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The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

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There are five key elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Awareness and practice of each element combined will make our daily lives in and out of the workplace much more enjoyable. We go through many emotions throughout our day. Being mindful of these emotions and turning the negative ones positive will keep us motivated. We do our best work and is most approachable and enjoyable when we are comfortable.

Self-Awareness

The first element of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. This is the ability to recognize and understand both the positive and negative feelings you encounter. Being able to recognize your emotions will allow you to analyze how you feel in certain situations and later allow you to control those emotions in certain situations. This is especially important in negative situations when hot emotions will cause you to make rushed decisions and say things you do not fully mean and cannot take back.

You go through many emotions on a day to day basis. Take a regular work day for example. You wake up feeling like you are ready for the day or ready to go back to sleep. This can be the determining factor of how you may feel the rest of the day. For the next couple of days, notice how you feel when you first wake up in the morning for work. Are you excited to see what challenges you will resolve today or are you dreading the thought of stepping into the office? If you are excited, congratulations! This means that you are enjoying your work and feel a sense of pride about what you are doing. If you are dreading going to work, pause for a second. Why are you not looking forward to your day? Is it because of your coworkers? Managers? Or is it because you do not enjoy the work you are doing? Evaluate why you are not looking forward to your work day. Figure out if it is something you can change, how you can change the situation, and go from here.

Self-regulation

After being self-aware of your emotions, you can begin self-regulating them. Self-regulation of your emotions is the ability to control the emotions, especially in high-stress situations. This will help with lashing out impulsively when in stressful situations.

An example that ties in with self-awareness at work is how you respond to certain people. Are you responding to certain people in a more negative way than others? This is an important thing to recognize. The person you are responding to negatively is picking up your negative energy much faster than you are recognizing it yourself. Take a moment to notice when you feel more worked up when talking to a specific person. Figure out why that is the case. It may be something they said once that is stuck in the back of your brain. Figure out what it is and determine if it is worth holding a grudge. In most cases, nothing is worth holding a grudge. The only person it is affecting is yourself. After you have determined why you speak to this person in a negative way, let yourself know it is not worth having tense at work and let it go. You are with your coworkers more than you are with your friends so why not be happy when you are at work.

 

Motivation

There will always be days when we feel unmotivated to crawl out of bed let alone do anything productive. Sometimes the lack of motivation comes from something as simple as lack of sleep or as complicated as lack of passion. Go to bed earlier! More sleep cannot hurt. Lack of passion can be fixed. Often time, many life elements plays a role into whether we can change what we are doing out of necessity into doing what we want to do out of passion. Being self-aware of why we are lacking the motivation is the first step in getting motivated, however, we do not always have to do it alone.

We interact with many different people in our daily lives – family, close friends, coworkers, random person on the same train as us every day. Every one of those people could use a boost of motivation from time to time. In the workplace, whether you are a manager or team member, it is undoubtedly recognizable when someone is lacking the motivation. They are your work family. You see your coworkers more than you see your actual family so a shift in behavior or attitude is easy to pick up. When you notice these shifts, if it is a negative shift, consider what might be the cause. If it is something work related? How can you support or work with them to help? As a manager, are you listening to your team? Is someone feeling burnt out? Is there something in the business process that can be improved? Improving all of these things will improve the morale of your team and motivate them produce more high quality products.

 

Empathy

The other elements that we have discussed so far were about recognizing and understanding our own emotions. Empathy is different. Empathy is being able to recognize and understand the emotions of others. It is often time easier to recognize the emotions of someone else, especially if it is a negative emotions. You just have to pay attention. This ties in with self-regulation when we talked about others being able to pick up on the energy we give them. Although it is easy to pick up the emotions of others, it is important to consider why they are feeling that way.

When others are feeling positively, it is something to enjoy. If they are feeling extra enthusiastic or high in energy, maybe something exciting is going on in their lives. Maybe they’re about to go on a dream trip and is looking forward to it. Feeling the positive emotions of another person will feed our emotions positively. Ask that person what is making them so excited today. You might have just discovered something fun to talk and bond about.

Now for the not so fun emotions. Negative emotions are more difficult to control. We feel our blood boiling, the looks in our eyes changes and our body language may become aggressive. Most people will stay far away from people they see are showing signs of negative emotions. Why? Simple. Because we ourselves do not like to feel negatively and do not want others negative emotions rubbing off on us. However, stop and consider how you feel when you are upset. At first you may not want to be disturbed by anyone but you should know that holding in negative feelings for a long time is not healthy for yourself or anyone around you. Sometimes, people just needs one caring person to take them aside and ask if they are okay.

The answer could be simple. They may have just had a bad start to their day. Spilled coffee for example. Other times, they may be going through a difficult situation in their personal lives that is spilling into how they feel at work. These situations are more difficult to help with but knowing that will allow you to be more empathetic when they respond harshly to a question you ask or seem spaced out.

