Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability of an individual to be aware of, to control, and to express their own emotions in a social or work environment. Emotional intelligence includes the ability to discriminate among emotions and to use this information to guide your thinking and actions. It also involves recognising, and responding appropriately to, others’ emotions.
If you act in an emotionally intelligent way, you are able to manage your interpersonal relationships in a highly effective and empathetic way. It is important that you have an understanding of the principles of emotional intelligence, and its application to social and work contexts.
There are a bunch of strategies to develop and use emotional intelligence such as identifying your own strengths, weaknesses, stressors and emotional states; developing awareness of your emotional triggers, to control your responses; assessing the emotional cues, and responding to emotional states of others; and many more.
Have you ever come across somebody that just misses social cues? They don’t pick up on the nuances or subtle gestures that may take place in a conversation or meeting and as a result they misinterpret important information; they miss opportunities, or potential threats that could have been avoided? On the other hand, they may be misinterpreted by others because they seem disinterested or respond in an unusual way because they have simply been oblivious to the social cues around them. This can be a liability to a business.
A key skill is to become aware of emotional cues such as facial expressions, body language and vocal tones. People that are in tune with emotional cues like this are better equipped to engage with co-workers, interact with clients and negotiate with suppliers. But to be emotionally effective, you also need to get in tune with your own emotional state and learn how to manage it.
Emotional Intelligence in the workplace
In using emotional intelligence, it is important that you model workplace behaviour that demonstrates your management of emotions. Essentially, this means that, at work, you act in a way which shows to others that you have a good degree of control over your emotions.
Taking time for self-reflection and accepting feedback are both imperative if you wish to improve the development of your own emotional intelligence. It is important to recognise that navigating your own emotionscan be a complex task. Workplaces too can be complex places, and being aware of and managing your emotions and modelling appropriate behaviour are ongoing processes.
This is a key topic within the Diploma of Wellness Leadership Program because as a leader, when you unleash your own emotional intelligence, you are in a much better position to encouraging a positive emotional climate in your workplace. When you are emotionally effective you are more able to encourage others to self-manage their emotions, and develop emotional intelligence to build productive relationships and maximise workplace outcomes. A positive culture, a vital key to a well workplace, is a much better breeding ground for sustainable business success.
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