Ever wondered why you never really get along with a colleague despite how nice you treat him/her? You are very careful with your choice of words around colleagues yet it doesn’t really improve your relationship with them. How people perceive or understand your actions will be different no matter how sensitive you feel you are. If you are seeking employment, you will need to pass that emotional intelligence competency test (EQ). Even if you are already employed, you need emotional intelligence to foster interpersonal relationships at work.

Studies have shown that having a high intelligent quotient (IQ) is not enough. As long as you have to relate with other people at work, you must develop emotional smartness. Emotional intelligence (EQ) simply means being smart about your feelings and those of others.

Why should you care about the emotions of others? Why should the burden be on you to understand them? Remember, there are tasks you cannot accomplish alone. You will need to be part of a team, work with people from different backgrounds, beliefs and even cultures to achieve success. You need to understand how to relate with every member of your team to build team spirit, how to resolve conflicts, handle complaints and queries without belittling the feelings of others, etc. and this goes beyond being book smart.

Emotional intelligence will help you;

  • Develop peaceful relations at the workplace.
  • Look at things from the perspectives of others.
  • Recognize and understand the feelings of others for better conflict resolution.
  • Understand your own emotions and how they affect your relationships with others at work. This will help you manage your emotions and responses to situations better.
  • Handle change in the organization.

Consider these scenarios, you feel that your boss has treated you unfairly; the new office girl is already getting ahead while you’re still lagging behind; you missed a promotion you think you deserved. As a human being, your first emotional response to this may be anger and resentment. This will have a negative effect on your work relationships.

On the other hand, if you are in charge of your emotions, if you are smart about your feelings, you will take time to assess the situation and know the right and most rational reaction. You will seek the most appropriate channel to address your grievances instead of getting overwhelmed by your emotions.

How to build your EQ:

Here is the good news! You can develop and build Emotional Intelligence. Here is how:

  • Consciously learn self-awareness

Have a realistic understanding of your abilities by engaging in self-assessment. Ask for feedback from close friends, co-workers, or even your boss about your behaviour.

  • Practice self-management

Once you are aware of your abilities, use that knowledge to handle your emotions properly so they don’t interfere but rather facilitate your actions and interpersonal relations at work. This helps in developing self-control.

  • Practice social awareness

Learn to recognize and acknowledge the feelings of others, try to see things from other people’s perspectives, show empathy to your co-workers. Don’t make everything about you. Your co-worker Paul addressed that mail to the wrong recipient, this might just be an honest oversight, not a deliberate act to sabotage your work. Learn to handle little office conflicts or misunderstanding and don’t be an attack dog always ready to strike.


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