As we battle through what is probably the biggest trauma of our lives, it’s been said that we can often forget how important it is to be considerate towards others. Empathy, whilst a soft skill, is the cornerstone of understanding and an essential component to successful teams. Now, in 2021, while we are all pushed to our limits, it’s key to find ways to channel your inner EQ – at a time where your team, your company and your career, need it most.

So, how do you start?

1. Self-management.

You need to be able to use your own emotions to make constrictive decisions about your behaviour. When stressed – you’ll lose control of these emotions and your ability to act appropriately. So, how do you self-manage? You need to make choices that allow you to control impulsive feelings and behaviours, through managing your stress and staying emotionally present.

2. Self-awareness.

Managing stress is just the first stepping stone to building emotional intelligence. To really improve it, you must reconnect with your core emotions, accept them and become comfortable with them. You can achieve this through the practice of mindfulness. We recommend the CALM app for this!

3. Social awareness.

Here’s where you nail how to recognise and interpret all the non-verbal cues that others are using to communicate with you. The ones that show how others are really feeling. The first step to this is being truly present within the moment. Put down the phone. Stop multitasking. Be there. Observe. It’s incredibly hard to improve this skill at the moment when the majority of our interactions take place via Zoom, but it can be done. It requires more focus on analysing body language on camera and asking more direct questions of your team that enable you to see how they react, non-verbally.

4. Finally, recognise that empathy is not sympathy.

It’s not about making excuses for those who are having a hard time. It’s about helping them work through their difficulties and find ways to support them in taking action. This action? It comes from being able to deeply understand a perspective that is not your own.

Emotional intelligence in business, or the ability to understand your emotions and others’, is crucial regardless of what industry your business is in. By honing your emotional intelligence skills, you can gain an edge over others (and possibly boost your income and job satisfaction) by successfully working with difficult people and resolving complex problems.

Besides improving your relationships with your manager, improving your EQ skills might lead to a higher salary. A recent study found that people with high EQ have, on average, higher salaries than people who don’t. Convinced yet?

We hope these tips help get you started on your journey of developing your EQ – but we’ll be back with more content on this soon – as per your request!

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