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Building Resilience: Strategies to Enhance Your Emotional Capacity

Chandni Ahuja
16 May 2024
16 min read
Building Resilience: Strategies to Enhance Your Emotional Capacity

Have you ever worked on a really interesting project where one of your colleagues came up with a fantastic idea that clashed with your initial approach? Maybe you would have had different things in mind to move forward with the project. But now, with another new perspective that seems even more interesting, would you consider it? What if, instead of digging your heels in, you heard them out, understood their perspective, and even found a way to combine your ideas into something even better? Because doing so is the power of emotional capacity in the workplace. 

It is not about being a pushover or overseeing your own ideas. It is your capability to navigate the problem and understand your colleagues’ perspectives, and what they bring to the table. Setting emotions aside and finding common ground to work together as a team is what it takes to be emotionally intelligent in the workplace. 

While it takes a lot for a manager or a team leader to open up about their frustrations, acknowledging personal preferences in public while also recognizing the merit of their colleagues’ suggestions is what makes a manager emotionally intelligent in the workplace

So how do you embrace emotional intelligence in the workplace? Don’t worry! Whether you are a seasoned professional or a budding manager trying to learn how each employee gets a say, this blog will help you understand how to develop emotional capacity in your workplace. 

Let us first get a baseline of what emotional intelligence is in the workplace and why it is important.

What is Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) or (EI) refers to one’s ability to perceive, understand, and positively manage emotions. As per the World Economic Forum reports, emotional intelligence is among the ten most demanded skills as of now and will remain the same at least until 2025. 

Think of emotional intelligence as a super cool weapon for navigating life and not just work. It’s like one of those toolboxes with all the essential materials that help you ace last-minute critical projects at work and real-life crises like a champ. Utilizing the best tools to make rational business decisions and get access for a lifetime, that’s a win-win, right? Having a strong emotional capacity enables you to build stronger relationships in life and at work. It helps you connect with your feelings, manage your stress, bridge the gap between your intentions and actions, and make wise decisions that align with your values and what truly matters to you. 

While most well-reputed job roles require managers to possess a high IQ (intelligence quotient), emotionally intelligent managers who possess high emotional intelligence are likely to become office superheroes. A great example of emotional intelligence in the workplace would be the “empathy factor”. While doctors are trusted experts worldwide, it takes courage and empathy for them to treat patients. Although they are not supposed to get emotionally attached to a particular case, they ensure to maintain a secure patient-doctor relationship. This core quality attracts talented people who desire to work with them. Their capability to stay calm and keep their team calm under pressure, spot brewing obstacles and nip them in the bud makes them not just good managers, but great leaders.

So now that you know how emotional capacity plays a crucial role in the corporate world, let’s understand how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace

Five Ways to Effectively Improve Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Improving emotional capacity in the workplace requires commitment from the organization’s leaders, careful consideration, and thorough planning of the process. One great way to upskill yourself and your colleagues is by utilizing Calibr LXP to deliver an effective learning experience at your workplace, with the ease of personalized online training on mobile. On Calibr LXP, you get to explore a ready-made course: Embracing Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, to engage in an on-the-go lesson module online. This short module helps you get insights on how to develop emotional capacity and participate in a fun quiz at the end of the course. 

But hold on! There is also this organic way of developing emotional intelligence in the workplace. Here is how you ace it:

Reflect on your actions

The most important aspect of improving emotional capacity in the workplace is to build the most crucial skills: self-awareness and self-management. These are life skills developed through practice alone. Imagine you have an important day coming up and you are well-prepared for the presentation. But then your palms get sweaty and you get startled.

That’s exactly where EQ comes into the picture. It’s like you practice a built-in pause to your emotions, letting them stay at bay. This awareness and self-practice allow you to take time to reflect on your actions, and responses, and find ways to manage stress and emotions with ease. 

Tips to reflect on your emotions and actions would be to:

  • Maintaining a journal to keep track of how you feel and how you handle stress at work during a particular situation at work.
  • Embrace your creative side to create a mood board or a playlist, play a game, or find a stressbuster that would allow you to release your stress at work.
  • Take appropriate breaks and communicate with your colleagues to express your concerns and get them resolved then and there.
  • Watch mindful YouTube videos (only for referential purposes and not commercial use) to learn how to manage your stress.

Recognize the tension 

Now, this can be quite skeptical because there can be moments where you don’t even realize the tension or you might let your emotions get the best of you. So, it is important to recognize and learn how you respond to a situation in the workplace. This takes a lot of emotional capacity, as you not only reflect on your emotions but are mindful of your next move towards a situation or a colleague.

Build a cooperative culture

A workspace with good cooperation and communication helps reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. Prioritizing clear communication, setting standards, and building an inclusive work culture where each employee feels seen and heard boosts employee morale, thus increasing productivity and organizational reputation in the marketplace. 

