How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

From world-class keynote speakers to industry leaders to heads of organisations to working on the shop floor, understanding and harnessing your emotional intelligence can lead to stronger relationships, happiness and success.

Emotional Intelligence is having the ability to be aware of your emotions and knowing how to control them which in turn helps with handling relationships.

Emotional intelligence is vitally important both personally and professionally so you have perception when it comes to understanding people and having the ability to reason.

Understanding your emotions and those around you is key to developing and managing relationships which leads to happier and more successful moments.

Look back at some of the keynote speakers or industry leaders you have heard from over the years and think about what made them connect with you. What made them captivating, and engaging and what made the story they were delivering so resonating? What is consistent with exceptional speakers is their ability to understand themselves and others which stems from understanding emotions and having the ability to process logic and reason, arriving at a juncture that gives them the ability to convey messages that resonate deeply with an audience. That indelible memory is created through the bond between two people – the speaker and the audience.

It doesn’t matter what field you are in or the role you are responsible for – from managing a small team to an organisation, being able to understand how to control your emotional energy is critical to success and happiness. Emotional intelligence is something you can learn over time and is something that enables us to grow by giving a deeper understanding of whom we are enabling us to communicate better. To get you started we have created a top 10 tips for improving your emotional intelligence.

Becoming more emotionally conscious allows us to grow and gain a deeper understanding of who we are, enabling us to communicate better with others and build stronger relationships.

We suggest starting with these initial 10 tips, they provide a good starting point to discovering the foundations of your emotional intelligence.

1 – Connect with Yourself

Make time for connecting with yourself and understanding why you have made certain decisions during the day.

Find a quiet place and take time to reflect on how you feel and why you made certain decisions. Were those decisions based on how you felt? Would you have reacted differently if you had felt different, had taken time to process, had breathed more?

Practising things like meditation and mindfulness can help greatly to balance the mind.

2 – Negative Moments: Dealing with situations

Manage your negative emotions as these cloud judgement and can create overwhelming moments that lead to suboptimal outcomes. You may find yourself in a situation that presents negative feelings. Harnessing these emotions prevents us from making decisions that cause grievances. Having perspective on the situation, and managing the negative moment, will help develop relationships.

3 – Observe and Reflect on your Own Behaviour

When practising emotional awareness, it is important to take the time to review your behaviour by observing how you act and how you deal with situations. When you are more conscious of your behaviour and why you react the way you do, then you will make better connections with yourself and those in your network.

4 – Understand Opinions

We all have opinions and generally develop those opinions based on the environment we surrounded ourselves in – what we read, whom we work with, our friendship group, whom we connect with. It is important from to take time to consider other opinions and what is on the ‘other side of the fence. This helps us reasoning skills which creates an enhanced state of connection with people.

5Responsibility: You own it

It is imperative that you take responsibility for your actions and this includes your emotions and behaviour as these come from you and no one else.

6Take time to celebrate the positive

A key part of emotional intelligence is celebrating and reflecting on the positive moments in life. People who experience positive emotions are generally more resilient and more likely to have fulfilling relationships, which will help them move past.

7 – Connect with Others

Connecting with Others helps us learn and evolve and it regulates our emotions which leads to higher self-esteem and empathy. 

Tom Ford, the famous US fashion designer, screenwriter, film director and film producer, said that “the most important things in life are the connections you make with others.

Connecting with others helps our dopamine levels, reduces anxiety and stress and leads to overall positive outcomes.

8 – Trust Others

Emotional intelligence builds trust and creates open, productive, creative environments. As well as this, leaders who embrace their emotions encourage trusting environments, where employees feel comfortable taking calculated risks, suggesting ideas and voicing their opinions.

Empathy could help the process of establishing trust because empathy is a key to strong relationships, and it helps employees to establish trusting relationships. Empathy gives employees the ability to place themselves in other peoples’ shoes and understand their feelings, allowing them to work together as a team.

9Having a Trigger for Stress

Stress is caused by threats, demands and negative thoughts we have, so it is important to have a trigger to stop, recognise the moment and breathe. Stress can cause moments or irrational behaviour. Have a trigger to do something that releases the valve. 

10Create a Process

Understand and remember that emotional intelligence is something you develop and requires continual improvement; it’s very much a lifetime practice.

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