The term EQ may seem overused but remains necessary in the modern workplace. Emotional intelligence is linked to increased productivity levels and greater chance of success. Simply put, it is just as important as its logical counterpart -- IQ.
Unlike the genetically-influenced IQ, EQ can be developed over time. If you feel like you have been stagnating in your career, working on your emotional quotient could be the key to getting that promotion you have been hankering after.
Here are some of the key tips to boost up your EQ skills:
1. Active listening
This term goes further than intently paying attention to the speaker. Usually, people don’t remember most of what their colleagues or lecturers have been saying, because they are too busy mentally formulating a response to their words. There might be other distractions like background noise or chatter from other conversations which may prevent you from gleaning the most from their words.
If you genuinely have difficulty keeping track of the conversation, use a recording app so you can refer to their words in the future. Also, use your body to fully respond to the other person - this includes appropriate eye contact as well as nodding and smiling in agreement or when necessary.
2. Giving intelligent feedback
You may find yourself in a situation where you have to give feedback to an intern, junior, or even a colleague. While most people have no trouble praising others, they stumble when it comes to providing negative comments in a smart way. Negative feedback can be awkward and stressful for both parties involved.
Instead of trying to sugarcoat the situation by throwing in praise, get straight to the point. Don’t mix both positive and negative feedback, as the person will be fixated on the criticism, completely ignoring the praise. However, be objective when pointing to the other person’s shortcomings. If you are nervous about jumping right in, ask the other person how they feel about the situation, as they might already have recognised their own shortcomings.
3. Have an acute sense of self
To develop self-awareness one needs time to observe and reflect. Ingrained perceptions of your intelligence and capabilities will cloud your ability to zoom in on yourself, thus affecting the way you portray yourself in public. By getting in touch with your innermost thoughts and emotions, you will be able to understand and manage your behaviours and expectations better.
Keep track of the way you react to situations, and ask yourself how you could have handled that differently. Acknowledge your unique strengths and weaknesses, so you can identify concrete goals for self-improvement.
4. Inner motivation
An attractive compensation package, workplace benefits, and other material perks have limited appeal, and can only go so far in motivating you to perform your best. The rest must come from within.
Find your burning desire to produce quality work and achieve extraordinary results. Be patient, as it takes a while to build intrinsic motivation. Start off by setting small yet measurable goals for yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be bogged down by mistakes. Learn from them and move onto the next challenge as quickly as possible.