Are you emotionally intelligent? If you can honestly answer ‘Yes’ to these 7 questions, you’re ahead of the curve.

Drama in the workplace. If there’s one thing I know, is that as long as people are involved, and as long as they’re seeing each other nearly every day of their week, shit’s going to go down. Workplace drama is inevitable. Words and actions are easily misinterpreted, especially over team chat platforms like Slack and Google Hangouts where non-verbal cues are lost and our own sentiment of the day is projected. Egos will clash, patience will be tested, and people will arrive at different, often conflicting, conclusions.

Wherever you’re working and whatever you’re doing, if you’re working closely with people—and every office has at least one person you try to dodge on the daily—self-awareness and emotional intelligence will give you an edge on navigating challenging situations and saving you time and pains-in-the-ass. With those two powers in your pocket, you’ll be able to listen without judgment, get perspective, assess a situation, reign in your gut reaction, and process before you make a decision.

Sometimes, the decision is to not make a decision because you’re unable to overcome those initial instinctive biases. Which is completely normal. If you’re able to actively self-reflect and catch yourself before you do react, though, you’ll be able to approach your situation rationally, without drama, and arrive at a sane conclusion.

Working on your emotional intelligence also develops your natural inclination to look at the big picture and understand both sides of an issue, allowing you to tap into someone else’s feelings to consider a different outcome.

That takes empathy.

Daniel Goleman, author, psychologist, and science journalist specializing in psychology and brain sciences said, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

This is why people with emotional intelligence will always be the first to step up when they’ve made a mistake and say “I messed up,” makking it safe for coworkers to risk being open enough about their own shortcomings. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, are genuine and authentic in their interactions, and are usually the first to take the blame in emotionally charged situations. They strive to be the best versions of their true selves every day, and don’t compromise on their model of authenticity to get ahead.

7 questions to ask yourself to gauge your emotional intelligence

Is it possible to develop your emotional intelligence? How do you actively self-reflect, and what’s the best point to start? How do you meet the high demand for emotional intelligence, whether at work or in your personal life?

It’s time to raise the mirror and ask some questions because the bar is pretty high:

  1. Are you usually aware of your feelings and do you understand why you feel that way?
  2. Are you aware of your limitations, blind spots, and areas of growth?
  3. When faced with distressing emotions and conflict, are you able to quickly recover after you work through it?
  4. Do you have the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within his or her frame of reference?
  5. Do you choose to live each day by having a positive outlook and seeing the glass half-full?
  6. Are you comfortable with who you are, regardless of whether anyone is stroking your ego?
  7. When others have wronged you, are you able to forgive and forget, and move on?

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