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Emotional Intelligence - By Dr. Maxwell

People are not robots, they have feelings and emotions but they sometimes don't know how to express those feelings, or they simply choose to try to conceal how they really feel because they fear how others may react, or they are embarrassed to acknowledge that they are human.

Consider that most employees spend more time with colleagues and coworkers than they spend with their own spouse. Emotional intelligence is crucial for a functional working environment. I have heard people say "don't take your personal issues to work" and "leave work issues at the office." That is good advise and it sounds great! But is it realistic? Most human beings do not live their lives in such a rigidly compartmentalized way.

Emotional intelligence (EIQ) is defined in the dictionary as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. But, this is easier said than done. However, don't despair--coaching can help.

There will always be some issues that impact us no matter where we are. Whether we are at work, at home, on the playground, or at the mall, it is difficult for a person to pretend that all is well when in reality they're experiencing something painful like a divorce or the loss of a loved one, or something joyful like a wedding engagement or purchasing your first home.

Some individuals take pride in "telling it like it is." Others may feel like they are being disingenuous if they don't tell the "unvarnished truth" as they see it. Still, others may be in the very presence of a colleague or a subordinate who is hurting, upset, or distressed, and not have a clue that their colleague is nearing a breaking point. Such oversight can cause managers to react in a way that causes emotional injury and leads to a toxic work environment. Those are examples of attitudes that reflect a lack of emotional intelligence.

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned.

Emotional intelligence is the art and science of listening to what others don't say and reacting or responding appropriately while exercising critical thinking. It is the ability to manage our emotional reactions to sensory stimuli.

Here are some tips for developing EIQ

  • Value people above processes, protocols, and deadlines

  • Complete an EIQ assessment so that you'll have a benchmark to start from

  • Listen with your five senses so that you don't miss clues

  • Don't jump to conclusions, instead, ask questions to gain clarity

  • Practice critical thinking

  • If you err, do so on the side of empathy and compassion

  • After practicing these steps for about 3 months, retake the EIQ assessment and compare your scores


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