How To Incorporate Emotional Intelligence Into Professional Development

Emotional Intelligence
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    If you have taken a look at our past posts on EI, you’ll know how it is defined and how important it is in the workplace. With all of this new information, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Perhaps you are questioning if you have what it takes to be an emotionally intelligent employee or employer. We think you do. 

    At WeLearn’s Learning Development blog, we believe that if you have the desire to learn, nothing can stop you. This post will provide you with concrete ways to enhance your EI, introduce it in the workplace, and actively incorporate it into your hiring process to ensure that your business is operating on the highest level possible.

    Stay Constantly Connected With Yourself

    Become more self-aware: Begin with what’s happening inside before you start trying to change what’s happening on the outside. We suggest paying attention to how you are feeling throughout your workday, and actively assessing what is contributing to your emotions. 

    Perhaps you notice that Wednesdays are especially hard because you are saddled with more projects. Maybe Fridays cause stress because you need to express your ideas to others at a weekly meeting. Take note of how your emotions contribute to your decisions and actions instead of trying to suppress them. 

    It’s important to identify and understand not only your emotional weaknesses but your strengths as well. If you become easily overwhelmed in large groups and thrive in small-team environments, communicate that to your employer. If you get sad working inside all day, find a way to work in the sunshine or take lunch breaks outdoors. 

    Keep a journal: The best way to monitor and reflect upon your emotions and reactions is to write about them. Keep a journal in your desk drawer, jot down your thoughts in your free time, and at the end of the week, take a look back at how and why your emotions changed.

    Employee Engagement and Personal Engagement

    Practice self-regulation: While identifying emotions is important, it’s also important to handle them professionally. Snapping at your coworker or insulting your boss will only lead to resentment in the workplace, and will negatively impact your professional development goals. 

    Keeping your emotions in check is not always easy, so find techniques that help you deal with your work-related stress. This could look like a new hobby, like gardening or painting. 

    To rid yourself of negative thoughts and boost your endorphins, consider the benefits of exercise. Studies have proven that even a little bit of exercise can help you manage difficult situations and feel more confident about yourself in every aspect of life. This doesn’t mean you need to be perfect right away. 

    Start small by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or substituting your coffee break with a brisk walk. Be patient with yourself, monitor your progress, and take time to think before saying something that might hurt those around you.

    Emotionally Intelligent Talent Acquisition Strategy

    Interview for emotional intelligence: As an essential stakeholder, one of the best ways to improve EI in the workplace is to make sure your new workers prioritize it just as much as you do. 

    Oftentimes, interviews do not have a strict structure. Usually, we allow people to be vague in their responses and avoid the questions that really grant us insight into their character. Perhaps you have asked candidates directly about their emotional intelligence or EI-related competencies. If so, be aware that employees might be painting an idealized version of themselves and not being transparent with you.  

    Consider asking questions such as:

    1. How do you de-stress after a tough day at the office?
    2. What’s something you’ve achieved that you’re most proud of and why?
    3. How do you respond when a co-worker challenges you?
    4. How do you recover from failure?
    5. What kind of behavior makes you angry/annoyed?

    These questions will give you a better idea of how candidates react in real-life situations, and how they treat themselves and others.

    You Can Overcome Your Workforce Development Challenges

    Understanding your own emotions and working on your emotion recognition and management is tough. It requires some discipline, and the desire to improve. The good news is, if you are reading this post, you are already putting in the work to be a better employee or employer. 

    What are your thoughts on emotional intelligence? Do you think it’s that important? How do you get a read on someone’s emotional intelligence without using tests? Let us know your thoughts, struggles, and hopes here at WeLearn’s learning development blog.

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      A recent US census estimated that 5.2% of US workers (8 million people) worked remotely. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, that number has unquestionably multiplied. But is remote work as strange as it seems?

      Major companies like Twitter have embraced the trend in remote work and have actively made working from home a permanent change for their frontline talent. With so many opinions on the future of work, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. This post will guide you through the possible pros and cons of remote work and help you find the best fit for your team’s professional development goals.

      Is Remote the Right Learning Philosophy?

      A Loss in Creativity: In a recent article, Kevin Roose of the New York Times warned key stakeholders and workers that ditching the office could lead to feelings of isolation, a decrease in employee engagement, and a loss of innovative thinking.

      Before making the switch to fully remote work, weigh the importance of teamwork at your business or firm. Studies actively illustrate the innate power of working with people face-to-face, and employees collaborating on a project together in the same room may be motivated to solve problems faster than remote teams.

      Employee Burnout: Remote workers could feel more pressure to always be available and productive in their supposedly “more relaxed” work environments. Be wary that your remote team might be taking shorter breaks and fewer sick days than an office-based one, and consider how that might impact their ability to create their best content.

      If you are the kind of boss that wants your employees to stay healthy, happy, and motivated, consider creating strict boundaries. Set a “no text after 8 PM” policy, and try your best to grant your workers the weekends they deserve. 

      The Pros of Employee Engagement at Home

      Happy Workers, Healthy World: The average commute of an American hit over 27 minutes in the past year. While at an office-based job a commute is inevitable, a remote position grants employees more freedom to spend time on things that matter, such as their health and family. Surely your team will feel better after a 27-minute walk with loved ones than nearly half an hour spent in traffic!

      If you want to take a look at the bigger picture, consider the environmental benefits of remote work. More than ever before, your company has the chance to lower the number of cars on the road and help reduce harmful Co2 emissions.

      Equality In The Workplace: Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where 86% of employees believe physical appearance matters, and 73% actively believe it impacts a person’s competency on the job. Working at home places emphasis on an employee’s ability rather than their wardrobe or looks.

      Working remotely may motivate female or minority team members to be more productive, as they will be experiencing far less sexual harassment or office-bullying. Zoom might be tiresome, but in the end, it unifies us by how imperfect we all look at home.

      Questioning Workplace Culture

      Face-Time is Overrated: Recent reports have shown that American companies spent 54% of their time on email, meetings, administrative tasks, and office-based “interruptions”. Michelle Ruiz of Vogue recently referred to the obsession of face time and challenges its importance.

      In her article, Ruiz suggests that face time is the ultimate “mirage, the symbolic appearance of working (going to meetings, chatting with co-workers) but not getting much done.” So, if you want your team to feel more comfortable and focused on working rather than putting on airs, consider remote work.

      Positive Productivity: While managers need to be aware that their team might be taking on more as remote workers, it’s not always a bad thing that employees are inspired to push themselves.

      In Stanford University’s two-year remote work productivity study, researchers followed 500 employees after separating them into their respective “remote” and “office-based” groups. The remote working group didn’t feel the need for as many days off, and results showed a work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work.

      The Future of Work: Uncertain But Promising

      While it is impossible to predict the future of work, the surge of remote working has provided companies and employees with more options than ever before. To encourage the best work possible, try making the office an optional space for employees to choose based on their preferred working style.

      Let your workers know that whether they are in the office or their living room, they are still relevant to the company and appreciated for their efforts. Share your story on remote working with us here at WeLearns learning development blog! We would love to hear your thoughts, and move together through these unprecedented times.

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