A Guide to Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Career Advice

A Guide to Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is crucial for professional success. This blog explores how emotional intelligence enhances leadership and more in the workplace.

In today's dynamic and fast-paced work environment, technical skills and knowledge alone are not enough to guarantee professional success. One crucial interpersonal skill that has emerged as a significant asset in enhancing productivity and workplace dynamics is emotional intelligence (EQ). Understanding how emotional intelligence works can transform how people interact and collaborate within an organization. In this blog, we will explore the concept of emotional intelligence, its significance in the workplace and methods to improve your own EQ to become a more effective professional.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, or EQ for short, is defined as a specific group of behaviours and skills that can be learned and developed. The four main sectors of EQ are self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and social skills:

  • Self-awareness: the ability to understand your emotions and the effect we can have on other individuals
  • Self-regulation: the ability to control and manage your emotions
  • Social awareness: the ability to be empathetic and understand others’ emotions
  • Social skills: the ability to influence, problem-solve, collaborate and inspire others

Why is emotional intelligence important at work?

There are various reasons why emotional intelligence is beneficial in the workplace. Firstly, emotionally intelligent individuals tend to be strong communicators, whether it is handling work presentations or problem-solving in a positive manner.

Emotional intelligence can also benefit collaboration with colleagues. An employee with a low EQ might face difficulties with working in a team and have poor listening skills whereas an employee with a high EQ will respect others’ ideas and opinions even if they do not agree with them.

Lastly, emotional intelligence helps employees grow and progress in their careers. Employees with a high EQ can empathize, self-reflect and consistently outperform their competition, which makes them suitable for leadership roles in an organization.

How to develop emotional intelligence

There are various methods to improve emotional intelligence. As mentioned previously, the ability to communicate, collaborate and improve upon feedback are all crucial to becoming a professional with high EQ.

If you’re interested in developing transferable skills to improve your emotional intelligence, the Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB) offers technology, business and hospitality co-op programs where you can gain an industry-relevant education and valuable experience in a co-op work placement. Studying at CCTB and immersing yourself in a live workplace will allow you to practise and improve on your ability to communicate and collaborate with others while also translating feedback received into professional improvement and growth.

Another way to improve your emotional intelligence is to ask for feedback. Reach out to your colleagues, family, friends and supervisors for feedback on your conflict resolution skills, adaptability and empathy. While it may not always be what you want to hear, this feedback can enhance your self-awareness and overall EQ.

You can also enhance your emotional intelligence by recognizing and identifying your emotions, especially during stressful situations or conflicts. Taking a moment to label your feelings and consider your response before reacting is a crucial part of developing your EQ.

Whether you aim to improve your skills in communication and collaboration or proactively respond to feedback, building emotional intelligence is crucial for success in any workplace. Emotional intelligence forms the foundation of effective leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution, enabling you to navigate the complexities of professional environments with ease.

Fortunately, numerous resources and tools are available to help you develop and enhance your EQ. One such resource that we mentioned previously is the co-op programs at CCTB, which offer hands-on experience and practical training designed to foster the soft and technical skills to enhance your emotional intelligence. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can equip yourself with the emotional and professional competencies needed to thrive in your career.

03 July, 2024

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the territories on which CCTB and its campus are situated are the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We thank them for having cared for this land since time immemorial, honour their graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here, and iterate our dedication to valuing the ongoing contributions of Indigenous peoples and communities.