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How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

One of the great challenges that face anyone and anywhere today is learning how to deal with people at work and to find outcomes that will be mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Relying solely on one’s IQ will draw on your knowledge and skills acquired through education and experience but may lack the focus in a different area, which is your EQ or Emotional Intelligence.

Only those who can balance their IQ and EQ collectively in the workplace will truly become the successful people they want to become.

Here are steps to up your EQ so it equal to or exceeds your IQ in time.

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Know Your Triggers, Don’t Pull It

To raise your EQ, one must know one’s self first. What are the things that push your buttons or cause your to act irrationally or overly emotionally. What “triggers” set these emotions off, causing you to be frustrated, anger, upset or any of a myriad of emotions. Once you know what your “triggers” are, work on identifying them before they happen or begin to spin out of control.

Know to Control

All humans have emotions. Some wear theirs on their sleeves. Others never show them. High EQ people understand what their emotions are, realize when they are happen and keep them under control when and where appropriate. They stay calm in stressful environments and situations. They stay focus on rational thought and outcomes while not letting emotions cloud their decisions and judgement.

Know How to be a Problem Solver

If you want to raise your EQ, you must learn how to problem solve effectively. What this means is to not rush to decisions using your emotions, but rather use constructive thought through decision-making tools like Delphi, Stepladder and 6 Thinking Hats to measure thought and options to make better decisions.

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Know How to Redirect Your Thoughts

To counter your thoughts and what runs through your mind, a high EQ person will gradually re-wire their thinking to look at things differently. High-stress situations will not frustrate them, but rather will challenge them and they will respond appropriately. A high EQ person will not stereotype or not listen to what others have to say or offer. They will be open to suggestion and be willing to let others share their ideas.

Know When to Walk Away

If you want to develop a high EQ, you must learn when it is time to walk away. If you are in an argument or discussion and the environment an those in it are getting heated in their attitudes or approach, you should practice walking away. An emotionally mature person will excuse themselves by requesting a few minutes or another day to revisit the issue.

Know How to Be Respectful to All

When dealing with other people, you will want to treat everyone with respect, regardless how you might feel about them. Never let your feelings for someone or group of people to change how you will respect them.  Treat each person with an equal amount of respect in all situations.

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Know and Express Empathy

One EQ skill to develop fully is using empathy in your inter-rational exchanges with people daily. This is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s position. You need to be willing to see things from others perspectives. This should be a primary first step in dealing with people.

Know How to Handle Criticism

Criticism is not always easy to hear, bit if you want to raise your EQ, you should get comfortable with accepting it. Then if you find the criticism warrants it, apply information from it to improve your performance.

Know Your Way Around Any Social Situation

If your EQ is rising, you should be comfortable in social situation. You should build your confidence to talk to anyone, anywhere. The higher your EQ grows, the more likely you will be seen as great communicator who can handle disputes well and builds relationships masterfully.

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A competent person who has a high IQ and EQ become a force that will lead others and themselves to great success. Use these ideas to become emotionally intelligent at work and join their ranks.

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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