17 January 2019

Often referred to as EQ (as in IQ for intelligence), Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a key weapon in the toolkit of the modern workplace.

Bob Dylan sang ‘Times are a changing’ and in the context of business success times really have changed: many of the archaic HR practices that were appropriate 15 years ago just won’t fly nowadays. We have reached an era where a mentally fit workforce isn’t a ‘would like’ but is now a ‘must have.’

Modern successful businesses understand the power and productivity of a mentally-fit workforce, and understand that happy, healthy workers consistently out-perform competitors. Strong EI is a key factor in both individual and collective success in the workplace.

With a goal to create a synergistic workplace, strong leaders need to display, and encourage EI if they want to inspire and motivate staff to increase their own Emotional Intelligence.

 

Looking for a mental fitness programme for your business? Learn about Offload  

 

In this blog we will share with you the Offload understanding and approach to Emotional Intelligence.

The areas covered in this blog are:

  • EI Explained

  • Benefits of EI in the workplace

  • Understanding your own EI

  • Understanding and influencing others EI

  • The Offload Approach

 

Emotional Intelligence explained 

Psychology Today describes a person as emotionally intelligent if they display three core skills:

  1. Emotional awareness, where they can name or identify their own emotional state;
  2. They can harness that emotional state and apply it to problem solving and task fulfilment;
  3. They can manage and control their emotional state and control the emotions of those around them (ie making people feel better, laugh etc).

Further indicators associated with those showing signs of EI include having the ability to recognise when you’re getting upset, understanding why, and being able to defuse the emotions before they become uncontrollable. 

Another is having understanding of other people’s situations, empathy and an appreciation of seeing things from the point of view of others. 

You can focus on the subject manner when people are discussing issues with you and you do not get distracted easily.

 

Benefits of EI in the workplace

There are many benefits for having an emotionally intelligent workforce. As discussed earlier, EI people often have a great deal of empathy so are very aware of the feelings of those around them, and can support and positively manipulate co-workers’ emotions for the benefit of all.

EI staff have a greater propensity for compartmentalising and dealing with emotions and emotional issues, allowing them to focus on their work tasks, which in turn makes them better positioned to solve problems and increase productivity.

Having the ability to communicate clearly is also another bi-product of an EI person, which is key to team success. Clear and concise communication is crucial to creating synergy within a working environment.

Emotionally intelligent members of staff are often admired for several reasons. They are seen as caring, humble, flexible and strong members of the team, and often considered for leadership roles.

 

 FREE 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' Infographic download

 

Understanding your emotional intelligence

When you are looking to understand your own emotional intelligence there are a few areas to focus on.

First, you need to be able to review and recognise your emotions and their triggers, and the impact the emotions have on your actions and thoughts. 

Once they understand how their emotions operate, people with high EI will be aware of the need to manage every step of the process in a controlled and directed manner.

 

Understanding and influencing others EI

Often if you have the skills to understand your own emotions, you can transfer a level of empathy to those around you, picking up on their emotional signals and prompts. 

In the working environment that same awareness allows you to assess the structures of group dynamics, helping to develop and sustain strong working relationships.

Having empathy, great relationship building and clear communication skills also helps people with strong EI influence others emotional state, earmarking them for leadership.

 

The Offload approach

Learning to increase your workforce’s emotional intelligence will help your company’s productivity and output whilst at the same time increase staff mental fitness and their ability to deal with stressors both their own and their colleagues. 

Rugby League Cares’s Offload programme was created from tools and skills used by elite athletes to help them deal with the pressure of life as a professional sportsman: pressure that comes from areas such as media exposure, a competitive environment and, most importantly, self-driven pressure.

As it leans heavily on the experiences of high-performing competitors, Offload now uses ex-professional sportsman and associated experts to deliver support and education on emotional Intelligence in the workplace. 

The programme will work with your staff to coach them on how to assess their personal EI by giving them tools to help how to understand their emotions, review problems surrounding them and help them to learn how to harness emotions positively both personally and collectively. 

 

Find out more about Offload

 

If you are struggling or know someone who might need support urgently click here for extra resources from Rugby League Cares.