Written by: Virin Gomber, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Any workplace has people working together who bring in different backgrounds, traits, skill-sets, experience levels, and emotional paradigms. Considering this, everyone would have their own set of behaviours and approaches to situations and tasks, and also that everyone must be well understood in order to build empowering interpersonal relationships.
Now, as a leading business owner, you must learn how to manage these relationships to prevent crises and conflicts in the work environment. This is where it becomes critical to understand the fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence.
The true meaning of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to positively understand, use, and manage one's emotions as well as understand and influence others’ emotions in order to reduce stress, communicate properly, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
This powerful skill assists you in developing stronger relationships and achieving professional and personal goals. It empowers you to achieve this by helping you connect with your feelings, translate intention into action, and make informed decisions about what is most important to you.
Four characteristics are commonly used to define emotional intelligence:
This characteristic allows you to know your emotions and how they influence your thoughts and actions. You are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and are self-assured.
Self-management is all about knowing how to control your impulsive feelings and behaviours, manage your emotions healthily, take the initiative, keep commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
This means that you are sensitive to others’ emotions. You can understand their emotions, needs, and concerns, pick up on emotional cues, feel at ease socially, and recognize power dynamics in a group or organization.
Finally, once you know how to understand other's emotions, you understand how to build and maintain positive relationships, communicate effectively, inspire and influence others, collaborate effectively, and manage conflict.
How Emotional Intelligence affects your professional success
Recognizing how you feel and how others feel would significantly impact how you communicate with others, as much as it affects your happiness, well-being and overall professional success.
You can communicate your thoughts clearly and confidently if you are aware of your emotions and have self-control. As a result, you will become more assertive and confident without coming across as pushy or aggressive.
Also, high levels of emotional intelligence affect your health and well-being positively.
For example, if you can't manage your emotions, you probably can't control your stress. This can lead to serious health problems. Unmanaged stress raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, contributes to infertility, and hastens to age. All these things can be avoided by understanding how to manage your emotions and stress.
Having a high EQ assists you in developing strong interpersonal relationships, reducing professional stress, defusing conflict, and increasing work satisfaction. Finally, having a high EQ solidifies the potential to improve productivity.
On the other hand, a lack of emotional intelligence can bring down any organization.
When it comes to innovation and following new ideas, leaders with low emotional intelligence are stubborn and rigid. They are not good listeners and can typically hold firm beliefs about how specific projects should be handled. As a result, they set a bad example for the rest of the team, resulting in a toxic work environment. Similarly, leaders who do not build communication opportunities into their schedules, such as one-on-one or monthly meetings, will eventually lose motivation, productivity, and team cohesion.
In this day and age, leaders need to remember that high salaries are no longer enough to keep employees interested and engaged in their jobs. Employees seek purpose, fulfillment, and meaning in their careers, especially in an era of mass resignations.
If they don't find satisfaction and keep getting misunderstood and pressured by their leaders in the organization, they get tired and eventually resign. All these factors would cause a significant decline in the organization's growth, which would gradually lead to the failure of the business if not timely addressed.
The need for business leaders to level up EQ
A high-performing, trusting, and caring culture emerges when employees feel valued, supported, and acknowledged by their managers. Emotionally intelligent leaders recognize the impact of even the smallest rude and harsh comments on their team members. They understand where to draw the line and how to strike a balance. When leaders are unfair and apathetic to their employees, it creates a work environment fraught with tension and conflict.
Leaders who show empathy and kindness to their employees help increase team productivity, creativity and decision-making. Because emotionally intelligent managers understand how to deal with adversity, they are more likely to maintain humility even in difficult conversations. Understanding what is essential to the team results in a more desirable environment for retaining current employees and attracting new ones.
To create an attractive and likable work environment, leaders must create a psychologically safe space in which employees are encouraged to raise work-related and non-work-related concerns confidently.
Leaders with a robust emotional vocabulary prioritize creating strong human bonds at work. Instead of constantly micro-managing their teams, these leaders encourage their peers to ask questions and have open discussions to solve problems.
Emotionally intelligent leaders must acknowledge each individual's contributions, assign them more collaborative projects, celebrate wins collectively, and invest time to get to know each other outside of work to ensure employees feel included. These elements prepare employees for an organization's long and successful career.
