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Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Almost every decision we make each day is based on our emotions. Our emotions are all to do with our perception of a certain situation. We have all had different experiences, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses and it’s these that shape how we perceive things.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, express and manage own emotions and the emotions of others. It is also the ability to control emotions and apply them to everyday tasks. A person with high emotional intelligence is said to be ideal in a leadership position.

With a better understanding of our emotions, we can communicate our feelings in a more positive manner. We can also understand and relate to our colleagues, which can lead to better working relationships.

In order to better understand emotional intelligence, we first need to understand the four basic emotions:

Happy – we get the things we are looking for

Sad  - loss

Angry – unjust – not fair

Scared – if we have a perception that something might happen which we don’t want to happen.

So what triggers these? Well, each individual will have different triggers. Think about what makes you mad (e.g. irritated, frustrated or stressed) for example. It could be closed mindedness, not taking responsibility or dishonesty.

If we understand what our triggers are, we can manage our reaction when these situations arise. Understanding your feelings and reactions will help you to intentionally choose how you react in any given situation.

Write down the things that make you angry, then consider what may have triggered them. Also consider how you feel when you are angry. For example, do you feel it in your stomach, or do you tense up, and how do you manage it? Do you become assertive, do you raise your voice or do you become upset? Consider how you can change your reaction.

Understanding our own trigger points is just as important as understanding that there is usually a reason behind certain behaviour. Personality and behaviour are made up of so many different things - upbringing, environmental factors, life experiences, personal circumstances, self-concept and so much more – which is what makes us all so unique. Effective communication will help us to understand what’s behind certain behaviour and only when we understand, can we help meet the needs of our employees.