This industry is filled with a lot of initialisms, particularly in this high-tech age: AI, VR, IoT, BEO, CMP, CAE. But what do you know about EQ (Emotional Quotient)? It’s the emotional equivalent of the more ubiquitous IQ — and perhaps equally as important when it comes to success at work. According to a new study conducted by staffing firm OfficeTeam, nearly all HR managers (95 percent) and workers (99 percent) surveyed reported that they think it’s important for employees to have the ability to recognize, control, and appropriately express their emotions in the office. In other words, having a high EQ is a valuable on-the-job skill.
Five Ways to Grow Your EQ
Developing a high EQ is about noticing and admitting when you let your emotions get the best of you in the workplace and then working to correct your response. How can you do that? These five tactics are a good place to start.
1. Be aware of your emotions. This is the first step. How do you typically react in stressful workplace situations? How do you handle office disagreements? Once you have a sense of which emotions you most frequently feel, you can start to get a better perception of how you actually come across to your colleagues.
2. Keep your emotions in check. The best advice for building a strong EQ? Think before you react, each and every time. According to the survey, more than 60 percent of employees said that they’ve let their emotions get the best of them in the office. Keeping control of your emotions might be difficult at times, but try to react calmly and professionally in stressful situations. Sometimes this means stepping away from the situation for a few minutes to regain your composure or simply taking a few deep breaths before continuing. Whatever your preferred method, keeping your emotions in check is key to increasing your EQ in the eyes of your co-workers and managers.
3. Keep yourself motivated. It might sound simple, but a motivated employee is a positive employee. According to the study, 43 percent of HR managers said that the greatest benefit of having employees with a high EQ is increased office morale. Positivity is contagious in the office, so do things that put you in a good mood before you come to work. This can be taking an exercise class, enjoying a good cup of coffee, or chatting with your best friend on the way to the office. Practicing self-care is an important way to bring a positive attitude to the office.
4. Work on your listening skills. Another sign of someone with a high EQ? They actually listen when people are talking to them. In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, taking the time to really listen can be difficult. But to be an emotionally intelligent professional, you need to understand the viewpoints and motivations of people around you. And there’s no better way to do that than by taking the time to give them your full attention and hear what they have to say.
5. Strengthen your social skills. Above all, EQ is about perception, so do what you can to be a positive and polite employee. Greet people with a smile. Show an interest in the lives of your colleagues. Be proactive about resolving problems or conflicts. It’s the small, everyday things that will really add to your EQ in the long run, so don’t overlook them.
Now that you know how to maximize your EQ, find how you can use your emotional intelligence to build better business relationships.