Are you emotionally intelligent in the workplace?

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Emotional intelligence is not just your ability to be aware of your own emotions. It also relates to how effective you are at controlling and expressing emotion to others on the job. It involves being able to understand how other people at work feel so you can use that insight to interact with them more effectively.

The importance of emotional intelligence

Both managers and staff-level employees can benefit from improving their level of EI to lead project teams, influence people and gain more responsibility. When people have high emotional intelligence, they make better leaders as well as better team members.

While EI can be helpful in any type of job or industry, it is particularly valuable for administrative professionals. The admin job involves personal interactions with a wide variety of personalities and workstyles, both internally and externally. Administrative managers need to not only work on their own EI but also help enhance emotional intelligence for their staff and consider it when evaluating job candidates.

How to build emotional intelligence

Here are five strategies that a manager or employee can use to help elevate their EI at work:

1. Boost your self-awareness

Do you know how you typically react to the stress of a pending deadline? When frustrated by a fellow employee who isn’t listening to your ideas, Don’t simply assume that you know how you come across to other people. Make an effort to objectively gauge your reactions and ask trusted colleagues for their candid take on your behavior. As a manager, it’s especially important to be aware of how your level of emotion, management style and behaviors affect your team to avoid being perceived as a bad boss.

2. Think before reacting

Emotional out bursts can cause your credibility with colleagues to plummet. If you’re leading an initiative or a team, consider the bigger picture before having a visible emotional reaction to something that upsets you in the workplace. If you walk away from the situation for a few minutes, it can give you a chance to regain composure.

3. Impact a sense of motivation

When you’re leading others, remember that they depend on you for inspiration. Take steps to enhance your mood before starting work, whether by exercising, talking to upbeat coworkers or other forms of self-care. Help keep the people you lead motivated by working with their strengths and providing them with the resources they need.

4. Listen more

Emotionally intelligent professionals know it’s important to empathize with the feelings and viewpoints of others in the workplace. Yet you can’t understand someone else’s wants and needs without really listening to that person. To lead with higher EI in the workplace, be a better listener. Avoid interrupting and tune in to what someone is saying before you speak.

5. Improve your social skills

Active listening is just one part of having a strong set of interpersonal skills to help you lead with greater EI. You can also work on improving your communication skill level by managing difficult conversations, resolving conflicts proactively and maintaining a friendly demeanor when interacting with other people on your team.

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