Do you ever worry about making emotional intelligence mistakes? Maybe you should!
For most people, emotional intelligence is usually something that others lack. According to some experts, very few people ever feel that they desperately need to work on their emotional intelligence. But these will be the same people you hear complaining that their supervisors and colleagues lack emotional intelligence, EI or EQ!
The problem, according to the experts, is that those who have to work the hardest on their emotional intelligence are the least aware of it – typically the top performers on a team. How to tell that you have emotional intelligence issues at your workplace.
Here are some signs that you need to work on your emotional intelligence. See if any of these responses is familiar…
You often feel like others don’t get it, and that makes you impatient and frustrated.
You are surprised when others react sensitively to your comments or jokes and you feel they are exaggerating.
You think the importance of being liked at work is overestimated.
You quickly come up with opinions and claims and defend them firmly.
You have the same high expectations of others as you have of yourself.
You feel that others are to blame for most of the issues that affect your team.
You hate it when others expect you to understand how they feel.
Notice any patterns? Then you should think of fixing your EI as follows.
Ask for feedback…
If you don’t understand a problem, you can’t solve it. Being aware of your own behavior in the here and now is an essential element of emotional intelligence. Do a simple 360-degree feedback session, or just ask a few people for their observations about your behavior. Don’t look for excuses but listen carefully to the feedback, try to understand it, and make it your own.
Beware of the gap between intention and impact.
People with a weak emotional intelligence often underestimate the negative impact of their words and actions on others. What you mean to say is often different from what people hear you say. So think about the impact your words will have on others before you say them, and whether you want it that way.
Here are some examples…
You say: “Ultimately, everything revolves around getting the job done.”
Others hear you say: “I’m only interested in results. If you have trouble with that: bad luck.”
You say: “If I can understand it, anyone can understand it.”
Others hear you say: “You’re not smart enough to understand this.”
You say: “I don’t see what the problem actually is.”
Others hear you say: “I don’t really care how you feel.”
Press the pause button.
Emotional Intelligence means that you make choices about how you react to situations instead of reacting on autopilot. Take a break to listen to yourself – and to listen to others. You show others that you have understood them (even if you may not agree with them).
See it from both sides.
Empathy, an important element of EI, means that you can put yourself in the shoes of the other. But your own feelings are equally important. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and stay firm in your own shoes.
Source: Extracted from an article in the Harvard Business Review