In today’s global marketplace, employees come from diverse backgrounds, varied skill sets and different levels of emotional maturity. Successfully navigating the myriad aspects of organizational dynamics requires some fundamental traits; one of them is emotional intelligence. In fact, many core competencies for soft skills are based on emotional intelligence. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet are renowned for their emotional intelligence. Let’s take a look at what sets these business leaders apart and how you can enhance your emotional intelligence for workplace success.

People skills that relate to emotional intelligence are critical for managerial and leadership level employees as their roles and responsibilities are more focussed on managing people. Emotional intelligence has also been identified as one of the top ten skills that employers will need most by 2020. Clearly, it’s important to have a full understanding of not only one’s feelings and how to express them, but also how to engage in discussions with others. According to a study by Talent Smart, 90% of the top performers at the workplace tend to have higher level of emotional intelligence.

Try implementing these five tips to grow your emotional intelligence and outperform at the workplace.

mitigate negative emotions

Successful decision making requires maintaining a positive mindset that can overcome negative emotions that may overwhelm you on occasions and affect your judgment. The key is to avoid jumping too soon to a conclusion, especially when you are in not in a good mood. Give yourself the time to think over the situation from different viewpoints to ensure that the issues are effectively resolved and the setbacks are viewed as opportunities to learn.

seek feedback but be assertive

Be open to feedback to understand different perspectives, assimilate your own thoughts, discuss diverse viewpoints, and learn from them. Accepting constructive criticism as it comes and learning from your mistakes is crucial to building greater emotional intelligence in the long term. But once you reflect upon your own behaviour and analyze the rationale behind the way you think and behave, be assertive in your decision making.

practice active listening

People in leadership roles are not just great orators, they are even better listeners. They actively listen to

people rather than simply waiting to talk about what they have on their mind or imposing their ideas and feelings on others. The key is to listen carefully and understand what the other person is trying to communicate, assimilate your thoughts, wait for the right moment to speak, and only then articulate your position.  Practice listening so intently that you become capable of reading and understanding body language and other non-verbal communication such as facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses and other cues.

accept your mistake and apologize when wrong

People are bound to make mistakes and admitting your mistake is a big step towards attaining greater emotional intelligence. Accepting your weaknesses instead of looking for excuses to prove yourself right when you know you are wrong, makes a huge difference in pursuing greater emotional intelligence. Being emotionally flexible and offering an honest apology for your mistake helps in quickly bringing the situation back on track - a key attribute of people who possess higher levels of emotional intelligence

watch your emotional vocabulary

Emotionally intelligent people focus on building their vocabulary which helps them engage in conversations more effectively in the workplace. Using specific words to differentiate between various shades of emotions that you encounter every day such as anxiety, embarrassment, frustration, sorrow etc. helps in building your emotional vocabulary. Pay attention to your emotions and be mindful of the words you choose to communicate your feelings. Being emotionally literate is one of the key factors to enhancing your emotional intelligence. In reality, only 36% out of over 500,000 people globally were able to accurately identify the emotions that were influencing them at any given time.

Emotional intelligence is a key attribute that can be built over a period of time through mindful interactions with a diverse group of people, helping you deal smartly with various situations that arise at the workplace. Remember, every situation or challenge is a prime opportunity to not only test your emotional intelligence but also increase it by staying calm and managing your emotions in a productive way.