The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Any Industry

A successful career is a result of a combination of multiple elements. For one, you need to continuously develop your skills by taking workplace training courses. You also need to have the right attitude and mindset so that you can overcome any setback.

Speaking of the right attitude, another important part of your success at work is your emotional intelligence. Usually referred to as EI for short, emotional intelligence is your capacity to recognise, understand, and manage what you are feeling.

This means that your EI is also partly responsible for how you comprehend what others are feeling and how to act accordingly. With the help of your EI, you can shape your views and adapt to almost any situation at work and beyond.

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Whether we like it or not, our emotions sometimes colour our perception and understanding. However, the good news is that EI helps you get a better handle on your feelings. You can then redirect your focus and use your emotions to make better decisions.

Some of the reasons why EI is important in any workplace include:

Handling Criticism

Providing feedback about your work is an important part of the job of your superior (or superiors, as the case may be). This helps them measure your performance against benchmarks, which in turn helps you determine what and if you need to improve.

The problem is that you may not be good at receiving feedback or constructive criticism. This requires a lot of maturity, as well as a well-honed EI. If you are an emotionally intelligent individual, you can break down what’s been said and use the opportunity to be better.

Of course, there are times when the negative feedback about your work may be unfounded. If this is the case, your EI will prevent you from lashing out. More importantly, your EI will help you be more evidence-based and diplomatic in handling such a situation.

Understanding Nonverbal Cues

Not all communication is verbal. Indeed, some people say a lot more with their eyes, posture, and even hand gestures. Through the help of your emotional intelligence, you can pick up on these cues and address a situation before it gets worse.

This skill is extremely useful particularly during meetings and other occasions when people’s personalities may clash. Your emotional intelligence also helps you develop stronger relationships with your colleagues (see below), which is also an important component of work success.

Nurturing Connections

Part of a successful career in any industry is having a healthy professional network composed of your mentors and equals. To maintain strong and meaningful connections with your colleagues, you need to be able to network properly. This involves developing good conversation skills, as well as counting on your EI to be able to understand a person’s feelings and motivations.

Facilitating Positive Interactions

Before you establish your professional network, you might want to communicate and interact better with your coworkers first. Learn how to communicate with them openly, whether they’re your equals or superiors.

Through your emotional intelligence, you’ll also have a better sense of what people in your workplace are feeling. This can help you stabilise emotionally charged interactions, which can in turn nip heated arguments in the bud. In fact, those with a keen EI can prevent misunderstandings from happening in the first place.

This kind of skill and level of self-control can lead others into recognising your capabilities as a leader who can inspire harmonious relationships in the workplace. Remember: emotions are contagious! Through your EI, you can channel more positive feelings that others could emulate.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should gloss over the negative things going on in your workplace. Rather, you can use your emotional intelligence to find more positive ways to deal with issues.

Becoming More Self-Aware

Self-awareness is important in the workplace. For one, it helps you be more aware of your own behaviours that you need to change. It also allows you to recognise both your abilities and your shortcomings so that you can continue to improve.

Self-awareness is an outcome of emotional intelligence, along with self-confidence. With these two qualities, you can cultivate your skills and develop good habits necessary for success.

Improving Your Well-Being

Last but certainly not least, your EI is an important part of your overall well-being. In particular, you’ll be less stressed and able to use healthier coping mechanisms in case things go wrong.

The bottomline here is that when you’re in peak physical and mental health, you can do your job well and exceed expectations. This is especially important if you’re angling for a pay raise or a promotion.

As you can see, your emotional intelligence affects multiple aspects of your job. Your skills matter a lot, but you may realise that in a lot of situations, EI may matter more. Thus, in order to thrive and make the most of every opportunity, you need to hone your emotional intelligence.