Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions and can help you achieve success in your career. But what is it, and why is emotional intelligence in the workplace so important? This article looks at all of the above and explains how emotional intelligence can improve your chances of getting a job. We’ll also set out simple steps to improve your EQ.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as emotional quotient (EQ), is a measure of your ability to understand, use and manage your emotions. Emotionally intelligent people can understand and manage their emotions and express themselves effectively.
People with high levels of emotional intelligence are effective communicators, keep their stress levels in check, overcome challenges, and easily defuse conflict.
How Using Your Emotional Intelligence Can Help You Become Successful at Work
Emotionally intelligent people make excellent managers because they can retain clarity and maintain composure in stressful and chaotic situations. They have a high degree of empathy towards others and can choose their timings and words to have sensitive conversations without upsetting people.
High EQers can put their emotions aside while getting on with the job. This trait makes them excellent salespeople. For example, instead of worrying about how many calls they have to make, they just keep dialling and can maintain focus when facing setbacks or objections.
Emotional intelligence enables marketers to connect with their audience and produce marketing campaigns that resonate with them. It can also help IT professionals focus when writing code for hours on end.
No matter what line of work you are in or your level, emotional intelligence can help you recognise your strengths, be more likely to embrace change, and be aware of your emotions and their effect on those around you. These qualities make you a more amiable colleague and easily manageable employee.
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Future of Work?
Many people worry about AI and the prospect of machines taking their jobs in the future of work. While it’s true that machines may excel in speed and accuracy, the thing they struggle to interpret or replicate is human emotion. Therefore, improving emotional intelligence will likely protect your workplace position and improve your future career prospects. Not only will a higher EI help you stand out above machines, but against other candidates competing for the same jobs.
Three Steps to Improving Your Emotional Intelligence
Some people have a naturally higher emotional quotient than others. However, it is possible to learn, develop and improve EQ skills by taking the following steps:
- Read daily – Reading novels allows us to observe how others react to challenging situations and consider how we might act under the same circumstances. Even though we may never encounter such a scenario, we can still learn from a fictional character’s experience. Making a daily habit of reading quickly builds EI.
- Observe your thoughts and behaviour – consider how you react to other team members, friends, family, or even people you meet on the bus. Note how you feel when exchanging conversation; what emotions do you feel? Can you identify them? How do you think the other person feels? Identifying your feelings is the first step to being better able to control them.
- Journal – You don’t have to spend hours a day writing in a diary, but it helps to ponder challenging events throughout the day. How well do you think you handled stressful situations? What would you change if you could relive the same moment again? You might even ask others for their take on how you dealt with a situation and how they might have responded in the same circumstances. This way, journaling helps you understand the emotional impact of your actions and encourages you to make improvements.
How to Display Emotional Intelligence in a Job Interview
Preparation is key to a successful job interview, but it can also help you demonstrate your EQ. Below are five top tips for coming across as emotionally intelligent in a job interview.
- Actively listen to any questions the interviewers ask you and ensure you understand what they are asking you before responding.
- If any interview questions feel challenging, take a deep breath before you answer instead of rushing to give an awkward response.
- If interviewers ask for an example of how you behaved in a particular instance, give examples that demonstrate your ability to identify negative emotions, but respond to them calmly.
- Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses but explain the steps you take towards self-improvement.
- Asking questions about the company culture and working environment shows you care about how you might fit in and demonstrates social awareness.
A Few Final Thoughts on How Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Job
It’s easy to see why hiring managers prefer to hire emotionally intelligent people if we consider their characteristics. People with high EQ are self-aware, able to manage their emotions, motivated, and have excellent social skills, including empathy for others.
If we imagine what the opposite of that looks like, highly emotional, lacking motivation, unable to get along with others or consider other people’s feelings. Managing a department full of drama lamas would be every manager’s worst nightmare.
Therefore, no matter what kind of job you want to apply for, improving your emotional intelligence will dramatically improve your chances of career success. If you are ready to make your next career move, why not check out our current jobs?