Every employee has separate sets of strengths and weaknesses. Some are diligent and thorough, others are amiable and congenial, while still others are innovative and forward-thinking. There are numerous characteristics one can accentuate to firmly ensconce oneself within the culture of a workplace, one of them being the frank expression emotional intelligence.
According to Mental Health of America, emotional intelligence (EI) “is the ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you.” A less technical term for this aptitude would be empathy. If you possess an elevated level of emotional intelligence, you can project, or recognize, the faculties of another individual’s disposition quite readily. You are capable of processing what they are feeling and suggest novel ways for that person to successfully integrate those emotions into positive channels of forward locomotion.
Like any other social environment, the workplace has a defined culture designed to facilitate positive proximate behavior among its employees. We all have our roles, our assignments, and prescribed set of expectations. While we need individuals who constantly inquire about the rudiments and logistics of a workplace’s culture; we also require stabilizing components to ensure adjustments are only made prudentially, after careful consideration. Individuals with high EQ can accommodate that, as they’re uniquely capable of pacifying co-workers of a higher temperamental volatility. If you feel you have a high EQ, here are 5 ways to productively apply it to the workplace and make yourself a critically important member of your team.
1. Establish Strong Workplace Connections
Let’s posit a peculiarly relatable scenario: A novel virus has been introduced into society-at-large. For the sake of employee safety, your workplace organization has insisted on implementing new health measures correlating around working remotely. It has both positive and effective ramifications.
On the positive end of the spectrum, you are now liberated from coping with your redundant commute to and from work. Moreover, all of the previous office protocols you were forced to adhere to have been effectively dissolved. Why wear a suit and tie when one can now wear sweats and a t-shirt? Why beckon to quotidian office rituals around the water cooler when you are now so thoroughly embroiled in your own household? Why feign interest in a compulsory meeting, when all instrumental correspondence can be transacted through electronic communication? Convenience is tempting and can be temporarily fulfilling.
It can also be an insidious isolative catalyst, however, engendering loneliness and a profusion of ensuing mental health issues. Previously, we had boundaries dividing the spheres of domesticity and work; now both have perhaps irrevocably become blurred. Fructifying interpersonal relationships once established at the office with peers have been jeopardized. The majority of your daily social interactions have been circumscribed and limited to family members, almost exclusively.
Still, with change comes an expansive space for professional opportunity, especially for individuals with emotional intelligence, willing to fill a social vacuum rendered by the vagaries of social necessity. People with high emotional intelligence, even while working from home, can introduce measures oriented around sustaining office morale. If you are a supervisor, schedule meetings with your subordinates to monitor their personal welfare. Feel free to intertwine compulsory discussions regarding performance with authentic inquiries about their personal lives. If they are experiencing a degree of tremulousness or apprehension, refer them to company resources for effective mollification. Individuals with high EQ’s have a concomitant aptitude for social awareness, or the ability to handle relationships with jurisprudence and compassion. That proclivity does not dim behind the fortifications of a computer screen – One can still be an instrument of connection in the workplace in spite of the limiting effects imposed by technology.
2. Practicing Mindfulness
Not only are people with high EQ’s prescient when it comes to assessing the emotions of others, they’re also capable of distilling emotions more effectively within themselves. Perhaps there is a particular policy in the office that generates an ambiguous, unsettling feeling within yourself. Maybe there is a protocol that you can identify acutely as an authentic source of consternation. Those feelings of antipathy can likely be extrapolated to the entire office at large, offering you an avenue to introduce mediating measures to curb wisespread resentment.
High EQ individuals are eminent sources of adaptability. Especially within the sphere of social relations, they can propagate useful adjustments to orient the office space in a more congenial way. Be receptive to feedback, and advocate vigorously for what you feel to be constructive polices and procedures.
3. Leveraging Teamwork Effectively
Video courtesy of YouTube, The Office – Conflict Resolution with Kevin and Angela
Another attribute common among people with high EQ’s is an innate ability to thoroughly consider the perspectives of their colleagues. Being able to effectively function within the context of a group is fundamental to productivity. Work is often too cumbersome to effectively tackle in isolation. Managers require employees for task delegation, to work amiably with one another to accomplish a shared objective promptly.
Group settings offer an ineluctable arena for conflict. Clashing personalities will inevitably clash. People holding to a certain set of dictums, will invariably hold to and vehemently espouse those aforementioned dictums. That’s why offices require mediators, individuals who are capable of softening the countenance of their more obdurate peers.
There is a comical scene from NBC’s “The Office,” entitled “Conflict Resolution.” The HR manager of Dunder Mufflin, the paper company being documented on the show, has heretofore harbored a policy of making a note of employee complaints without attempting to mollify them. He allows employees a ventilation space, where they can safely complain about how irate they are with their colleagues. When Michael, the regional manager of the branch, learns of Toby’s ambivalence about resolving the stack of expressed complaints he has compiled, he fumes. Michael determines that a constructive conflict resolution method would encompass frank confrontation between the complainant and the accused party. Suffice to say, it does not go well, only brewing latent antagonism that need not have been percolated.
High EQ employees can counter such folly, by artfully negotiating the differences and approaches between their peers. In effect, they can help to synthesize two contrasting outlooks into a holistic strategy that propels the team, and thus the entire office, forward. They are valuable contributors toward establishing and continually cultivating a serene office space, where no one feels their perspective is being stultified.
4. Attracting New Clientele
Extending the attraction of high EQ employees further, to domains outside the internal office space, can also be a fructifying pursuit. Outside clients, outside partners, want to invoke business partnerships with people they implicitly trust. The germination of business deals often does not lie exclusively within the domain of rational margins and numbers. That is, of course, important – But not the sole factor in deciding who to do business with.
If you feel as though you do possess a high EQ, assert yourself more frequently during interfaces with your supervisors. Insist that you be made a point-person on a lucrative sale, or partnership. The ability to read people, or entire rooms of people, makes you a potential source of immense value in articulating the precise reasons for why investment in a product or service could be beneficial to an individual client. Business decisions, like personal decisions, are often not made rationally; they are made as a consequence of feeling valued. People conjoined in business endeavors want to, first and foremost, do business with people they can trust.
5. Motivated Movers
Lastly, but not definitively, people with high EQ’s are directed self-motivated workers. They are proactive in pursuing work, and fastidious in ensuring its completion. Industriousness is a quality every employer values, as it is a mimetic behavior that others strive to emulate.
High EQ individuals are thus highly gifted motivators. Not through sheer vocal assertion, but through their example, through the way they actively conduct themselves in frequently tense spaces. Employers want an aspirational attitude permeating their workspace and high EQ individuals are critical in that regard.