How emotional intelligence improves workplace relationships22 May 2019
Our ability to perform in a role, as well as how much we enjoy our jobs, is affected by our workplace relationships. Maintaining strong ties with our colleagues and clients is important, and I believe it should be a priority within every role.
To this end, developing your emotional intelligence provides you with the skills needed to improve your workplace relationships.
Understanding people’s motivations
Oftentimes, I’ll discover I’ve missed an opportunity to connect with another person simply because I didn’t recognise their motivations behind a conversation or request until too late.
Emotional intelligence, or EI, helps us identify how other people are feeling. This presents the opportunity to better assist our colleagues or provide the support they’re looking for, rather than simply taking their words at face value.
Better communication skills
Communication is a two way street. As well as being able to express yourself well, you need to understand where the other party is coming from. If you have a high emotional intelligence, you’re able to pick up on how others are feeling, even when they aren’t forthcoming with their emotions. Along with this, generally you’ll have better listening skills. Actively hearing what the other party has to say means less miscommunication, and helps develop a rapport with the person you’re talking to.
Additionally, EI helps you see things from other perspectives. This is a powerful tool for communication. Seeing a situation from someone else’s viewpoint allows you to adjust your own actions to better convey your message. For example, when you go to a colleague with a project you need help on, they may just see extra work for them to deal with and be reluctant to provide assistance. By understanding this, you can focus on the opportunity involved for them and get them excited about the project as well.
Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment that you’ve later regretted? Emotions such as anger, stress, frustration and fear can negatively impact our actions and conversations. For example, I know if I’m feeling under pressure, I’m much more likely to snap at my colleagues over minor issues.
Two of the main areas of emotional intelligence is self-awareness and regulation. This means being able to:
- Recognise how you’re feeling.
- Understand the effect your mood has on others.
- Control and monitor your emotions.
- Think before taking any actions.
The more emotional control you possess, the better able you are to prevent your bad moods impacting your relationships with others.
Improved conflict management
Conflict is an unavoidable part of life. In the workplace, it can sour relationships and make work more difficult.
Emotional intelligence gives you the tools you need to recognise where conflict is arising, and helps in defusing situations before they escalate out of control. By recognising how others are feeling you can respond appropriately.
Additionally, being aware of your own reactions to the issue allows you to regulate how you respond so any potential negativity doesn’t show through and make matters worse. EI lets you take a step back from conflict and avoid letting it become personal. This then gives you the opportunity to make better decisions around how to proceed.
Have you considered how you might improve your workplace relationships? To develop your emotional intelligence and benefit from stronger connections with your colleagues, reach out to ICML today. We can provide emotional intelligence training for you and your team throughout the major Australian centres of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.