how well we get along with ourselves – and others – in isolation.
For some it’s been enlightening, discovering that they are ok with their own company and have coped well with less social engagement. For others, it hasn’t been as smooth, finding that the lack of direct engagement with others and too long inside our own heads is less than ideal!
Daniel Goleman, regarded as the pioneer in this field of psychology, identified that the competencies of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-management, empathy and social skill – separate the most successful workers and leaders from the average. (Goleman 2012)
The importance of EQ in the workplace
There are 2 distinct advantages for the workplace – and the people within – when individuals possess positive emotional competencies.
- A higher EQ results in a direct and positive influence on job performance.
- There is higher job satisfaction in people with higher EQ.
Emotional Awareness and Management
Individuals with higher EQ demonstrate greater coping strategies when presented with situations that require considered decision-making. They appear less flustered and more balanced in their work-related activities. As a result, they can have a positive impact on those working with or around them.
Social Awareness and Relationship Management
Individuals possessing higher EQ can further assist the production and performance of the workplace via their ability to read-the-room, while working with others in an attempt to achieve the most desirable outcome for the business and/or team.
Additional Benefits for Nurturing EQ in the Workplace
- Enhanced Leadership – Individuals who display higher EQ competencies make better and more considerate leaders
- Improved Communication – Listening with intent and choosing what and when to share information is a valuable addition to any team
- Alignment of Team Performance – Leadership EQ can directly influence the alignment and performance of a team
- Strategic Thinking – Workers with higher EQ can envision (and communicate) the big-picture for a business/workplace, while directing effort and energy toward these organisational objectives.
- Less of a Rollercoaster Ride – The workplace can be more enjoyable if not at the whim of unpredictable displays of emotions and behaviours.
Enhancing Emotional Intelligence
In addressing and focusing on each of the domains of Emotional Intelligence, we can each improve our own EQ.
- Tune in to your level of self-awareness. Really pay attention to how you are feeling throughout the day and why.
- Practice self-regulation. Avoid reacting too quickly. Give more thought (and time) to your responses and the possible consequences of each choice and action.
- Improve your observations. Your social awareness is largely dependent upon your ability to be in-tune with what is happening around you – including the engagement and interactions between people.
- Strive to build empathy. Pay attention to how you respond to others and compare it with what they may require from you and/or others.
As a positive conclusion to this blog, it’s important to emphasise that your Emotional Intelligence is not fixed and can be improved and enhanced with regular fine-tuning and certain exercises.