How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Workplace Success

Emotional intelligence is the ability to know your own emotions as well as those of other people, evaluate them and manage them. Emotional intelligence rests in various personal characteristics like perseverance, self-control and interpersonal skills that enable you to get along with others.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

In the workplace, principles of emotional intelligence can help employees navigate workplace conditions, work together with others, and generally perform better. The following characteristics represent the five pillars of emotional intelligence, which some hiring teams have begun to interview for and companies have begun to encourage in their current employees.

Self-awareness involves understanding your strengths and weaknesses as well as the impact your actions have on other people. Self-aware people are often able to accept constructive criticism better than others.

Self-regulation is the ability to express emotions appropriately, without revealing too much or repressing too much. Restraint and self-control characterize this trait and help employees have positive interactions with others.

Motivation is another trait those with emotional intelligence possess. Instead of being motivated by external rewards or threats of punishment, an inner ambition and sense of right and wrong motivate those who are highly emotionally intelligent.

Empathy means being able to identify with the feelings of others and understand human nature. Empathy is evident in those who care about the feelings of others and try to help them when they are going through hard times.

People skills include the ability to meet the needs of others when interacting and build trust and rapport. Those with emotional intelligence avoid power struggles and backstabbing, and they usually enjoy being with other people.

Why Emotional Intelligence is Important in the Workplace

According to the Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence will be a top job skill by 2020. Some employers are beginning to use assessments during the hiring process to measure the emotional intelligence of candidates. Emotionally intelligent candidates are attractive to employers because they handle the normal stresses of the job in healthier ways, and they often make better decisions than those with lower emotional intelligence.

Cooperation and teamwork have taken on the utmost importance in many workplaces—teams that can’t work well together are a drag on the organization and negatively impact the bottom line with lowered productivity and poor decision-making. Emotionally intelligent employees also react better to constructive feedback and are better listeners.

Emotionally intelligent workers are resilient; they can make adjustments when things don’t work out the way they expect. They can overcome irritations and people generally respect them and seek to emulate them. In time, emotionally intelligent people can often pass their traits and skills on to others, which can benefit the entire organization.

While some say that emotionally intelligent people are born with those personality traits, others say emotional intelligence can be learned like other skills. Either way, employers are going to be actively looking for signs of emotional intelligence in candidates for some time to come.

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How to Learn Something New Everyday

Human beings are always learning from our environments and life experiences, but having some intentionality about what we are learning can greatly improve the quality of what we learn and its benefits for our lives. It is possible to learn something new that is of value every day. Here are some ways to make that happen.

New Environments Lead to Learning

Seeking out a new environment or situation can lead to valuable opportunities to learn something new. Even something as simple as visiting someone you’ve never visited before or shopping at a different store can teach you things you didn’t know before and lead to growth. There are plenty of ways to experience a new environment, too, so you are unlikely to run out of these opportunities any time soon.

Breaking routine helps you experience something different, and you notice more about what’s all around you than you do when you are going to the same places and doing the same things. Intentionally getting out of your comfort zone teaches you things that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to learn.

Travel to A New Destination

The ultimate new environment comes by traveling to a new place that you’ve never been before. Even a day trip to a new place can teach you many new things about that place, its history, and the things that make it special. Travel can also teach you about different cultures and ways of doing things, which can be incredibly useful in our multicultural world.

Be Around Other Learners

Making friends with others who pursue and enjoy learning will stimulate and encourage your own learning. You can be around other learners by joining a group or club aligned with an existing or new interest, or even just by hanging out in a place where people learn, like a library or museum. You can also volunteer at a school or other community where learning takes place and get the benefits of the environment while helping others.

Teach What You Know

The process of teaching something to someone else—even if you know it very well—always leads to more learning for the teacher. Everyone has some kind of skill that they can teach to others: it could be making your favorite recipe, writing a story, or doing your taxes. You can teach someone informally, one-on-one, or in a classroom. All of these ways of teaching will help you learn your topic more deeply, which will, in turn, make you an even better teacher.

Take a Course

Whether you set out to earn a degree or just want to extend your learning with continuing education courses, a classroom situation is sure to teach you something new each time you attend. Continuing education courses are available on many different topics from hobbies to people skills to job-related courses that could earn you a promotion or advanced certification.

CCSU offers many continuing education courses in both professional and enrichment topics that can help you learn something new every day. View open courses to see what is available and coming up shortly.