Whether you’re interested in improving this skill to become a better leader, master the art of networking or wishing your employees would work more effectively, nurturing the ability to be emotionally intelligent will only ever put you one step ahead of the rest. While it might seem like an impossible task, improving the emotional intelligence of your team is something that can very easily be done with the right amount of time and patience. As long as you work on improving a little bit each day, soon enough you’ll be surrounded by a team of people who are more self aware, empathetic and actively listening to each other.
Here are 10 ways to improve your overall workplace emotional intelligence:
- Make it clear to your team that EQ is a priority.
As the leader, it needs to start with you. We strongly suggest understanding and practicing high emotional intelligence before expecting it of your team members. So ensure they know it’s a “non-negotiable” and they’ll follow.
- Create a more collaborative environment!
If you’re in separate cubicles, create a meeting space that’s open and welcoming. Or, you can remove the “set desks” idea and allow the team to move between seats each day. Making little changes to allow for collaboration will create a world of difference.
- Revisit your organisation’s beliefs and values to ensure they’re aligned with being an emotionally intelligent organisation.
For some workplaces, the world it started in is completely different to the world we live in today- and with that difference can be some very outdated ideals. We recommend revisiting the core of your organisation to ensure it inspires empathy, active listening, communication and support of one another.
- Include EQ tests in your hiring process.
You want to make sure you’re looking out for people who are emotionally intelligent, as they’ll have the best chance at succeeding within the organisation. Not only this, but that will also fit easily into your workplace – a smooth transition is crucial for everyone.
- Show self awareness as a strength, and reward examples of this shown amongst your team.
Admitting your weaknesses, being honest about your bad behaviours and working on ways to address these issues should always be rewarded. The very basis of an emotionally intelligent person is admitting where you are right now (good and bad), sharing that and working on improving those areas. The more this is shown, the more likely it is for the rest of the team to understand that it’s okay to do the same.
- Join one of our Pathways Australia emotional intelligence courses. This will be your fast track method to a supportive, self aware workplace that works together, not against each other. We cover everything you need to know to become a better leader, networker and empathetic person. Our course will give you the tools to understand and improve your self awareness and awareness of others.
- Before every meeting, remind the team of the importance of active listening and ask them to reflect on the question – “Do I listen so I can talk next, or do I listen to understand?”
The more you repeat this question, and share the same messages – the quicker your team will begin to understand them. We understand it’s quite easy to go into a conversation, already planning on what to say next rather than listening to what is being said. So having this reminder at the same time, with the same people will create that shift towards a more emotionally intelligent team.
- Schedule daily breaks that gives your team a moment to connect. Whether it’s a collaborative walk to the nearest cafe, doing a quick 1 min plank, or just a moment to put your head up and take a breath from the business of the day. By scheduling time to pause, you’re allowing the team to stay calm and clear headed.
- Start putting some budget away to celebrate wins.
Although it may seem materialistic, these physical signs of empathy really show that you care, you’re proud and you’re thinking of them.
- Start to get into the habit of repeating back what you’ve just heard. Summarising discussions is a great way to practice active listening, and will help your team develop clearer goals and plans.
If the thought of emotional intelligence is still daunting to you, or you feel as though you need more to improve your team’s interpersonal skills, we have an incredible course that covers the in’s and out’s of this important life skill. Click here to check it out or contact us to find out more about how we can support.