Emotional Intelligence ( EQ) at Work
Good work relationships are the product of people who are able to stay calm and focused, connect to others in ways that attract and inspire, accurately read others, skilfully employ humour, and successfully resolve conflict.

“As much as 80% of adult ‘success’ comes from EQ.”  – Daniel Goleman

Today, we may find it harder than ever to cope with challenges. Stress is on the rise – with more to do and less resources to do it, we all feel the added pressure. Good social and emotional intelligence – provide the resilience and avoid becoming overwhelmed by these mounting challenges. We are able to perform under pressure, motivate others, and creatively solve problems.

What is EQ?
EQ is the ability of understanding and using our emotions in a positive and constructive manner. It’s about engaging others in ways that brings out the best in them whilst building strong relationships. EQ is also about understanding our own emotional state, the emotional states of others and having clear influential communication.

EQ consists of four fundamental capabilities:
• Self-awareness —to understand our emotions and our decisions.
• Self-management – to control our emotions and adapt to changing circumstances.
• Social awareness — to sense, understand and respond to the emotions of others.
• Relationship management — to inspire, influence, connect and manage conflict.

Most of us have learned not to trust our emotions. We’ve been told our emotions distort the more “accurate” information our intellect supplies. Even the term “emotional” has come to mean weak, out of control, and even childish. However, intellectual intelligence (IQ) in reality is usually less important in determining how successful we are than EQ. People who may be academically brilliant but are socially inept are unsuccessful. What EQ give us is the ability to communicate deeply and effectively because 95% to 98% of what we communicate is nonverbal and emotionally driven.
Nurturing our EQ

EQ is a set of personal and interpersonal skills that can be learned in early childhood. Our primary caregiver, usually our mother, creates the first relationship is known as ‘the attachment bond’ and is instrumental to our mental, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.

This first relationship creates a template for our emotional behaviours that we automatically rely on throughout life. This behaviour is learned, but the brain remains able to change this, as we can continue to acquire the skills of EQ even in our adult lives.

However we cannot learn EQ the way we learn a new language. EQ is learned through emotionally–driven, nonverbal means. That’s why a child who cannot speak can get it. As adults, we need to employ similar nonverbal and emotional strategies, in addition to traditional verbal learning.

4 Relationship Strategies :-
1: Reduce stress
Our ability to think is impaired when stress hits our nervous system. Stress triggers automatic “fight-or-flight” responses that make us feel like running or fighting. Directive Communication Psychology calls this our reptilian response, our survival instinct. When this happens, rational thinking and decision making goes out the window.

The best way is through the senses: through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each person responds differently to sensory input, so we need to find what is soothing to us. For some, certain kinds of music, to another fragrance or it can be as simple as a picture of our loved one! Ask ourselves what soothes us and create that around our desk or office.

2: Connect to your emotions
Any of us who have experienced early-life traumas such as loss, abuse, or isolation – have been displaced emotionally. We can distort, deny, and numb the emotions, but we cannot eliminate them. They are still there, whether we are conscious of them or not.
Unfortunately, without emotional awareness, we are unable to fully understand our own motivations and needs, or to communicate effectively with others. In order to be emotionally healthy we must reconnect to our core emotions.

3: Improve nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is emotionally-driven communication that answers the questions: “Are you listening?” and “Do you understand and care?” Answers to these questions are expressed in the way we talk, listen, look, move, and react. Our nonverbal messages will either produce a sense of interest, trust, excitement, and desire for connection – or they will generate fear, confusion, distrust, and disinterest. Studies tell us 55 to 93 % of all communication is non-verbal communication!

4: Use humour to deal with challenges
Humour and play lighten our burdens and help us to keep things in perspective. A good hearty laugh reduces stress, elevates mood, and improves brain functioning. When you laugh together communication is more relaxed, better and memorable.

• Laughter and play: enable us to overcome annoyances, hard times, and setbacks.
• Humour: helps us say things that might be difficult without creating misunderstanding.
• Creativity: free ourselves of rigid thinking allowing us to see things in new ways.

5: Resolve conflict positively
Conflict in work relationships can be a ‘bummer’! and a serious blow to teamwork and camaraderie. Two people cannot possibly always have the same needs, opinions and expectations. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen the trust between people. When conflict isn’t perceived as threatening or punishing, it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.

• Stay focused in the present. Holding on to old hurts and resentments does not help.
• Choose your arguments. Consider what is worth arguing about. Agree to disagree.
• Forgive. Remember that conflict resolution involves burying the past. Starting anew.

There is a world of difference between knowing how you want to react and actually responding that way. When stressed and under pressure you find yourself on autopilot. The brain becomes overwhelmed and limits your actions to running, fighting, or freezing. If you want to respond differently under pressure, the learning process must engage EQ where we learn to respond using sensory experience – that is what is seen, heard, and felt.

“People, may forget what you did or say, they will never, never, NEVER forget, how you made them feel! “                  - Leslie Choudhury

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