How do I get started, you ask?

  • Allow your colleagues to connect outside of the cubicle, as it helps them understand each other on a personal level
  • Encourage and help your colleagues to participate in live events, fun activities, and open conversations
  • Invest an hour to engage with your employees in a fun activity that helps release all the work stress
  • Promote work-life balance and embrace mental health wellness practices at your workplace

Practice empathy

When you put yourself in their shoes, you understand their perspective on a specific situation. Showing empathy towards your colleagues is one of the major factors that contributes to emotional intelligence in the workplace

The best ways to keep an open mind and understand your colleagues are:

  • Lend an ear: Instead of giving a one-word response to your colleagues, sit down and hear them out. Understand their struggle, and their point of view, and try to lighten things up
  • Be a supportive ally: Connect with them on a deeper level. Show genuine care and be supportive of their decisions
  • Recognize the good work: One of the best ways to improve your emotional intelligence as a manager is by recognizing the efforts of your colleagues

Be vulnerable

Being an honest boss is a tough job. Sometimes things could go sideways, and you could feel tempted to sugarcoat the situation. But here's the thing: your team needs to trust you, even when things are messy. So, explain the challenges to your team with clarity while acknowledging your faith in the team's effort to overcome the situation.

By being open and honest, you not only showcase your emotional capacity but also build trust and psychological safety. This allows your team members to understand that everyone can make mistakes. It is completely okay to make mistakes but it takes a team to overcome them together. 

So these are some of the best strategies to improve your emotional capacity at the workplace. Practicing these skills would not only help you excel in your career but also ace the game in your personal life.

Real-Life Examples of Emotionally Intelligent Managers

The 5 best examples of managers harnessing emotional intelligence in the workplace are:

  1. Elon Musk- CEO of Tesla, Inc., X Corp (formerly known as Twitter), SpaceX, and The Boring Company
  2. Richard Branson- Founder of Virgin Group 
  3. Jack Welch- CEO of General Electric 
  4. Indra Nooyi- Former CEO of PepsiCo, Present Board of Directors Member for Amazon
  5. Satya Nadella- CEO of Microsoft
  6. Ratan Tata- Former Chairman of Tata Sons, holding company of Tata Group, and Present Chairman Emeritus 

Why is Emotional Capacity Important in the Workplace?

In conclusion, emotional intelligence (EQ) isn't just a buzzword; it's the secret sauce for building a fantastic and safe workplace. When everyone, from leaders to employees, practices EQ, it creates a ripple effect of benefits. Developing emotional intelligence in the workplace allows us to see things from each other's perspectives, fostering a supportive environment where open communication thrives. 

The best part is that building emotional capacity in the workplace does not require fancy tricks or complicated programs. You just need to actively listen to your coworkers, show empathy, and treat each individual with respect. So, let’s Embrace Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace by investing in the best and easy-to-learn course offered by Calibr LXP. Schedule a free demo to learn more about the course module online.

FAQs

1. What is EQ, and why is it important?

EQ is your ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and respond to the emotions of others. This is crucial for the workplace's effective communication, teamwork, and navigating workplace challenges.

2. What are good communication tips for building EQ?

Be clear, assertive, and a good listener. Adapt your style to the person and situation.

3. How do you develop emotional intelligence in the workplace?

To develop emotional intelligence in the workplace, you must actively listen and communicate with your colleagues with clarity. When you are supportive and seem approachable, you build stronger relationships in the workplace.

4. What are the 5 key elements of emotional intelligence?

Often referred to as the Goleman model, the 5 key elements of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

5. How are empathy and emotional intelligence interconnected with each other?

Empathy and emotional intelligence are like two sides of the same coin, working together to create strong social interactions. Empathy is like the foundation of emotional intelligence. By being empathetic towards your colleagues, you understand others’ emotions, actively listen to what the other person has to say, build stronger relationships, and manage your own emotions. 

6. Can I access the ready-made course module on Calibr?

Absolutely! Calibr LXP offers short and engaging course modules so you can improve your emotional intelligence in the workplace and help your employees learn and engage with it. You can access Calibr LXP’s Empathy at Workplace course or gain more insights into EQ by signing up for the Embracing Emotional Intelligence at Workplace course online.

Chandni Ahuja

As an enthusiastic English literature graduate, Chandni enjoys writing as much as a toddler enjoys animation. She discovered her passion for writing and expressing thoughts through this form amidst the nail-biting months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since then, she has volunteered in various anthology books that have been published on Amazon. Her experience working on a diverse range of verticals has enabled her to excel in this domain and face new challenges as they come. With a contagious thrill and excitement at the workplace, Chandni embraces wearing different hats and soaks up information like a sponge.