In both your personal life and your professional life, emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of your success.
This is particularly true for certain professions, such as Health and Safety Managers or those with HSE responsibilities – as implementing safety programmes within companies relies on an advanced people handling skillset.
In the current climate workplace mental health is also of top of focus for many companies, and it is now recognized that the management of psychological threats to employees is as important as the management of physical threats to them – both of which come under the domain of the HSE Department or designated safety representative.
But supporting those with mental health issues can take it’s toll on ourselves and we must understand our own limits and how to also support ourselves. For this reason any good mental health awareness campaign should be split into 1 parts; mental health for employees and mental health for managers/those supporting employees.
As I discussed in my previous Blogs I wrote on tackling workplace bullying and stress and anxiety at work; emotional intelligence is an essential part of empathy, a higher attainment of which is most useful in understanding why people are working in a particular manner or feeling a particular way. Enabling us to implement effective changes to existing practices, action safety campaigns and improve the safety culture within a company.
So what is emotional intelligence, where did it come from, do you have it and why is it so very important? It is not a subject that we are taught although it can be learnt.
Below we’ll explore how you can find your own current level of emotional intelligence and gain important insights and skills into the subject that can be implemented into both your personal and professional life.
Let’s Start with the What ?
In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is how well a person identifies and manages their own emotions and how they react to the emotions of others.
Understanding how your emotions shape and drive your thoughts and actions enables you to have greater control over your own behaviour.
Managing your emotions better enables stress relief, effective communication and the ability to overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Becoming more conscious of our emotions allows us to grow and gain a deeper understanding of who we are, enabling us to communicate better with others and build stronger relationships.
What does Emotional Intelligence Look Like ?
Some of the key characteristics of emotional intelligence which serve as signs to measure your current levels are:
- Self Awareness: How well can you see yourself clearly and objectively through self reflection ? Identify and acknowledge your emotions and behaviour ? Understand your strengths and weaknesses ?
- Ability to Manage Emotional Responses: Do you possess the ability to turn intention into action and make informed decisions that best serve you ?
- Ability to Maintain Healthy Relationships: Do you know how to develop and maintain productive and functional relationships ? Communicate clearly ? Inspire and influence others ? Manage and work well in a team ? Manage conflict ?
- Social Awareness/Empathy: Do you understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people ? Pick up on their emotional cues ? Recognize the dynamics in a group of people ?
How Does Emotional Intelligence Affect your Working Life ?
High emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others and excel in your career. Many companies now employ psychological testing to rate high emotional intelligence, then factor it into their hiring decisions.
- Communication Skills: Increased awareness of emotional responses impacts the way in which you communicate verbally and non-verbally. This awareness will make you better equipped to moderate how you respond in a variety of business situations. For example, if you recognize a tendency to speak faster when anxious during a presentation, you’ll become more able to moderate this. Or perhaps you may learn that you scowl subconsciously when a certain topic is raised by colleagues
- Leadership Abilities: Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as an essential component of a successful leader. A leader who lacks emotional intelligence cannot accurately assess the needs, desires, and expectations of employees
- Mental Health:Unmoderated emotions or stress can impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand, get comfortable with, or manage your emotions, you may also struggle to form strong relationships with colleagues
- Relationships:By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships at work with colleagues
- Social Intelligence:Being in tune with your emotions connects you to other people including colleagues, managers and people you may manage. It also enables you to measure another person’s interest and engagement in your health and safety messaging and programmes
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