Self-Awareness, Emotions, Empathy at Work
While you might not think much about the topic of emotional intelligence, it’s an issue that comes up frequently during my individual client sessions. Putting your best foot forward as an emotionally intelligent boss and co-worker is a need in the workplace, a need for anyone who manages people.
By definition, emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of your feelings, being in control of them and able to express them. For example, if you’re going to succeed with challenging employees, the administrator needs to set the tone. The administrator needs to serve as the model for what you want others to emulate.
Historically, the foundation of emotional intelligence was laid when Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., wrote his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books), which helped to explain the differences between traditional IQ (intelligence quotient) and EI. The book was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half and is available around the world in 40 languages.
The next major resource to come along was the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, written by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, Ph.D., which provides case studies, tools and techniques to improve your emotional intelligence. In fact, Dr. Greaves is co-founder and CEO of TalentSmart, Inc., and the website talentsmart.com is a great resource to learn more.
Now, emotional intelligence is very much part of the fabric and conversation in any workplace. If you work in a large company, you could probably talk to the human resources department to find out if you have taken or could take a formalized EI assessment. When assessing EI, you’ll be looking at overall social awareness, relationship management and your ability to empathize with others.
If you find an area is lacking in yourself or your employees, there are strategies for improvement and some people can benefit from identifying an EI mentor – someone who seems to get along and understand others. A mentor can be responsible for queuing you if you talk too long or if you misread communication.
For example, if an employee has negative reactions to someone else’s behavior and there is emotional fallout due to low self-awareness, this situation needs to be managed. Or if you find employees want to leave a department because they don’t want to work with her, or headaches and stomach problems are being caused by a difficult co-worker, these situations need to be managed too.
5 Components of Emotional Intelligence
- Self-regulation or emotional control
- Social skills
When it comes to social and relationship skills, we’re not just talking about charm. As human beings interact with each other, we need to be able to interpret voice, facial expressions and body language.
Certain careers, such as information technology, engineering and research, require a high IQ; however, without emotional intelligence, success can hit a certain ceiling. Both qualities are needed to be successful. From Abraham Lincoln to Temple Grandin and Bill Gates, there have been many recognizable people who have lacked relationship skills.
Whether you decide to take a self-assessment or talk to a colleague for mentorship, it’s critical to identify where you have strengths or where you might need some emotional intelligence work to do. A perfect opportunity to dig in on this topic is during your next job review. Is there a tool or can your boss provide some guidance in this area? A performance review is a gift to both the employee and the employer, so be smart and take advantage to help you put your best foot forward!
If you are eager to make a greater impact in your career, it would be my honor to be part of that process with you. Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can empower you to achieve that goal.
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