At some point, everyone has encountered an uncomfortable situation driven by emotions, whether he or she has been directly involved or a spectator. Emotions play a big role in a work environment and can even change the social culture and productivity of a company. While we may be faced with many emotional situations throughout the day, being an “emotional basket case” at work is something we all strive to avoid. That’s why knowing how to understand your emotions and the emotions of others, and using this information to guide thinking and behavior, is a valuable quality. This is what’s known as “emotional intelligence” (EQ), and it is an important consideration when we invite talented individuals to join our AXON team.
EQ in the workplace is thought to be responsible for more than half of a person’s job performance. Often considered a part of “soft skills,” EQ can be applied to every interaction in business, from brainstorming and presenting, to motivating staff and growing the company. Employees with a high EQ are able to improve relationships and communications with their colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. Working closely with clients and other team members requires many aspects of EQ, such as being self-aware, empathetic, motivated, and social. They are also able to remain calm under pressure and resolve conflict effectively. Companies recognize EQ as having a strong influence on client relationships, the office environment, and productivity.
In the health communications industry, EQ is a particularly valuable quality. While IQ is certainly important in a field that requires strong scientific acumen, EQ may be equally, if not more, important. In order to develop content for doctor and patient education, as well as for scientific journals, we need to understand the thoughts and motives of each audience. If we are attuned to their emotions and perspectives, we can better understand how to reach them, tailor messages to them, and ultimately influence their behavior to benefit health care outcomes.
There are many different assessment tools available to measure EQ; a list of EQ measures can be found here.
If you find you are struggling with EQ, don’t be discouraged; it can be learned. Here are five tips that may help you improve your EQ:
- Think before you act. How will your actions affect others?
- Filter what you say and do. What is most appropriate to convey?
- Be open-minded and flexible. Is there an alternative solution?
- Be positive. How can a situation be improved?
- Keep others in mind. What can you do to strengthen relationships with colleagues?
Applying these tips, especially in the workplace, can create a more social and productive environment. So put your heart (and your head) into your work!
——— Danielle Cavazzini is a former Scientific Affairs Associate and Program Executive at AXON Communications, sister company of NATIONAL Public Relations