These days, emotional intelligence training is a necessity. In the whirlwind world where stress is overwhelming, and emotions run roughshod when unchecked – it is better to know how to keep it under control.
In our previous article, we have covered the basics of workplace emotional intelligence. This time, we’re going to talk about practice – emotional intelligence training and improvement.
Emotional Intelligence Training: What Do You Need to Know?
One of the biggest challenges of emotional intelligence training is that it is a lot of things.
- EQ is an overarching concept encompassing multiple aspects of psychology, social interaction, and management.
Each individual thinks they understand what Emotional Intelligence is and how to apply it. But it is not that simple. In reality, you need to structure your understanding of emotional intelligence training to apply it to full effect.
Find out more about Workplace Emotional Intelligence in this article.
Let’s get back to Daniel Goleman and his five domains. To train your emotional intelligence skills, you need to focus on the following five.
Emotional Intelligence Training: Five Domains
1 Emotional awareness
Identifying what you are feeling at any given moment is critical when it comes to being a productive, functional professional. You can’t let emotions get in your way while doing your tasks. That’s also a foundation of emotional intelligence training.
It doesn’t mean you have to avoid having emotions at all. You just need to be aware of what things cause you to feel this or that way and understand why it is so.
Here’s how it works:
- Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, how you react to things;
- Take a look at how you interpret feelings as good or bad.
This approach will help you understand to accept them and determine whether you need to transform something about it.
Dealing with motivation is challenging but manageable. There are several types of motivation, but in the emotional intelligence training context, our concern is with general and task-related types.
General motivation covers everything related to doing the job as it is.
- To keep overall motivation under control, you need to acknowledge the scope of work, its goals and identify subsequent benefits of accomplishing it.
- It would help if you also kept an eye on what “turns you off” about doing your job and determining whether it is emotional or workflow-related.
Task-related motivation is different as there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Task-related motivation is all case-by-case, but there is a template you can start with.
Upon taking a task and mapping its structure, you need to:
- Assess the points of possible frustration. The assessment is usually based on prior experience – and it may be anything starting from “this task is boring” to “this task is too much fuss and sizzle and little to no clap;
- Determine the challenges that come with working on a task. Stuff like “not enough information,” “requires different skills than you have,” “requires a lot of cooperation and teamwork,” “needs time to gather all feedback,” and so on);
- Identify ways of reiterating the task and its “frustration points” into a more fulfilling process – breaking it down into modules, mix it with other tasks, apply cross-task process (when you are accomplishing multiple tasks by doing one thing), and so on.
Handling empathy within workplace emotional intelligence is a challenge in itself—the main reason why is because you can’t make an omelet without breaking any eggs.
In other words, you can’t fully avoid misunderstanding, insensitivities, rudeness, conflicts all the way through. But don’t worry. It is part of the learning process (just try not to escalate these things too much).
In the context of emotional intelligence training, it is one of the cornerstone exercises that provide a framework for most proceedings.
Here’s how you can consistently train your workplace empathy skills nice and easy:
- Immerse yourself into the mindset of another person. Pretty much, “walk in their shoes.” Think and feel what they think and feel.
- The goal is to see their perspective and compare it with your point of view.
This approach will help you adapt your behavior and communication strategy in a mutually efficient and beneficial way.
4 Relationship management
Interpersonal relations are the toughest aspect of emotional intelligence training.
- While the methods themselves are relatively simple, it takes time to implement them into your routine fully and master their execution.
- Subsequently, it takes even more time before the relationship management methods start to show effects.
But it pays off long-term.
Overall, you need to focus on the following aspects of relationship management methods:
- Active listening – being engaging in conversation and perpetuating the process;
- Effective communication – getting the most out of each communication instance. This aspect deals with delivering and receiving information to one another in the most efficient fashion.
- Decision-making – in this case, the focus is on understanding the impact of your decisions – both short-term and long-term. This includes identifying the situation, assessing options, getting information that supports different courses of action, exploring alternative resolutions – weighing short-term\long-term pros and cons, and finally – making a well-informed decision.
- Conflict management – in this case, it is a specialized variation of empathy skills. Here’s how it goes: determine conflict possibilities, severity, possible risks, emerging resolutions, and viable ways of minimizing or neutering its effects on you and your workflow.
- Coping strategies – this one is tricky. It is like conflict management, except without conflicts per se. You need to understand sources of stress, frustration, and conflict and develop some sort of “standard operating procedure” to deal with them without spending too much energy on it.
5 Efficient Communication
In the previous, I’ve mentioned effective communication and its goal as delivering and receiving information efficiently. Well, that’s not the whole story – there is another aspect of effective communication as part of emotional intelligence training that needs a dedicated section.
Knowing how to talk with different people is as important as knowing what to talk about. The thing is – with a structured communication strategy in place you will avoid lots of uncomfortable situations with misunderstandings or miscommunication.
Overall, this aspect includes the following domains:
- Understanding various communication methods. For example, verbal and nonverbal cues, facial and body expressions. It is important to perceive information on multiple levels to understand whether you are engaging or disengaging your colleagues.
- Differences in approaches for different situations. This one is more like developing your own behavioral templates for different scenarios. For example, you have a conflict brewing and you need to resolve it before it blows up – with a routine in place, at least you know what you can do. While it is not a guarantee, taking action is better than any kind of inaction.
- Developing a communication strategy for different groups. This aspect is a matter of purpose. What’s your intent from communicating with this or that person? If you need some information – then it is one approach. In the case of conflict management – it is completely different. The list goes on. The key is to communicate your intent and explain the purpose to the other party so that everyone would be on the same page.
These days emotional intelligence training plays important role in keeping the team intact while avoiding tension and conflicts. It fleshes out the human parts and makes them beneficial to the working process instead of being a disruptor.
- This article explains the essentials of emotional intelligence training – what to do and how to do it right.
- In our future articles, we will talk about expressing emotional intelligence during job interviews.
If you need a consultation regarding emotional intelligence training or need help with assessing your specialists’ emotional intelligence skills, our HR consultants can help you.