The emotionally intelligent way to engage employees

Workplaces can be full of emotions. Building emotional intelligence for you and your employees can pay off in greater productivity and profits.

By Emily Wilson

Emotional intelligence is an increasingly popular skill to have. Even in the professional world business owners are recognizing the importance of employee engagement. And it is not just a trend. Emotional intelligence continues its steady increase in importance among peers and individuals in a constantly evolving and shifting workplace.

Teams and individuals do require engaging and fulfilling work. Having that provided to them, we can count on true engagement. Simply put, emotionally intelligent employees affect the bottom line. Companies and individuals that invest in developing their social intelligence benefit from major increases in sales, creativity, and productivity. Developing these skills results in professional success. In this article, we will go through the basics of what goes into such an endeavor.

The conflict

To start things off, let’s address one of the most common occurrences in the workplace: dealing with conflict. This is one of the most frequently mishandled workplace events. At some point, no matter how small your business is, you will stumble upon this small bump on the road. The reason why it is first on our list is that if left unhandled, or mishandled, it can escalate hard.

First of all, conflicts should be resolved with one goal in mind. That goal is an efficient solution to the business problem that led to the conflict itself. An emotionally intelligent person will always remain calm and keep his or her composure during stressful situations. Not making impulsive decisions will save a lot of trouble later. But even before that, you should always promote rational and above all, proactive approaches to workplace conflicts.

Actively listen to what everyone has to say, no matter the position you find yourself in. There are always at least three elements in a conflict situation. Two of them are the conflicted parties and a neutral, unbiased judge if you will. Each should listen carefully to what everyone else has to say instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. Understand what is being said before you respond; often, the other party probably has a fair point. After all, we all have the same goals in mind in the workplace, it is our methods and perspectives that are at odds sometimes.

The empathy

Taking critique is a very important part of our emotional intelligence. It can be positive or negative, but either way, it can be priceless. Do not get offended or adopt a defensive attitude, but recognize that it is a rare chance to advance yourself.

Try and understand where the critique is coming from. It could be affecting others positively or negatively and strive together for a constructive resolution to the issue. That is where empathy comes in, a skill natural to all of us. It is a trait that demonstrates emotional strength, rather than what some might think is weakness. It is about relating to each other on a basic human level. It will grant us insight into one another and will open doors for respect and understanding. And all of this does not relate only within our four walls. It applies to dealing with clients and customers. If we truly can identify our customer’s needs and wants, even if they themselves do not, we are cruising.

It might seem like a tall order or some fringe, abstract trend, but it is not. It is simply another asset to have in our personal and business lives. If we do not know where to start there are plenty of organizations that deal with this professionally, like Behaviour Zen. If you can, leave it to the professionals and you do you. It can be as simple as a smile to give off a positive presence and be approachable.

Interpersonal skills and stress

Using appropriate social skills acquired through relationships with clients and other coworkers is commonplace. Interpersonal skills and clear and concise verbal and non-verbal communication is the bread and butter of any enterprise.

Another important thing to mention is how to deal with stress. This looming entity can have dire effects on an individual if left unchecked. Employees can feel burned out, their health could deteriorate with prolonged exposure, and productivity will suffer. Therefore, the bottom line will suffer also. Dealing with deadlines, conflicts, and grievances should be quick and decisive.

Luckily for us, there are ways to keep stress at bay. Promoting taking breaks from work can have tremendous effects. The time invested in these non-work-related activities is minimal; it can be just a few minutes a day. But the benefits from rejuvenating quickly from work can be great and much appreciated.

Not sticking to schedules by rushing or even extending projects can lead to chaos in our long-term time management habits. So, promote the opposite and set realistic schedules that everyone can objectively meet while pushing for efficiency.

Another thing, multitasking does not work. We are not designed to split our attention onto several complex tasks. It can lead to incomplete tasks and errors. If everyone has a clear, dedicated purpose, work can flow unimpeded.

Anyone can develop emotional intelligence, even if it does not come naturally. For those of us that are less inclined so, but recognize the importance of it, it takes practice. By using these principles, we can build a more relatable and comfortable working environment along with improving our relations with the public.


Emily Wilson is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing are her favorite things. Besides that, she loves animals, music and traveling.

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