How emotionally intelligent are you at work? Your EQ, or emotional intelligence quotient, influences how well you get on with your colleagues, boss, and clients. A good EQ oils the wheels of communication. It makes gaining new business simple because doing so involves dealing with people. It also makes difficult conversations, like asking for a raise, less of a challenge.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence involves being aware of feelings. When your EQ is strong, you recognize how emotions influence business transactions and communication. As a result, you take charge of your reactions and ensure they work in your favor. You also take others’ emotions into account when evaluating situations and responding to them.
For instance, you know not to consider the negative behavior of people at the office a personal slight. If your boss is snappy, you realize his or her demeanor has nothing to do with you. As you don’t take things to heart, you stay calm and manage well. You don’t get wrapped up worrying about what you’ve done to deserve the wrath of others.
A good intelligence quotient also helps you read clients’ emotional signals indicating their mental states. You understand when they aren’t happy, and their needs aren’t being met, even when they don’t tell you. You recognize whether they are satisfied or require greater attention and can appease them when necessary to create positive outcomes.
You can change your intelligence quotient
Your EQ isn’t fixed, so you can increase your skills. To do so, you must enhance self-awareness and recognize emotional triggers. It helps to know how to read subtle body language like micro-expressions too.
Small physical gestures show people’s moods. They tell you if you’re on the right track when you give a presentation and help you gain empathy. You can step into the shoes of your boss, clients, or colleagues and read them like a book.
How to increase your EQ
Emotions are triggered by events. Some events are common, such as when people hear bad news. Other triggers stem from beliefs and personal experiences. For instance, if you had judgmental parents, criticism will push your alarm buttons.
When your boss says you’ve made a mistake or a colleague suggests a different way of doing things, you may be defensive. No good will come from allowing anger to flare. When you know criticism is a trigger, though, you can pause and take deep breaths before you respond.
Identify emotional triggers
Identify your triggers by looking at patterns of behavior. Do certain events make you anxious? Consider past confrontations and see whether they have anything in common. For example, you might always get upset if colleagues use your stationary without asking. Or, you might feel anxious if you aren’t included in every social event outside the office. Recognize emotional triggers, and you will respond favorably rather than lose control.
Recognize the emotional states of others
You can understand people’s emotions by decoding their body language. No doubt, you recognize their demeanor to an extent by looking at how they stand, sit, or walk. However, if you read their facial movements, you will learn more about them.
When people are relaxed and happy, their facial features are loose. They don’t strain, tightening the skin around their eyes and mouth. Additionally, they don’t raise their head, stretch their nostrils, or give a wry smile as they narrow their eyes. These expressions tell the emotionally intelligent observer others aren’t happy.
If you want to increase your emotional acumen, scrutinize people in different moods. Watch how their faces change when they are content as opposed to when they are unhappy. You’ll find their expressions are subtle but give a great deal away about how they feel.
Note anxious or excited people breathe high up in their chests. Those who are composed and calm breathe low down, and their voices are low too. Happy people give eye contact, and the skin at the sides of their eyes creases when they smile. Individuals interested in what you say don’t have furrowed brows or look away.
Practice observing facial expressions. Notice how breathing, skin color, voice, and eyes alter as an individual’s moods change. You’ll learn how to read people you meet at work. Once you understand them, you can take their feelings into account when you interact. The result will be excellent communication, better business, and good relationships.