Benefits of Mindfulness to boost Emotional Intelligence
Helps increase Self-Awareness Mindfulness is essential for understanding oneself, one's thoughts and feelings, and what is crucial to oneself. It can aid in developing self-awareness, the first component of emotional intelligence and the foundation for generating all other emotional intelligence skills.
Proper management of your emotions As you become more present, you can understand your emotional triggers, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as life motivations. With that understanding, you will be able to live a more meaningful life focused on what is most important and fulfilling.
Better relationship management By better understanding yourself through mindfulness practice, you can also start understanding other people's feelings, allowing you to empathize with them. Paying attention to their body language and facial expressions to help you better understand how they're feeling. Your relationships deepen your bonds as you improve your ability to connect with others through empathy.
Improved communication Mindfulness keeps you communicating in a way, so your emotions do not take over. You can reconnect with your prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us make rational decisions for more productive communication with others.
5 Simple Ways to Boost Emotional Intelligence
1. Recognize and tune into your own emotions One of the first, and possibly most important, steps is to become more self-aware or to learn to tune into your own emotions. Why? You must first be aware of your emotions to and manage them. One of the ways to become more self-aware include ‒ observing your feelings by acknowledging, examining, and evaluating your triggers and activation points. This is a Mindfulness practice that’s an excellent way to become more self-aware and monitor your emotions. You can better understand and become aware of the feelings of others, too, if you are aware of your own. 2. Seek to comprehend the perspectives of others Once you've assessed your emotions, try to understand and empathize with others. This is especially important in organizations or groups where ideas flow and are exchanged. To do so, pay close attention, put yourself in the other person's shoes, and try to imagine what they are thinking and feeling and how they came to their conclusions. You will not only have a broader perspective, but you will also be stretching your perspective.
3. Strive for effective communication Effective communication necessitates both verbal and nonverbal abilities. Understanding emotions, as well as the intentions behind the information exchanged, is essential for effective communication. It is a mutual ‘back and forth' that includes conveying a message intended and ensuring that it is received consciously. 4. Build connections with others Learning to connect with others is an integral part of developing Emotional Intelligence, no matter how shy or introverted you believe you are. Even if you are nervous, you can start by listening, showing interest, and making others feel at ease. It is sometimes easier for shy, introverted people to do so than for gregarious, extroverts who prefer to speak first. Showing that you care and are interested in others goes a long way in building valuable connections for both types.
5. Exercise emotional control Once you are aware of your own emotions and those of others, you must understand how to keep them balanced and in check. Among the ways to practice emotional management are:
Stop to process and comprehend what's happening
Divert your attention until you are more composed ‒ such as going for a walk, exercising, playing with a pet, or deep breathing.
Re-frame the experience, i.e., explore a new broader way of looking at the issue.
Get your superpower
Building your emotional intelligence is crucial if you are looking to become a better leader. It fosters good interpersonal relationships with people around you. It’s a life skill that helps you not only learn to be aware of your own emotions but also of others. Being emotionally intelligent gives you the superpower to think about your response before taking any action – it’s becoming more ‘responsive’ than ‘reactive.’ As a result, you’ll be easily able to create a more productive, high-performing, and sustainably progressive work environment.
Virin Gomber, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Virin Gomber is a leading Mindfulness Success Coach, Speaker, and Author.
Following a successful corporate career that left him with stress and burnout, he learned, created, and mastered highly effective Mindfulness strategies to boost his balance and personal performance. Since then, he has integrated Quantum Physics, Neuroscience, and Positive Psychology principles to craft a unique blend for his Mindfulness success system.
Dedicated to helping people become top achievers, the core of his work is with entrepreneurs, CEOs, professionals, and driven individuals to support them to achieve peak performance, balance and happiness.
He offers more than a decade of Success Coaching, corporate training, and 25+ years of Mindfulness experience.
Virin has co-authored an Amazon bestseller, “The Missing Piece in Self Love,” appeared on TV shows, and contributed to numerous global online magazines.
His ‘WHY’: To empower people to create accomplished personal skills to achieve next-level success and happiness.
The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Workplace Behaviour: A Study of Bank Employees https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0972150917713903
Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ) https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm