Emotional intelligence (EI) might sound like an odd term, but it’s a very important concept in psychology. Basically, this refers to a person’s ability to understand and manage their emotions. A person with high emotional intelligence is very self-aware and can recognize how their emotions affect their actions. This is especially important in the workplace, where emotions could be running high. Luckily, whether you’re an employee, a manager, or a business owner, there are some documented ways to boost your own emotional intelligence and introduce it to your workplace!
Know Your Feelings
- Mindful meditation is one of the best ways to get more in touch with your emotions. Sit in a quiet area and get into a comfortable position. Spend 20-45 minutes relaxing, breathing easily, and focusing on your thoughts.
It’s okay if you lose concentration. Simply remind yourself to bring your focus back to your feelings and emotions.
- Study the main components of EI so you can improve them.
Psychologists classify 4 main parts of EI, and they all contribute to your overall emotional behavior. By learning a bit about each component, you can take simple steps to improve your EI. Once you understand EI, you can start introducing it at work.
- Self-Awareness: This is your ability to recognize your own emotions and how they affect your behavior. It also includes understanding the impact you have on others.
- Self-Regulation: This is your ability to manage your emotions and behaviors.
- Social Awareness: This is your ability to understand other people’s emotions and behaviors. It’s closely related to empathy.
- Social Skills: This is how well you interact with others and maintain healthy relationships.
- Recognize and identify the emotions you’re feeling. While self-awareness is a crucial part of EI, it’s common for people to not even know what their emotions are or how they affect them. This actually takes some practice. Work on identifying your emotions as you’re feeling them. This way, you’ll be able to recognize if you’re thinking clearly, or if your emotions might be influencing you too much. This is key to making good decisions at work.
- Deliberately say to yourself things like “I am angry” or “I’m feeling frustrated.” By making this a habit, it’ll start to become automatic.
- Don’t just push your emotions down—take some time to process them to see if there’s anything you can learn.
- While making decisions based purely on emotions can be ill-advised, it’s similarly a bad idea to leave emotions out of your decision-making process entirely.
Reduce your stress to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This is one of the most common emotions that affect people, especially in the workplace, and it’s tough to be emotionally aware when you’re stressed. If you often feel stressed-out, then learn some effective stress-reduction strategies to improve your overall emotional intelligence.
- Mindfulness activities like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are great for identifying and releasing your stress.
- Regular exercise is also a great stress-reducer. If you aren’t very active, try getting some exercise every day
- Don’t rely on destructive habits like alcohol or drugs to handle your stress. These are unhealthy and will only cause more problems.
Accept and overcome failure to improve yourself.
- No one likes to fail, especially at work, but reacting constructively to failure is a sign of high emotional intelligence. It’s important to stay in touch with your feelings and emotions after a failure and understand where you went wrong. Then you can use that insight to overcome the failure and keep moving forward.Remember that it’s okay to feel disappointed if you fail. The point isn’t to deny those feelings, but rather stay mentally tough and overcome them.
- Practicing some mindful meditation is a great way to help yourself calm down after a setback.