Get Ahead with Emotional Intelligence: Tips and Strategies for Boosting Your EI.

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Neeru Gupta, Published on Mar 23rd, 2023
Yugma Mentor - HR and Organizational Behavior

Get Ahead with Emotional Intelligence: Tips and Strategies for Boosting Your EI.

Imagine yourself working on a team project with your colleagues. Sonal, your team member is struggling with personal issues and seems withdrawn and uncommunicative. She has missed deadlines multiple times and her quality of work is slipping too. No wonder, her teammates are getting frustrated and starting to resent her for not pulling her weight.

This scenario clearly portrays the role of Emotional Intelligence (EI) whilst working within teams. Firstly, it requires empathy to understand what Sonal may be going through and to recognize that her performance and behaviour may be a reflection of personal challenges rather than a lack of commitment or effort. Secondly, it requires self-awareness to manage your own emotions and avoid reacting negatively to Sonal's behaviour or allowing it to impact your own work. Thirdly, it requires relationship-building skills to communicate effectively with Sonal, build mutual trust and support her in finding workable solutions to her personal issues while also ensuring that the project as well as her performance remains on track.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill that can help individuals navigate their personal and professional lives successfully. Defined as the ability to understand and manage one's emotions, as well as recognize and empathize with the emotions of others, emotional intelligence is essential for building strong relationships, making sound decisions, and achieving success in various areas of life.

In India, graduation students and freshers entering the workforce may have to display their EI while grabbing their first jobs.  EI can be particularly beneficial, as it can help them manage the stress and pressures of transitioning from student life to professional life, build effective relationships with colleagues and clients and develop a strong sense of self-awareness.

An EI driven Solution

A colleague with strong Emotional Intelligence might approach this situation by scheduling a one-on-one meeting with Sonal to check in and offer support. They would approach the conversation with empathy, actively listening to her concerns and being sensitive to her feelings. They would offer help and resources if needed, and work with Sonal to find a solution that works for both her personal challenges and the project requirements. By doing so, they would build a stronger relationship with Sonal, foster teamwork and collaboration and ultimately contribute to the success of the organization, not just the project.

This scenario illustrates how EI is a critical skill in the workplace, enabling individuals to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as recognize and empathize with the emotions of others, build strong relationships and achieve success in various areas of life.

Three Tips to Lift Your EI 

Self-awareness. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. It involves recognizing your emotions and understanding how they influence your thoughts and behaviour. To improve self-awareness, take time to reflect on your emotions regularly. Consider journaling, meditating, or talking to a trusted friend or mentor about your feelings. This can help you gain a better understanding of your emotional triggers and patterns, and learn to manage them more effectively.

Strong Relationships. Building strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and mentors can be incredibly beneficial for your career and personal growth. To improve your relationship-building skills, practice active listening, communicate clearly and effectively, and be open to feedback. Building strong relationships takes time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts.

Develop Resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. It's an essential skill for managing stress and building a successful career. Self-care such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough rest can contribute to improved resilience. Also, cultivating a growth mindset and focusing on learning and growth from challenges can improve resilience and in turn, your EI. 

A Concluding Note

The importance of Emotional Intelligence in both personal and professional aspects of life cannot be undermined. By developing self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation, relationship-building skills and resilience, students as well as freshers can improve their emotional intelligence and navigate the challenges of transitioning into the workforce successfully. With consistent practice and persistence, you can improve this valuable skill and enhance your relationships and personal growth. Developing EI is within everyone's reach!

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