Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, regulate, and understand emotions. In the workplace this can be a very valuable skill to master, not only for yourself, but to help improve your relationships and interactions with others.

Here are 10 tips for how can you foster emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness – the understanding of how your emotions are influenced by your surroundings. The ability to identify triggers that could influence your emotions and reactions to various situations, you can recognize how you can improve your emotional behavior and response to high stress or emotionally charged scenarios by:
    • Identifying personal values and principles
    • Defining your purpose and motivations
    • Journaling
    • Completing a self-awareness or personality assessments that can help you understand your behavioral tendencies. DiSC is a great resource to help you understand your behaviors such as typical tendencies and reactions for what your behavioral fears may be, motivations, weaknesses, and stresses. You can use DiSC to translate into your personal and professional experiences.
  2. Self-management – the ability to regulate and control one’s emotions. Being able to remain calm when upset or provoked is a valuable skill.
  3. Mindfulness – the state of being conscious or aware of something. In this case, being consciously aware of your emotions and even potentially aware of the emotions of others can help you recognize and navigate various interactions.
  4. Empathy – put yourself in the shoes of another. You truly can’t understand what someone is going through until you are willing to share feelings and experiences with another person. Empathy allows individuals to express compassion, mercy, and a lack of judgment.
  5. Active listening – people want to be heard, but more importantly, they want to be truly understood. Listen to hear what another has to say. Give your undivided attention, avoid interrupting, provide feedback, and be respectful.
  6. Be adaptable – life rarely goes according to plan. Part of regulating emotions is being able to adjust when the unexpected happens. Emotions of frustration, annoyance, and anger are human and very real and necessary. It’s the display we show and actions we take despite feeling these emotions that can make a difference.
  7. Improve social skills – part of being a member in the workplace means that you will need to know how to interact with others in the office. Knowing how to effectively collaborate, communicate, and understand group dynamics can help with the efficiency, productivity, and proficiency of the office.
  8. Openly receive criticism and feedback – part of being a working professional means that you will need to offer and receive feedback. Let go of your ego. Part of emotional intelligence is knowing when and what to say in various situations. A 1:1 interview with a supervisor would be a more appropriate setting to be candid and critical of another colleague than berating or calling undue attention to another individual in a group meeting.
  9. Conflict resolution – we each have different points of view, experiences, and opinions. There will be times when we will clash with another person.  But being able to communicate clearly and calmly will go farther than an explosive contentious debate. Emotional intelligence is being aware of your feelings and emotions just as much as you should be aware of the feelings and emotions of others. When misunderstandings happen, ask for clarification, remember to listen and be respectful.
  10. Reflection – allow yourself to reflect on the day and your interactions. How could you have handled a situation differently? Were you in the wrong? Do you need to admit fault, apologize, or correct your error? If you have bad habits, you can take the time to recognize where you can improve.

Emotional intelligence is an important and valued skill in the workplace. Those with high emotional intelligence can help improve company culture as relationships can be built with more empathy, effective communication, and respect. If you feel that you and your team could benefit from discovering how your personalities and behaviors can improve, our DiSC coordinators can help.