Emotional intelligence and the workplace might seem like oil and water, but they are inextricably linked. Self-awareness and social intelligence are similar, and arguably quite important – especially at your job.
People are sensitive about work in the way they are sensitive about money – it’s common to assume that each make moral or hierarchical statements about who we are. This leads to a lot of self-consciousness, fear and projection, all of which can easily seed itself beneath the surface of day-to-day life and make us more sensitive to ordinary interactions that we may not need to be.
For many, a job is more than a means to an end, it is an identity. It gives us a feeling of security, defines us as individuals, and offers us purpose. It’s easy to see why we can often take things too personally, try to overcompensate, or become too attached to an arbitrary outcome. However, there is another way to approach some common anxieties surrounding your career.
Here, the 7 main things that emotionally intelligent people do differently at work.
1. They don’t ascribe intent.
The boss had a bad morning at the Q2 budget meeting. A coworker is stressed and seems short. There was an error in the last memo that went out and someone should have caught it, but didn’t, and now a supervisor is mad.
People have a tendency to take things too personally at work, assuming every transgression against them is a sign of their incompetence, or worse, how unnecessary they are. (How many people do you know who still freeze up when the boss asks to speak to them privately?)
“Ascribing intent” is when we assume things are about us when they aren’t. It’s like the spotlight effect, which is that we overestimate how much people are thinking about us (this is exacerbated by social media). It also often occurs as a confirmation bias: if we are afraid we are incompetent, we are unconsciously searching for evidence to prove it. Emotionally intelligent people can differentiate their biases from reality, and recognize that nobody is as focused on them as they are focused on themselves.
2. They don’t try to prove their importance.
People who are constantly trying to communicate how busy and stressed they are not trying to send you a message about their schedule, they are trying to highlight how important and needed they are. This can also come out as being overly critical: people who always want to point out what you’re doing wrong want to place themselves in a position of authority, even if they don’t have one.
Emotionally intelligent people show their importance because they know their importance.
More Info: www.forbes.com