Low Emotional Intelligence

How to Survive Low Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

In our highly stressful world of financial pressures and increasing demands on our time, low emotional intelligence in the workplace is rising steadily.

Studies measuring emotional intelligence in the workplace have found that the typical work environment does little to enhance emotional intelligence, and much to thwart it.

In an effort to stay relevant and successful, many businesses have imposed longer work hours, constant change, and an atmosphere of uncertainty on employees. Unfortunately, this has a terrible effect, creating an environment of elevated stress levels and intense negativity that results in exhaustion, a reduced capacity for problem-solving, and stifled creativity.

These expectations not only negatively affect productivity and ingenuity in the business, they also impact work relationships, causing employees to withdraw, disengage, and even view each other as enemies.

Prolonged stress has a devastating impact on the brain, reducing the ability to reason and remember well, damaging the brain’s capacity for communication, and hampers problem-solving, decision-making, and strategizing.

We cannot always change the environment we work in, but there are things we can do to not only prevent damage to our emotional intelligence, but help it to grow and develop.

Sleep More, Eat well, and Exercise Consistently

Looking after our physical well-being does wonders for supporting our mental and emotional well-being. Take advantage of your government-mandated breaks to take a walk around the block, catch a 20-minute nap in the back seat of your car, and linger over a delicious meal rich in vegetables and lean proteins.

Start A Mindfulness Meditation Practice

A highly demanding workplace means that our brains are often running at top speed all day long, yet research shows that quieting the mind, even for just a few minutes, can greatly enhance our brain function and immune response. Use your breaks (coffee, bathroom, lunch) to sit quietly for a minute or two and focus only on breathing, in and out, in and out.

Strengthen Your Emotional Self-awareness

Most of the time we are not conscious of how we are feeling, but taking a few minutes each day to jot down our feelings can do wonders for building self-awareness and helping us respond thoughtfully. At the end of the day, get a pen and paper and write down every feeling you can remember experiencing throughout the day, positive, negative, all of them. If your negative feelings far outweigh your positive ones, you can then take steps to make your next day a better experience.

Change What You’re Doing

If your current environment, habits, or schedule are leaving you exhausted and discouraged, look for ways you can make changes. Take a different route for your lunch time walk, stop at a new cafΓ© for your morning coffee, and try not even looking at your phone or computer before you get to work. These small changes can make all the difference in how you experience each day.

Find Someone to Talk To

Talking about how we feel with others activates the prefrontal cortex and reduces the effects of negative emotions. Finding a safe person to talk to can help us gain new perspective, give us an outlet for frustration and anger, and help us find solutions we may be blind to. Find someone who has empathy, wisdom, and a different view of the world than you do so you can help and support each other.

Set Goals That Matter to You

It is easy to get bogged down by work demands, but making time to achieve things that matter to you will enhance both your life and your work. Achieving something important to you results in positive emotions, clarity of focus and purpose, and helps you communicate better with others.

These ideas are not difficult, but they do require discipline to experience the full positive effects in your life. You will find yourself becoming more positive, productive, and engaging as you enhance your ability to effectively regulate and manage your emotions.

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