5 Steps to Incorporate Emotional Intelligence at Work
Emotional intelligence is paramount in making good decisions and in providing effective solutions to the problems we encounter. This is especially true in work environments where it is expected we express our emotions in carefully controlled ways. Our biggest mistakes could be a result of being too emotional.
As an employee, there will come a time you will have to explain yourself and your ideas to your boss who has zero tolerance for engaging in dialogues or explaining their motives. And as a boss, it’s absolutely necessary to add emotional intelligence to your managerial skills. You’ll have to combine intelligence, emotions, logic and passion if you are to present a sudden major problem to your staff and still expect them to retain their composure in times of crisis. Playing with your staff’s fears e.g. getting them fired, does not always work. As a leader, how you feel will always reflect on your team because emotions are contagious.
How do we go about integrating emotional intelligence in decision making? Peter Salovey and John Mayer in their book: Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence suggest a five steps approach Emotional Blueprint which might help.
Step 1: Identify the situation
This step involves fully describing the situation at hand and everything in between including the time, the place and everyone involved.
Step 2: Identify the emotions
Read the people involved and identify how they feel about the present situation. Are they petrified, happy, excited, confused, angry, furious e.t.c? You could read their emotions by observing their body language, the tone of their voice and asking questions. Accuracy in reading their emotions is important. You’ll have to trust yourself in this.
Step 3: Use their emotions
This step involves making decisions or providing solutions based on the emotions you have identified. If it was fear, can you provide an effective solution which gives them courage? Use their feelings to direct their thinking.
Step 4: Understand their emotions
Put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic. Try to understand what could make them feel the way they do and predict the future. Now that you have solved this emotional situation, what is going to happen next?
Step 5: Manage the emotions
Emotions provide a lot of data on what is happening around us. When your employee or manager storms into the office furiously, it could be as a result of something which happened at home or on his/her way to work. Be open and make the most out of the emotions to make informed decisions.
To keep your team motivated, the above steps are necessary. Emotional intelligence and productivity go hand in hand. You’ll have to identify the drop in morale of your team and when they no longer feel they are a part of your organization or project. Mastering emotional intelligence will help you meet the deeper, unspoken needs of your staff.
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