“Emotional intelligence” has been a bit of a buzzword in the workforce lately – but rightfully so! Being able to understand and manage your emotions, along with being able to recognize others’ emotions is a critical part of workplace success (particularly if you’re in a leadership role). 

But as with all skills, emotional intelligence has to be practiced. No one’s perfect! To sharpen your EQ (or emotional quotient) skills, check out these four tips:

1. Be observant – of your emotions and others’

You likely feel a range of emotions throughout the day – motivation, pride, frustration, stress, etc. But it’s important to take some time to reflect on those emotions and consider why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. And even if you can’t pinpoint the why, just being able to identify that you’re feeling something will help in terms of how you behave and react to certain situations throughout the day. 

Same thing goes for those around you. You may be hyper-aware of your emotions, but are you tuned into how others might be feeling? Does someone seem stressed? Upset? Those emotions need to be addressed, because just as you want to be happy, you want others to be happy as well. 

Note: Many people, particularly in the workplace, won’t always be transparent about how they’re feeling. That said, it’s key to pay attention to body language and non-verbal communication cues. 

2. Pause before doing (or saying) anything

When you’re upset and/or you notice someone else is upset, before doing or saying anything, pause. The last thing you want is to do or say something that you’ll regret (and that can often happen when emotions are at an all-time high). 

Pause. Take a few breaths. Do a little reflecting. And most importantly…

3. Don’t jump to conclusions

Often, jumping to conclusions can make a situation worse. You assume certain things and that just escalates what you’re already feeling. You become more frustrated or more disappointed. Or, if you notice the emotion in someone else, you start to assume the worst. You think maybe you did something wrong or that they’re unhappy with their job. 

…But that doesn’t benefit anyone. 

Whether you’re the one feeling the emotion or you recognize it in someone else, always wait to discuss the situation before assuming anything.

4. Know your triggers

Things will always happen in life that will cause you to feel not-so-pleasant emotions. But if you can identify what triggers those emotions, you can better manage them. For example, if you know checking your email in the evening will stress you out (and cause you to go into work stressed), commit to not checking your email past a certain time (and let your coworkers know that if something is urgent, a phone call is preferred.) 

That way, you don’t miss anything important, but you also don’t have to undergo unnecessary stress in the evenings. 

Emotions play a huge role in the workplace. Though we’ll all go through ebbs and flows of both positive and negative emotions, the better we can recognize and manage those, the more successful we’ll ALL be. 

Now it’s important to ensure you and those around you are happy (at least for the most part), but it’s especially important to make sure your new staff members are happy. You want to retain top talent, so being mindful of their emotions (and non-verbal communication cues, in particular) is KEY. 

For tips on getting your new staff members up and running and ensuring they’re happy and comfortable, check out our free guide below!