When it comes to workplace happiness, most people get in their own way. The biggest obstacle that many people face with workplace happiness is low emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI) is your ability to identify and manage your emotions, as well as those of other people. How you manage your feelings at work can make all the difference in your career.
Here are five tips that you can put emotional intelligence to work:.
1. Practice Deep and Focused Listening
When you are communicating with other employees, you always want to practice deep and focused listening. When the other person is speaking, avoid rehearsing your response. Instead, make it a point to focus your mind and attention on asking clarifying questions to help you better understand what the person is saying. At the end of the conversation, make sure that you summarize and provide feedback on what you think you heard the individual say. Then ask if your summary is an accurate portrayal of the conversation.
2. Start Paying Attention to Body Language
When you’re at work, start noticing the body language or nonverbal communications of those around you. Pay attention and learn to recognize when body language isn’t consistent with the words that are being spoken. Start getting used to interpreting body language as a way to understand the complete communication of your colleagues and employees. With practice, you will get better at recognizing nonverbal signs.
If working from home, you can look at facial expressions – eyes, eyebrows, mouth, nose, as these all portray emotions. If on the phone, tone of voice can indicate if someone is calm, anxious, happy, angry, etc. Body language and tone of voice account for 93% of communications.
3. Avoid Blaming Others
When you always blame others for your misfortunes, you will never be successful in your personal or professional life. When you get caught up in useless behaviors and emotions, you end up losing precious time and perspective that could help you create a more enjoyable work experience. If you fill your workday with blame and venting, you are only setting yourself up for even more disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Blame makes you a victim which negatively impacts you in your responses and blame, and not taking responsibility for your actions which is the basis of EI; it also prevents you from growing personally/professionally and having positive relationships. Blame keeps you stuck in your ‘rightness’ which is the opposite of what EI is based on.
4. Practice Empathy
Along the same lines of not blaming, being emotionally intelligent means being empathetic towards others and trying to see where they are coming from; this helps you to take any adverse situations personally. It can diffuse anger which then you can regulate your emotions and work towards a mutual agreement.
It’s important to differentiate between sympathy and empathy: with sympathy, you feel sorry for the person and want to take away their pain or help them; with empathy, you work to understand their situation but offer support as they help themselves. You can’t change someone but you can influence that change, and empathy is the way; if the other person feels understood, they are more willing to act towards the request asked of them.
5. . Check Your Attitude
You can increase your emotional intelligence and make your workplace more enjoyable if you check your attitude. If you go to work with a sour mood, or always see everyone else as wrong, you are the one that will ultimately lose out. Your attitude is a matter of perspective, and your perspective matters. If you try telling the story from someone else’s eyes, you’ll be able to start seeing different ways that you can change your plan and increase your emotional intelligence at work.
If you find yourself unhappy with your current job, which can include the job tasks, the environment, or people you work with, you may need to work on honing your emotional intelligence. Utilize these simple ways for putting your EI to work for you and start enjoying all the opportunities that begin to present themselves.
Mindset coach for leaders and teams to manager stress and increase performance that leads to productivity and engagement. If you’re ready to increase your emotional intelligence, reach out to get started.