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Bringing a Higher Level of Emotional Intelligence to the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to monitor one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Being able to detect different emotions and label them appropriately as well as react to them appropriately is what emotional intelligence is all about. I would go a step further to say that emotional intelligence in the workplace has a third step. Being able to detect emotions to problem-solve and manage inter-office communications in an efficient manner is what will produce desired results in the workplace.

Emotional intelligence is something I often practice with my friends and family. It is important to me that I am sensitive, supportive and intelligent when addressing their needs and concerns. I want to help them solve their problems. However, I am not the best at exercising it in the workplace. It wasn’t until I went to a conference and heard a colleague present that I realized that bringing emotional intelligence to the workplace is a must. My colleague discussed how inter-office drama became a road-block in completing a project. She took CDC’s course on Emotional Intelligence through the HHS Learning Portal and used what she learned to rectify the situation. I was absolutely floored by her ability to use a concept so personal to benefit her mission at her organization.

Emotional intelligence is such an abstract concept it can be hard to figure out where to begin. Follow these five simple principles to practice emotional intelligence in the workplace:

1. Be accountable: It is easy to see a negative situation and play victim. However, the more accountable you are the more trust you will gain in the workplace. Play your part and own up to it. Also, remember not to blame everyone else. Simply acknowledge the situation, associated problems and focus on problem-solving. Playing the blame-game is not professional.

2. Be mindful of the needs of others: In the workplace, it’s never just about you. Always keep that in mind while you address the issue. Caring about others will always harbor a positive response.

3. Always keep a calm and informative tone: Exchanging information is a large part of day-to-day office life. Being intentional with your tone and words will increase efficiency.

4. Help your co-workers understand significance: You most likely won’t have someone’s attention unless they understand the significance of what you are saying and how it will affect their work as well.

5. Agree to disagree: A huge part of avoiding the blame-game is agreeing to disagree. Move on and focus on problem-solving instead.

Priyanka Oza is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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