Using Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

February 21, 2017

 

As our workplaces continue to evolve it’s essential that how we think about work. Not just our own work, but how we engage with others in the workplace, and how to make sure that our workplaces act as supportive, cohesive units which can deliver exceptional results with minimal personal or professional conflicts.

 

One of the best tools at our disposal for succeeding in the workplace is Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is the capacity to be aware of one’s own emotions and control their feelings in order to handle interpersonal issues with empathy and fairness.

EI can have a variety of applications in the workplace, which include:

 

APPLYING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO HIRING PRACTICES

 

When hiring a potential employee there are, of course, many things to consider. You’ll want to know about their education, their qualifications, their work history, and who they are as a person. What makes them tick? How do they work as part of a group, or independently?

 

Being able to understand these aspects of our personality is referred to as Emotional Intelligence. The concept first rose to popularity in 1995, when Daniel Goleman published his book work “Emotional Intelligence”. In it, Goleman outlined five key elements which helped determine a person’s Emotional Intelligence quotient (EQ). These elements include:

  1. Motivation

  2. Self-regulation

  3. Self-awareness

  4. Empathy

  5. Social skills

Keeping a candidate’s EQ in mind when interviewing for a position means that you are doing your best to ensure that your team is cohesive, and is made up of motivated, compassionate, and empathetic individuals who support one another in achieving their shared goals of success.

 

USING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS

 

No matter how well employees work together, eventually some sort of conflict will emerge in the workplace. Whether it’s a disagreement between management over the results of a project, or a personal conflict, there are always lots of personal and professional barriers which can prevent issues from being resolved properly.

However, when we apply Emotional Intelligence to resolving inter-office issues, we can accomplish the following:

  • Help employees see things from each other’s perspectives

  • Reduce tension in the workplace

  • Remain impartial and fair to both sides

  • Admit to weakness and challenges without being looked down upon

Some examples of questions that you can ask which use Emotional Intelligence for problem-solving include: “What is the full story? Am I taking everyone’s perspectives into consideration?” which will help you put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Emotional Intelligence trailing also helps with controlling things like tone, facial expressions, the words we choose when we speak, and many more issues which can either mend of aggravate differences in the workplace.

 

USING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO RESPECT DIFFERENCES

 

Emotional Intelligence helps us understand that, even though we may have different cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and values, these differences can help us succeed together instead of dividing us.

 

By asking questions like “how can these differences be used as assets to our organization?” we can start to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths which benefit everyone in our organization.

 

For more information about Emotional Intelligence, and how applying these practices to your workplace can help you succeed professionally, sign up for our newsletter.

 

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