While it’s true that an IQ or intelligence will get one far in an individual career, emotional intelligence or EQ (or emotional quotient) is essential for office environmental reasons. No one pursues a career in a vacuum and you’ll find yourself in social interactions that can make or break you in the eyes of your colleagues and more importantly your employers. So what exactly is emotional intelligence and what aspects of it affect office environmental interactions? This article will deal with this subject briefly in an attempt to help individuals become aware or conscious of their affects on colleagues and vice versa. A grasp of EQ can set you apart from the rest of the work force and offer an overall benefit to your career.
The first principle that EQ will help you in your career is in recognising emotion. The impacts emotions in the office environmental realm play can be subtle but ripple uncontrollably beyond one’s control. If you interact with your colleagues and cannot recognise emotional ‘ticks’ then you may find yourself overwhelmed by responses you deem to be surprising; this is true of any aspect of your life from your friends, strangers and even your spouse. Sometimes there isn’t much to go by; for example if you ask a colleague how they are today and are only given a single word response – that is not a lot to go by. Body language, eye contact and other subtleties play a role in understanding the situation.
The Brain Versus the Heart
Environmental initiatives in the office can either be rules by the heart or the brain; emotional intelligence is about knowing when to use either with importance between the two interchangeable. Sometimes it’s necessary to use the emotional response rather than simply logic or cognition and this is especially true for leadership roles such as management. For example, you have a deadline but one of your team has a family emergency; do you simply ignore it because logically without that person the project won’t be finished or do you show empathy and allow that member to deal with their issues. It’s important to be well-rounded and reasonable since garnering respect from your colleagues is about them trusting your judgement in all things.
Controlling the Emotions
Finally EQ requires understanding your emotions at all times. Let’s talk about your ideas in the office environmental realm; you may believe that you’ve got a great angle on a project but management doesn’t agree and you’re naturally angry or frustrated. EQ is knowing how to control yourself and understand why you’re feeling frustrated and angry while measuring your response appropriately. Doing so garners you respect as your colleagues recognise your emotional maturity; essential for one who wants to pursue management roles. Often how we react won’t make it into the written office environmental policy and it certainly cannot be taught in textbooks – it’s up to you to recognise where you can develop your emotional intelligence.
The office environmental space is a complex realm we put ourselves into everyday and it can often be a challenge if we don’t recognise the emotional requirements of this realm; it’s never too late to develop these skills however.
Eugene Calvini is a writer and career coach who has worked at office space Sydney, New York and London among other cities; he enjoys sharing career advice with the internet.
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