10 signs you need to improve your emotional intelligence at work
Ush Dhanak is an Australian emotional intelligence and HR Expert who works with start-ups, SMEs and individuals to help them improve their emotional intelligence.
American scholar Warren Bennis, who was recognised as a pioneer of leadership studies, said, “Emotional intelligence, more than any other factor, more than IQ or expertise, accounts for 85 to 90 percent of success at work. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star Emotional intelligence can.”
If you are displaying any of the following 10 signs, you may need to work on your own level of EQ:
- You’re easily stressed and irritated
A strong feature of emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions and recognise when you are feeling them. This enables you to better control emotions and not get overly stressed. If you get easily irritated and lose your temper, without consideration of how this may affect behaviour towards others, you may want to take some steps to raise your emotional awareness, such as meditation and self-reflection.
- You treat people rashly and unfairly
The key to improving this aspect is raising self-awareness of how you react in situations and recognising the emotional triggers so that you can exert more control over them. Becoming more empathetic towards others will also help.
- You are wrapped up in your own world
This is obviously problematical if you are a leader. Listening to and taking an active interest in people is very important and comes from developing empathy: we all have the power to empathise with others. It’s a case of treating others as a priority and placing ourselves in their shoes for a while.
- You are over-confident
Emotionally intelligent people are confident and authoritative because they are comfortable in their own skin – but they do not brag, assume they know it all, or appear over-confident. The latter is often a sign of insecurity and low EQ. Work on this by increasing self-awareness and being honest with yourself: understand your strengths and weaknesses and be better prepared for situations when these will be exposed.
- You fear change
Flexibility comes with the confidence of knowing exactly who you are and what you are capable of; many people fear the thought of change and are more adaptable, in reality, than they suspect. People with EQ embrace change and are ready for whatever is thrown at them.
- You take failure badly
Work on your sense of resilience and you will find that you start to treat failure less as a permanent obstacle and more as a temporary opportunity to improve.
- You get into conflicts easily
Raising your awareness and empathy towards others increases your EQ and actually makes you more thick-skinned; you are better able to read other people’s emotions, more likely to consider their feelings, better able to reach compromises, and less likely to be surprised by others. This will naturally reduce conflict.
- You interrupt and don’t listen
People with high EQ practice their listening skills and body language, ask open questions, avoid distractions and display a genuine interest in the other person. They don’t interrupt and are often able to ‘read’ the emotions behind the words.
- You find fault with others easily
This is because they lack the empathy, listening skills and awareness to appreciate the positive side of another person; they only see the negatives. People with high emotional intelligence are able to remain positive, avoid unconstructive and negative conversations about others, and surround themselves with other positive people.
- Your relationships break down
Strong relationships need a healthy dose of emotional intelligence. So, unless you work on improving all the elements outlined in the first nine points above, it’s likely that relationship ‘problems’ will be common. Building rapport will be difficult and people may even start avoiding you. Those with high EQ know how to build strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect and understand that, without emotional intelligence, relationships invariably suffer.
To learn more from Ush Dhanak, visit ushdhanak.com.