Any work environment can become a source of constant stress, a negative feeling that needs to be managed. For this reason, the concept of emotional intelligence has been heard more and more in the workplace for some time now.
Developing this skill makes it easier to have the necessary resources to react to adversity in a calm manner and without letting negative emotions take over. However, it is not as simple as it seems, hence the search for effective solutions.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for understanding and managing our own emotions and those of others effectively. It refers to the ability to recognise, understand and manage feelings intelligently, rather than being driven by them. To achieve this, it is necessary to use a combination of self-awareness, self-control, empathy and social skills.
Emotional intelligence, when developed, helps us to analyse what we feel more deeply, allowing us to understand what is behind our emotions. This involves being connected to emotions and being able to express them appropriately. One way to achieve this is through self-control to avoid impulsive reactions provoked by fear or sadness, to give two examples.
In addition, we should not forget the role of empathy, because it is useful to understand the emotions of others. It allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, to perceive their feelings and to act appropriately. Thanks to it, we can lay a solid foundation for establishing and maintaining healthy and satisfying relationships over time.
Why is it so important at work?
The importance of emotional intelligence is justified for several reasons. Firstly, work involves interacting with colleagues, superiors, customers and suppliers, which requires effective communication skills and developing healthy interpersonal relationships. Knowing how to react calmly to an eventuality reduces the risk of initiating conflict.
It also plays a key role in leadership. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to motivate, inspire and guide their colleagues effectively. This is because they understand the concerns and needs of their employees in detail. With this information, they foster a climate of trust that enhances teamwork, among other benefits, especially when it comes to establishing inclusive and diverse leadership.
Along with the above, it is essential to manage stress and pressure in the work environment. Emotional self-management skills allow us to remain calm in difficult situations, control anxiety and make rational decisions. Acting in this way has its advantages, as it contributes to better performance, increased productivity and better problem-solving skills.
It is even closely related to emotional resilience, which is the ability to cope with and recover from adversity. In the workplace, where changes and demands are constant, you have to know how to adapt and move on. It is a process of self-improvement that helps people to become stronger and more versatile.
Examples of emotional intelligence in the workplace
To understand the concept, it is useful to know some examples of emotional intelligence at work. Conflict management is greatly affected by the aforementioned skill, as an employee who has developed it will be effective in resolving different situations. During an argument, instead of reacting compulsively or aggressively, he or she will remain calm and look for a constructive way out.
Another example is inspirational leadership, which is based on understanding the needs and motivations of a team. By understanding how others feel, it is easier to recognise achievements when they occur, friction between people is reduced and a climate of collaboration is fostered. Each member feels integrated and useful.
In addition, emotional intelligence makes it possible to provide better customer service. When a user expresses his or her concerns, it is less difficult for the employee to put him or herself in his or her place and offer the right solution. In addition, support is provided so that concerns are reduced and it helps to improve the reputation of companies.
Benefits for employees and the company
Both employees and companies benefit equally from emotional intelligence. For a start, the former enjoy greater well-being through a deeper understanding of themselves. They also enjoy healthy social relationships due to their ability to resolve conflicts. In addition, they can make use of their skills in the workplace and in the private sphere.
As for companies, they achieve an increase in the productivity and performance of their workforces, due to an improved work climate. There is even better leadership in the different layers of the structure, which further enhances the results.
When we know what emotional intelligence is and develop it, we become more resilient. It gives us the possibility to enjoy a healthier and more cooperative social life with less serious conflicts. Thus, we are better able to face major challenges with a positive attitude.