Increase your EQ to boost your happiness at work

01 Aug Increase your EQ to boost your happiness at work

You’ve heard of EQ, or emotional intelligence (EI), but might have often wondered – how does this help you?

For many employers, emotional intelligence is seen as a highly valuable candidate asset. Indeed, the latest World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report found that EI came in at No. 6 on the list of top job skills employers will require in 2020 (1).

What is EI?

So, what exactly is emotional intelligence, or EI? According to the Institute of Health and Human Potential (2), it is defined as the ability to:

  • Recognise, understand and manage one’s own emotions
  • Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others

EI is linked to enhanced performance in the workplace, as well as increased happiness at work.

How do people with EI show up exactly?

Someone with EI will show up as present, authentic, tuned in to others needs, empathetic but also self-aware and resilient. People with high EI are more resilient and productive, because they can ‘bounce back’ after difficult situations with a customer or colleague at work.

So, how can EI lead to being happier in the workplace?

The presence of emotional intelligence allows for a positive workplace culture that impacts an individuals’ wellbeing at all levels. Having awareness of how your emotions impact your behaviour and learning to manage your emotions to avoid reacting in a way you might later regret, contributes to better relationships at work, and in life.

People with EI are generally more engaged in the work they do, excel in roles that rely on interacting with others, such as customer service, sales or leadership and develop and maintain better internal relationships. Equipped with EI, people are better at managing conflict and coping with stress.

Can I improve my EI?

Unlike our level of IQ which we’re born with and doesn’t really change over a lifetime, we can increase our EI by understanding the role of emotions, in the way we behave and others behave towards us.

We can then learn a range of techniques to manage our emotions, and better empathise with how those we interact with feel. By doing so, you contribute to a more engaged, less stressful and more fulfilling work life.

There are many things individuals can do to enhance their level of happiness with EI, like actively improving self-awareness, self-regulation, emotional expression and self-control.