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Developing emotional intelligence at work: why it’s so important for your team’s success

Developing emotional intelligence at work: why it’s so important for your team’s success 

What’s the one skill your employees need to be the best they can be at work? If you thought the skill to do their job – absolutely, the technical skills necessary to do the work are important. 

But if you want to help your team:

  • navigate social interactions
  • manage stress
  • communicate better
  • work well as a team 
  • feel more satisfied in their jobs 

Your staff need to know the foundations for developing their emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ). And that’s where Health Stack comes in.

Developing emotional intelligence at work leads to productive, happy employees because it helps them work better together. And just like the technical skills necessary to be successful at work, EQ can be taught through Health Stack’s on-demand, online stackable modules.

Our EQ modules are part of our Employee Mental Wellbeing options. They provide your employees with the skills they need to develop emotional intelligence at work, become more productive, and most importantly, happy employees.

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

Australians spend an average of 31 hours a week working – most of us spend many more hours than this at work, or thinking about work. The sad reality is that it’s likely we spend more hours with our colleagues than we do with our own families. 

Just like how families can have disagreements and fights, it’s inevitable there will be conflict and disagreements at work to… even if you’re lucky enough to have created a team who like each other, and who like their work.

While technical skills are essential, emotional intelligence at work can help employees navigate difficult situations. 

A person with a high EQ is good at navigating these difficult situations because they are aware of their own emotions, they recognise the emotions of others and they use that information to guide their behaviour.

Emotional intelligence is grounded in self-awareness. Someone with a high EQ communicates their feelings and hears the needs of others better than a less emotionally intelligent person. 

We’re not suggesting that you need to get really deep and meaningful at work – there’s a time and a place for that – but listening and responding as a colleague is an underrated and extremely important skill. 

Whatever your role or occupation, work takes up both physical and emotional energy. We’re recognising more and more the importance of healthy workplaces beyond just being physically safe – a workplace should also be psychologically safe. 

What does a psychologically safe workplace actually mean? 

As an employer, providing employees with psychologically safe workplaces will not only lead to higher productivity but happier staff.

A psychologically safe workplace is one where staff feel they are able to:

  • express opinions
  • speak freely
  • ask questions 
  • make mistakes 

All without fear of being made fun of or unfairly punished. 

Our blog on World Day for Health and Safety at Work explains how we think we can help you provide a safe work place – for all the detail, go and have a read. 

But for now, the important thing to keep in mind is that a key building block for creating a psychologically safe workplace is improving the Emotional Intelligence of your team. 

Why is a high EQ essential in the workplace? 

Employees who demonstrate emotional intelligence at work are better at building trust and so develop stronger relationships. 

Their strong relationships mean that people trust them – it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. These strong relationships form a solid foundation for navigating the inevitable conflicts that happen at work. 

In a high pressure situation, an emotionally intelligent employee is more likely to remain calm because they’re aware of their emotions and how others around them may be feeling. They’re likely to be reflective rather than reactive. They’ll listen to and empathise with their colleagues, rather than becoming defensive and upset. 

We know who we’d rather have on our team. 

How do we build EQ at work? 

Like other skills in the workplace, emotional Intelligence can be taught. 

As a leader, you can encourage self-reflection and self-awareness in your employees by demonstrating it yourself. Create the space for your team to reflect and suggest they notice their reactions to situations and how they respond to stress. 

You can lead by example and freely share how you are feeling to encourage open and honest communication. Emotional intelligence at work means actively listening to your employees and responding to their perspectives.

As a leader, you can implement these strategies but developing emotional intelligence at work takes time. 

Support yourself and your team with the help of programs that specialise in building EQ. It’s worth investing in. Emotional intelligence training programs create a more mentally healthy workplace for your team, and more productivity for your business. 

As part of Health Stack’s Employee Mental Wellbeing programs we offer specific Emotional intelligence modules. Like all our offerings, these can be stacked depending on what your business needs. 

Our team of psychologists have created this module to provide a framework to help your team develop emotional intelligence at work. 

Learn more about creating an emotionally intelligent team.

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