Talking Points
October 2021

It’s Time to Leverage Your Emotions

Our emotions are an integral part of our workday lives. We can use them to our advantage, or to our detriment. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to know our emotions, control them, and express them in a way that improves interpersonal relationships. Here’s a quick look at 11 things we can do to raise our emotional intelligence.

Lead with small talk
Before asking coworkers for help, chat them up. Ask about their day or their family. It shows you’re interested in them and they’ll be more receptive to your requests.

Say “thank you”
These could be the two most underutilized words in the workplace. Thank coworkers in person. When you can’t, send an email or better yet, a handwritten note. A little appreciation goes a long way.

Keep an open mind
Don’t be quick to dismiss anything. By asking others for ideas, listening to them and considering their merits, you make coworkers feel involved and important.

Assess your weaknesses
It isn’t always easy to identify our own weaknesses. But we all have them. By taking an objective look at the way we react to stressful situations, we can respond better the next time around.

Offer specific, sincere praise
People know insincere praise or flattery when they hear it. But if your words of appreciation are focused and you mean them, coworkers will be motivated to give you their best.

Use constructive criticism
There are times when negative feedback is necessary. Just keep it balanced and don’t make it personal. Focus your comments on how others can improve themselves.

Let your passion show
The best way to persuade others is to express your enthusiasm and conviction. Whether the idea you’re communicating is yours or someone else’s, show that you’re 100% behind it.

Keep your anger in check
Everyone gets angry. It’s a natural part of life. It can even be useful. But when you lose control, bad things are bound to follow. Learn to control your anger when it’s not productive and harness it when it is.

Be willing to apologize
Even the best of us make mistakes. It’s inevitable. However, when we apologize for those mistakes, people tend to trust us more.

Take a moment to pause
Pausing, even for just a few seconds, can influence the way we react. Whether it’s during an upsetting moment or a contemplative one, pausing results in a more measured and productive response.

Think first
Every action is preceded by a thought. But it’s easy to give into our emotions. We can prevent that by focusing on our thoughts about the situation instead of the way we feel about it.

Our emotions are a big part of what makes life worth living. We shouldn’t dismiss them. Instead, we should learn more about them and use our emotional intelligence in our favor.

Based on 11 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Communicate Better Than the Rest of Us by Justin Bariso.

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