Improve Your Emotional Intelligence At Work With These Four Tips
Struggling to cope with work-related stress? These four methods will help you deal with it better
What are the skills people consider essential to achieve success in the professional world? Hard work, determination, quick thinking, decision making and being a team player are some of the skills that usually make it to the top of most peoples' lists. However, studies suggest there's one quality that might not be getting the importance it deserves. According to a study published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour in August 2017, people with high emotional intelligence have been found more likely to earn higher wages.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence essentially refers to one's ability to understand and effectively express one's own feelings while understanding and navigating others' feelings as well. "We don't enter the job market with just our heads: working with others is entirely social. We need to engage our mind and body in these interactions to succeed at work," writes Aarti Ramaswami, co-author of the study, in an article published in The Guardian in October 2017.
Luckily for us, emotional intelligence keeps growing and evolving with time, and there are steps we can take to boost our levels of emotional intelligence. Here are some science-backed tips you can follow.
Take A Deep Breath
In the middle of hectic workdays and towering workloads, it might be useful to take a few minutes and meditate, suggests a study published recently in The Permanente Journal. The study found that those who meditated more regularly scored higher on total emotional quotient and had lower perceived stress, while also showing improved general mood, stress management, adaptability, and intrapersonal awareness.
"This study demonstrates the benefits of meditation in the workplace," said co-author Laurent Valosek, Executive Director, Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education — a US-based non-profit organisation.
Cool It Down
The AC in your office could be your best ally in improving your emotional intelligence, suggests a study conducted by researchers at the University of Canterbury in 2013. When you're stressed out, you're more likely to be short-tempered and irritable, which causes you to lose control over your own feelings and be more insensitive toward others' feelings as well. The answer could be as simple as reducing the temperature, as the researchers found that people in cooler surroundings feel less stressed than those in a warm environment.
"Most obviously, cooling could help to reduce stress in performance-orientated high-stress situations like the spatial intelligence task in the present study. Students sitting exams, air traffic controllers at busy airports, and neurosurgeons operating to measure brain temperature directly might all benefit from cooling beforehand. This could be as simple as installing fans or air conditioning units aimed at head height in these workplaces. The improved task performance of cooled participants in our study suggests that cooling may also have additional benefits in these situations," said the authors of the study.
If meditation isn't your preferred stress-busting method, don't worry—exercise can prove just as effective. While the beneficial effects of regular exercise on physical health and fitness are well documented, a study entitled "Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety' published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in April 2013 revealed that it can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing as well.
"Physical activity positively impacts a number of biological, as well as psychological, mechanisms. The role of exercise in the enhancement of neurogenesis in humans has drawn significant attention in recent years and its implications for anxiety disorders are an exciting area of investigation," write the researchers