Employing Your EQ in the Workplace

By: Png Han Yong

They say that Intelligence Quotient (IQ) gets you hired but Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) can get you fired.

This simple statement reflects the growing importance of EQ in the modern workplace. These days, companies make it a point to groom their employees through developmental courses that aim to sharpen their “soft skills”, which can range from effective communication and public speaking to personal mastery.

Put simply, EQ refers to the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. And unlike IQ, which doesn’t change much as we age, our EQ can continually evolve as we progress and learn from our experiences.

Here are some tips on how you can properly harness EQ to survive and thrive in your workplace:

Build a strong network
EQ is the foundation for effective communication. After all, it is only when you are self-aware and conscious of others that you can connect with the people around you.

Interpersonal skills such as empathising with others, offering to help whenever possible, and listening to the concerns of team members all stem from having a high EQ. In addition, it will help you bond with your co-workers and establish healthy work relationships with them.

Furthermore, these relationships not only make the work environment more enjoyable but can also become a business network that you can tap on throughout your career, even once you’ve moved on to greener pastures. These contacts might be valuable in the future, for “who you know” is just as important as “what you know” in determining your long-term career success.

Maintain a positive work attitude
We all face criticism in our work, be it from our bosses or fellow co-workers. And then there are days when going to work seems more mundane than usual, or you’re simply trying to recover from a bad night’s sleep. Being a Negative Nancy at work is only going to hamper your productivity, and it will also adversely affect your colleagues. To keep emotions in check, focus on how it’s within your power to improve yourself and your work.

Changing your perspective and staying optimistic will help you push through the day even in the face of looming deadlines and unpleasant colleagues.

Be an exemplary leader
If you’re in a managerial position at work, EQ is definitely a useful tool when it comes to managing your team. Through keen observation, you’ll be able to sense the type of training opportunities each individual needs in order to develop their strengths. This will in turn allow you to identify and nurture talent who will be of help to you and the company in the long run.

And when the going gets tough, a high EQ helps you to better sense the interests and needs of your team members, as well as play an active role in addressing them. Showing that you have the interests and welfare of your team members at heart serves as a good morale boost, which will motivate them to work harder.

How else can you employ EQ at the workplace? Share with us in the comment box below!

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