While workers trickle back to the office on the break of the delta variant wave, emotions are running high. As leaders within our organizations, how can we effectively tap into our own emotional intelligence to guide our workforces through this transition? Not surprisingly, it starts from within.
October is Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month and despite EI being a buzzword in HR and leadership circles, there has never been a better time to focus on building an emotionally resilient workforce as we creep toward the two-year mark of this global pandemic.
The term “emotional intelligence” was coined by two psychologists, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, and refers to the ability to identify one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same. So how can you hone your own emotional intelligence?
A positive attitude goes far. Optimism is contagious! Start each day reflecting on what you love about your job or repeat some affirmations if that is your thing. Smile and say hello to everyone you pass in the office, even if they are in a hurry to get to their next meeting. Positivity begets positivity.
Listen generously. It is not going to be a productive conversation if you’re thinking about the errands you need to run during your lunch hour. Clear your mind and focus to let others know you are invested in what they have to say.
Relieve workplace stress throughout your day. Eye strain from looking at your computer for hours is sure to make anyone grumpy. Give yourself frequent breaks, either taking a walk outside for some much-needed Vitamin D or taking the time for a guided meditation or a stretch.
Remember that emotions are fleeting. Negative emotions are a part of life, so don’t reprimand yourself when they bubble up. Allow yourself to feel the emotion, and don’t make rash decisions in the midst of it, like firing off an email to a co-worker that you will later regret.
Read and respond to others’ emotions. Being attuned to your own emotions will help you become more aware of what others are experiencing. Pick up on cues and interact in a way that makes them feel understood and appreciated.
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: How to Use EQ to Build Strong Relationships and Thrive in Your Career by Mark Craemer
Emotional Intelligence: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Your Emotions, How to Improve Your EQ and and Your Relationships by Ryan James
Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader by Christopher D. Connors
Emotional Intelligence Activities & Exercises: https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-intelligence-exercises/