The only constant in today’s workplace is changing, and often it happens quickly before employees and management can mentally prepare. After a workplace decision has been made, staff members are sometimes left to make it work and then can feel disillusioned and confused, particularly when change is imposed. Emotional intelligence helps leaders manage people and themselves during a change.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the intelligent use of emotions. Emotional intelligence underpins our capacity to work well with others, manage stress and make effective decisions. It has been known that workers with high emotional intelligence are better able to work in teams, adjust to change and be flexible. No matter how qualified a person is, if they do not have emotional qualities, they are unlikely to succeed. As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities may become increasingly important.

Emotional intelligence at work

Emotional intelligence at work is about how people and relationships function, whether that be relationships between colleagues (directors and staff) or between the company and its customers (suppliers, competitors, networking contacts, etc.). It’s all about leadership, teamwork, management skills and partnership. An emotional intelligent business, manager or staff member has been known to consistently excel in all these areas and has insight into how this happens.

In certain workplace environments, employees with high levels of emotional intelligence may be better able to cooperate with others, manage work-related stress, solve conflicts within workplace relationships, and learn from previous interpersonal mistakes. Employees or leaders with low emotional intelligence are most likely to criticise other people when they make mistakes, refuse to accept personal responsibility for errors, always play the role of the victim, refuse to accept critical feedback, are passive aggressive, refuse to integrate with the team and are rarely open to others’ opinions.

How emotional intelligence can help with changes in the workplace

Businesses today are forces to implement sweeping changes in an effort to grow, survive and keep up with the changes times. Fear of losing your job or getting transferred to an unfamiliar position can trigger increased tension, uncertainty, anger and other forms of stress to employees.

Most recently, East West Insurance Brokers have implemented changes to team structure in order to grow and succeed. Moving forward with these changes all came down to emotional intelligence in the workplace. They were able to recognise the emotions that drive thinking and behaviour and use that understanding to generate positive outcomes and mood. Any fears or concerns they had from the changes was converted into opportunity and framed these challenges constructively.

Emotional Intelligence helps people connect and communicate effectively, make decisions, and manage stress, pressure and conflict in the workplace. It enables people to introduce confidence and belonging to other employees, engage and influence across boundaries, and respond with sensitivity and understanding even when challenged.

5 Emotionally intelligent things to consider when meeting someone

If people tend to not find you likeable, nobody will feel motivated to reach and work with you. In a recent blog post by Fast Company, they list 5 straightforward things the most emotionally intelligent people do not cement their likability from the get-go:

  1. Show genuine enthusiasm for meeting
    Especially in business contexts, some people’s demeanours while meeting others are tense and serious. Although this may feel like the right way to approach the situation, it’s not always the most emotionally intelligent way to go about things.
  2. Offer a compliment
    Emotionally intelligent people tend to be great listeners right from the moment they make acquaintances. When meeting someone for the first time, treat that as a way to find out as much as you can about them and if you can notice something about that person that you can compliment them on, do it right away. If not, ask questions that can lead to the information you can later compliment them on.
  3. Ask at least 2 open-ended questions
    Aim for two open-ended questions when striking up a chat with somebody you’ve just met, like: “How did you get into that?” or “What do you like most about it?”. Asking yes or no questions can lead a conversation to quickly die.
  4. Find something you share
    In order to make someone feel like they’re getting your full attention, you need to make sure you focus on them exclusively in conversation. But you also need to find some common ground between the both of you. Finding little cues are easy to catch early on in a conversation, and they can make for good opportunities to quickly find similar interests, beliefs, and ideas to talk about in those crucial few minutes while you’re forming first impressions.
  5. Say their name before you leave, and commit key facts to memory
    Everyone loves the sound of their name. Say it when you first meet them, sprinkle it throughout the conversation and make sure you say it after your conversation.

These five tips and tricks will help you become more likeable when making a first impression, whether it be in the workplace or not. It will help you stand out in their memory and make them look forward to connecting with you again.

While there are many benefits of having high intelligence, many managers, supervisors, and other employees – particular those roles where making interpersonal relationships are key – have become aware that workplace success may also depend on their ability to have the invaluable personality trait of emotional intelligence.

If you have any questions regarding your insurance or risk management, contact the team at East West Insurance Brokers today on 1800 809 132 or hello@ewib.com.au

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