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Building relationships and networking are two of the most important things that contribute to your success in business. Related to those two activities is your capacity for emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others” (Psychology Today). In general, the more you can empathize with another person the greater emotional intelligence you possess. This post will explore how emotional intelligence relates to the workplace and explore the ways you can increase your emotional intelligence.

Managing Yourself

If you want to lead others, you will need to be able to control your emotions. As a leader, you will face numerous setbacks and disappointments. You can’t let every negative occurrence send you into a tantrum or depressive funk. That type of behavior would drag down the morale of your team and lead to a loss in productivity. Everybody has neurotic tendencies, but people with high emotional intelligence are able to control their negative tendencies. They don’t let them interfere with their relationships at work.

Part of managing your emotions is being aware of them. For example, if someone on your team makes a mistake your instinct might be to yell or berate that person. However, if you have a high level of emotional intelligence you recognize that acting like that towards another person is not productive. Being aware of your emotions allows you to control them so that you don’t alienate any of your team members.

Social Awareness

Having social awareness is another important aspect of emotional intelligence. Social awareness is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and react accordingly to different social situations. The best leaders have an acute understanding of social situations. They are able to understand people’s motives and needs. They also know how to interact with different types of personalities. Social awareness contributes to your ability to have positive relationships with others. There are so many different types of social situations that take place in business. Emotional intelligence is the ability to remain flexible and adapt to any situation that arises.

Three Tips For Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

While it’s true that some people are born with a high level of emotional intelligence, anyone can take steps to increase their emotional quotient (EQ). Here are some tips on how you can increase your emotional intelligence:

  • Don’t jump to negative conclusions or take everything personally. For example, if you feel like someone on your team routinely ignores you it might be because that person is busy and overwhelmed—not that he or she dislikes you.
  • Learn how to manage stress. You can practice yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises. These three activities will help you stay cool during stressful situations.
  • Set boundaries. Emotionally intelligent people are not afraid to express negative emotions, and they don’t hold on to guilt after expressing disappointment. Don’t be afraid no when it’s necessary. You can express negative emotions without being judgmental or hurtful to others. Here’s some more information on how it’s done.

Possessing a high level of emotional intelligence will make you a more capable leader. You will understand your colleagues better; they will be more willing to follow your orders, and you will have an easier time inspiring others. If you choose to ignore emotional intelligence, you risk jeopardizing the success of your career.