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Boost Your Emotional Intelligence With These Simple And Incredible Techniques

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Boost Your Emotional Intelligence With These Simple And Incredible Techniques

We’ve all experienced challenges in life that test our emotional intelligence. It’s usually a time when we feel disconnected from others, confused by what is happening, or our emotions got the better of us.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can mean more connection with the people in your life and a higher ability to cope with these challenging situations. When you read people well and respond in a way that helps everyone feel comfortable, you are onto a good thing. Your relationships are not only more satisfying, you are more likely to make that business deal and deal with that conflict situation in a calm and rational manner.

We could all do with more tips on how to boost our emotional intelligence, so here it is: five things emotionally intelligent people do, that you can practice, too:

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They are aware that working with others is a strength, not a weakness

If you’re emotionally intelligent you’re aware of both your weaknesses and your strengths, and accept both wholeheartedly. You know yourself well enough to understand that having weaknesses is normal; so you are not afraid to ask a colleague for help in order to get the job done. If you’re able to admit defeat and ask for guidance, you can see working as a team and sharing your vulnerability as a strong move. Sharing your problem just became an opportunity for you to grow.

They can take a hit

No one likes being criticized for anything, and most people will react on some level, to a critique of their work. The difference between someone who is emotionally intelligent or not, is, that they will process their emotions differently. They are more self-aware when reacting, manage any unpleasant emotions better, and this could be because they more aware of what might be going on for the person doing the criticizing, able to connect with that reality. Once they have taken a step back and processed their emotions, they can more easily look at the reality of whether the criticism can help them to improve whatever it is they are doing, or not.

Failure doesn’t phase them

Similarly, failure affects everyone, but if you’re emotionally intelligent, you will move on from setbacks quicker and more efficiently than someone who is stuck in self-criticism and doubt. They tend to have an unfaltering self-belief that means they are confident no matter the obstacle or problem, they will still succeed. This means they are less likely to get too upset about the small stuff, and to carry on doing what they love without worrying too much about it.

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They bring the good feeling, even when things are looking dire. They keep their cool outwardly and end up being the kind of people want to follow as a result.

The next time you have a setback, notice what you think about it, and how it makes you feel. If you can spot any self-criticism, change the direction you’re heading in. Try telling yourself instead, that you know this sucks, but at the end of the day, you know you can do it, no matter the obstacle or challenge.

“What was that?…”

When emotionally intelligent people are misunderstood or misheard, they don’t get into a fluster. -It is their aim to communicate effectively with their audience, and nothing will hold them back from getting their message across. So you change your plan instantly to meet their needs. Even when the projector you have been working with breaks down, or you spill coffee down your shirt, or even turn up to an interview in filthy clothes, you get your message across and end up with people appreciating you even more as a result.

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Next time you’re caught off guard, try improvising and enjoying the moment, instead of worrying about what ‘went wrong’. This builds rapport more than any planned interactions ever could.

They see actions and not reactions

Emotionally intelligent people see what actually happens in a conflict, not a blurred version with their judgments mixed into their interpretation of what happened. They are aware of what they felt at the time, but they do not let that color what they actually saw. They know how to take social cues from others at the time to inform them of what’s best to do, and they know how to manage those strong feelings in the moment, so that they don’t get out of hand, and can be calm enough to find a resolution. So next time you find yourself in the middle of a conflict take a deep breath, connect to your feelings first and react from a place of calm to what’s happening.

They’re connected to themselves

Emotionally intelligent people do not rely on the approval of others, nor do they heed their doubtful or negative thoughts.

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Having trained as a computer programmer, I learned early on the principle of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. While this works for creating websites, it also works with our own mental health. The beliefs we choose to believe or the unconfident people we spend our time with can have a huge effect. Sometimes we can’t avoid certain people, but we can add to the amount of positive people we surround ourselves with. So next time someone says something that leaves you feeling unsure of yourself, check your own opinion about it, before believing it to be true.

Connecting to your inner knowing can help free you of worry about what anyone else is saying or doing, and allow you to get on with your life’s work.

I hope these quick tips will help you to practice more emotional intelligence in your own life, so that you feel more able to be yourself, to put your whole self in your work, and to connect deeply with those around you.

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More by this author

Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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