Why the 3 E’s of emotional intelligence are must haves in your culture
Published by: LifeWorks,
Production stalled because one of your vendors sent you the wrong materials. Instead of panicking, your production manager reached out to the vendor immediately and submitted a request for an overnight delivery of the correct materials.
An important aspect of employee well-being is emotional intelligence (EI). In this situation, your production manager showed a high level of EI, embracing the challenge he faced and solving a problem with quick decision making.
On the other hand, he may have experienced a great deal of stress and irritation that would lead to overly emotional outbursts. Not only does this hurt his health, but it’s just simply unproductive
You play an active role in empowering your employees to develop their EI and, in turn, improve overall employee well-being. When your staff can control their emotions, everybody wins.
Here’s what you need to know about EI in the workplace and how to teach it:
What is EI?
Before you can even start helping employees develop EI, you need to understand what it is. Perhaps it’s best to start by defining what it is not.
It is not some unattainable power only Buddhist monks have. It’s also not a denial of our human emotions. We aren’t robots, after all.
To possess a high level of EI means you’re able to, first of all, understand what emotions you experience. For example, when you feel frustration come, you are aware of it.
Oh. This is frustration I’m feeling.
High-EI people can also identify emotions in others. They can sense when someone is feeling misunderstood or excited.
When an emotion arises with you, you then know how to manage it for your benefit.
OK so frustration is here, but if I act out impulsively on it, I will have to deal with consequences of that outburst. I’m going to accept frustration as it is, just an emotion. Then, I can take action.
Essentially, EI consists of the following skills — the E’s of emotional intelligence:
- Emotional awareness
- Emotional regulation
With a team of empathetic, aware employees, you’re bound to see a positive impact on employee well-being and your workplace culture.
How EI impacts your day-to-day
So what does an emotionally intelligent workplace look like?
It consists of employees who are able to build a strong rapport and develop meaningful relationships, while also managing negativity and focusing on taking action and moving forward.
Let’s say you’re hosting a meeting, but everyone is running late. Instead of acting on your anger, sending nasty text messages or yelling down the halls, you collect yourself and reflect on what is productive.
So you stay calm and send friendly reminders as you wait. When they finally arrive, you express how you value punctuality and when people are late, it makes you feel like they don’t respect your time. Then, you emphasize the importance of being on time in future meetings before jumping into the discussion at hand.
This is a productive, respectful work environment. A more toxic situation would have ended with you yelling at your tardy colleagues and making wild accusations. This kind of behavior is what adds to turnover and kills positivity.
However, by staying calm and simply giving employees feedback, you are showing them respect while effectively getting your point across.
How to empower employees
Now more than ever before, you play a big role in improving employee well-being and building a positive culture. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by educating employees on how to build EI skills.
The topic might feel too abstract for some, so start with the basics. Host an EI 101 seminar. Deliver a presentation that shows them what EI skills are and how to apply them in the day-to-day.
To engage them during the presentation, start a role-playing exercise that demonstrates proper emotional awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation. It puts them in a safe environment where they can put new habits and skills into action.
Part of your awareness strategy should also promote relevant EAP services that can help them develop these skills, like professional mental health options.
When you bring your staff together and teach them important life skills, you’re actively involving them in one of the most important tasks for any business — building a positive, respectful workplace culture.