Emotional intelligence at work

We need emotional intelligence (EQ) most where we're least likely to find it: at work. The workplace remains the last bastion of IQ worship because many people still believe that getting personal interferes with productivity.
Henriette Lamprecht
At work, you don’t have the ties of love to motivate you to get along with others as you do at home. You don’t have the benefit of a shared history to help you understand what moves those around you. That makes it all the more important that you have a way to tune in to what those you work with need right here, right now. You already have that facility – it’s active awareness and the empathy that flows from it. Using those elements of your EQ can help achieve success and solve problems on the job. Office politics, morale problems, and lack of cooperation don’t have to ruin your work life if you can read and respond to people’s feelings.

Remember that we all share the same emotions

Many organizations are crippled by people dedicating more time to protecting themselves from real and imagined threats, than to working. When fear rules, productive hours are lost in attempts to keep the upper hand, dodge the boss’ wrath, or compete for position. The undeniable fact that some people have more power than others in any organization does not have to overwhelm you with fear, as long as you remember that we all share the same emotions.

When you remember that we are all peers on an emotional level, it becomes easier to approach the boss, to ask an employee to give a little more, or to understand that a coworker’s irritability is nothing personal. Emotions are great levelers among people; use them to tie you together rather than rend you apart.

We all need to feel valued and needed

How long do you think you’d last in a job where you didn’t feel valued by those around you? No matter the job, when we interact with people who make us feel valued and cared for, we feel good about ourselves and are inspired to work harder, longer, and more creatively. And when we make others feel valued and cared for, we get the kind of support we need to do our jobs well. Whether you’re dealing with an employer, an employee, or a coworker, showing appreciation will go a long way.

Nurture teamwork, cooperation, and empathy

Psychologists have known for years that people working together are more efficient and productive than the same number of individuals working separately. Empathy encourages us all to work cooperatively.

If you’re an employee...

Employees can prevent a toxic “every person for themselves” atmosphere from forming by extending empathetic offers to help, staying alert for opportunities to yield when an issue is more important to someone else than to themselves, and simply showing interest in one another’s work and lives. Avoid gossip and cliques. Both create tension and mistrust, lower morale, and reduce productivity.

If you’re the boss...

Make it worthwhile for your staff to rely on and assist each other. Offer bonuses or other incentives for group rather than individual achievements. Set up a mentor program matching new employees with those with the greatest seniority. Use your incisive emotional powers to offset one person’s weaknesses with another’s strengths, and soon they’ll all be pulling one another up to new heights.

Trust your intuitive feelings

Our feelings come to us before our thoughts, yet we’ve learned to distrust our intuition in the workplace. As many smart investors, marketers, and designers will attest, stock market killings, media blitzes, and new product development often depend on hunches. There isn’t always time for methodical gathering of data. Nor is there always a need. Your hunches, after all, are the product of instantaneously gathered and sorted emotional information that tells you what matters most to you in any situation, what might be wrong based on your previous experiences, and when something is not what it seems to be.

Heeding them is not taking as crazy of a risk as the IQ minions would have you believe. It’s often the smartest, most responsible move you can make. You may get a lot of opposition, but stand firm and follow your hunches. Without them you lose the ability to switch gears, grab opportunities, and respond to emergencies. Source: helpguide.com


Ways to work smarter

• Use your body to sharpen your mind.

• Invite feelings, not just thoughts.

• Establish emotional boundaries.

• Make no decision based on data alone.

Did you know?


The fact that some people have more power than others does not have to overwhelm you with fear, as long as you remember that we all share the same emotions.

Health tip

Begin any negative comment with a positive one.

Health precaution tip

Speak out when you feel something is important.


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-03-28

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