I invited Sara Fletcher to write a guest post on emotional intelligence for us; an interesting and very relevant topic for corporate communicators with the needs of many stakeholders to balance.
Over to you Sara…
How can Corporate Communicators Improve their Emotional Intelligence?
In any workplace scenario, communication is an essential component to ensure smooth workflow. And in corporations, where members number in the hundreds and thousands, clear communication is a must in every situation. It’s likely that not every single individual will be blessed with a clear grasp of their emotions needed to convey their thoughts.
Luckily, there are a number of ways in which corporate communicators can improve their skills to benefit the workplace. One of these skills is emotional intelligence, which has become an increasingly important factor both small businesses and corporations alike.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as EQ, is defined as the ability to identify, understand and manage the emotions of both oneself and others. There are two main categories that make up emotional intelligence, personal and social competence. While personal competence handles how the individual manages his or her inner thoughts and drives, social competence deals more with how the individual is able to connect with others. Within these two components are traits that further enhance emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
In general, individuals with a high emotional intelligence are better able to perceive emotions, navigate social networks and build longer-lasting relationships. A combination of these skills can help the individual overcome a variety of challenges, ranging from workplace productivity to miscommunication issues.
How to Improve Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a vital skill for any individual in a corporate situation, ranging from the average employee to the C-level executive. However, you don’t need a visit to a professional in order to enhance your EQ level. The following are just a few tips that can help you improve your emotional intelligence:
- Stay Aware of your Emotions:
Oftentimes, a lack of emotional intelligence is tied to the inability to understand our own emotions and feelings. Instead of dismissing them, try to stay aware of emotions as they arise to a particular situation. Assess how your emotions rise and fall, and what effect they have on your overall demeanor. Another practice is to find the connection between emotions and when they arose in the past. Doing so can help you understand your emotional state and better prepare you for future scenarios in the corporate environment.
- Listen to Everything:
Listening is an important component of displaying your emotional intelligence; however, this doesn’t apply simply to conversations and those around you. Instead, try to listen to cues on a deeper level. How does your body respond to certain situations, and what feelings do they correspond to? For example, nervous feeling in your stomach can be an indicator of stress or discomfort, while a tense jaw can show suppressed individual. By staying aware of both your bodily cues and that of others, you can better understand how to effectively direct communications.
- Test your Perceptive Abilities:
Emotional intelligence is not just about the personal; it also has a role in how the individual handles interactions with others. In a corporate scenario, it’s vital that the individual has a firm grasp on his or her ability to communicate with others. In any conversation, try to get a feel for the other’s emotional state and demeanor. Keep an eye out for body language, voice, and candor, and how it ties into their statements and reactions. By taking the time to observe the other individual, you can work towards developing your own emotional intelligence.
Sara Fletcher is an avid blogger with an interest in recruitment, who writes on everything from emotional intelligence to how to search for jobs in Toronto. She has written on a variety of blogs and websites, and currently writes for Jobs.ca.