The situations we have just talked about were seeing a higher level of energy – positive or negative – different than their everyday level. Another thing to consider is culture or personality traits. Someone’s culture is a big factor in how they preserve a situations and how they will handle it. Personality traits such as introverts vs extroverts will also react differently to the same situation. Do a quick search for personality tests online and see what you are. Most people are close to the middle. Someone who is introverted, may preserve an extroverted reaction as extreme. Understanding and educating ourselves about our personality traits and what others are will help the us understand how to react in certain situations and with certain people so that everyone feels comfortable.

Social Skills

Understanding all of the above elements, recognizing when we feel certain ways, controlling those emotions in negative situations, motivating ourselves and others to be in a positive mind set and understanding the emotions of those around us, will improve our social skills. Another way of improving our social skills is being able to read the situation, social cues and body language. But keep in mind, body language and cues could mean different things in different cultures. Take eye contact for exam. In one culture, strong eye contact shows confidence and respect while in another culture, it is seen as trying to intimidate.

I take too many pictures. A month without any kind of adventure makes me antsy. The water is my home.

Lifestyle

Smart Ways To Socialize With Coworkers

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Most of us spend 40+ hours per week with our coworkers, so spending more time to socialize with them outside work does not sound too attractive. However, connecting with them outside business hours can greatly improve collaboration. In fact, according to a poll of the Creative Group, 64% of executives said that employees who socialized outside work enjoyed a more productive relationship.

In this digital age, it is important to note that “connecting” doesn’t mean friending co-workers through social media. Whether it is spending time at the company picnic or enjoying after-hours drinks, socializing with coworkers is a good way to build camaraderie.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

This is a good tip to follow if you’re a reserved person. You might be tempted to stick to people you’re already friends with at work, but sometimes it is also good to seek other coworkers and chat with them. Limiting yourself to your social circle at work could mean missed connections or friendships with other coworkers.

Don’t Monopolize Coworkers

Again, it is tempting to just stay with your circle but it can also lead to your monopolization of their time. Socialize and mingle with others but don’t monopolize their time. This means that you should be prepared to have a graceful exit when there’s a lull in conversation. Be prepared with something like “It was good chatting with you John. I’m going to check the buffet table now. See you tomorrow”.

Limit Alcohol

Limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks when out with coworkers. You might be off the clock and it’s time to let your hair down but remember that you have to see them during the next work day. As we all know, alcohol has a way of lowering our inhibitions which can lead to inappropriate behavior. You want them to respect you and having a video uploaded on YouTube entitled “My Drunk Coworker Kisses The Dog” can ruin your credibility. Don’t be the employee that wakes up the next day and thinks “I can’t believe I said/did that”.

Don’t Be A Wet Blanket

It might be tempting to vent about a colleague during your time off to another coworker, but always keep in mind that other people might overhear. We all need to vent from time to time but it’s best to save your complaints to family and friends.

Take Pictures

Break the ice by taking pictures of your coworkers and tagging them on social media. This is a good way to begin and nurture relationships. Just make sure to use your good judgment and not post any photos that show coworkers in unflattering situations.

Socializing with coworkers outside work can be tricky; however, it is possible. Saying yes to outings and drinks after work sometimes can help establish connections, improve work relationships and lead to better teamwork.

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Lifestyle

Benefits Of Having Dogs At The Office

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Taking along your furry friend to your workplace is not a distant dream anymore. Many offices are becoming pet-friendly. This is not an amusing fact, but a well-researched one. A dog can give you a bit of relief when you are completely tied-up with your work. If the pet is well-trained and perfectly healthy, you can take your dog in your office. If your co-workers are open to the idea of keeping a pet in the office, and the building authorities permit pets, then no one can hold you back. Here are the benefits of having dogs in your workplace:

Relieves stress

An active dog is an instant mood-booster. You feel relieved when you see the lively eyes of your pet. If you play with your dog for a few minutes, you get back the strength to work with high-efficiency. Anyone can have a rough day at the office. If a cute-looking Labrador or St. Bernard is there, you can overcome negativity almost instantly.

Helps in team-rapport

Dogs can act as a bonding factor for the team in the workplace. In some offices, people do not get along very easily. A dog can immediately change the environment. It melts the ice and everyone starts sharing their thoughts about keeping a pet. A friendly dog can bring everyone together. A pet can be a great topic as a conversation-starter. Even a new employee can settle down quickly in the new environment when a gentle-looking dog is there.

Reduce absentees

If pet-owners can come to work along with their pets, it becomes a huge relief for them. They can concentrate better on their work and perform well. Pets can feel lonely and bored and often fall sick when they are left alone at home. Workers may find different excuses to skip work to be with their pets. If they can bring their pets, they work peacefully and do not take frequent leaves.

Encourages healthy living

In most offices, employees are stuck for hours on their laptops. Sitting constantly for hours and looking at the screen can have adverse effects on the health of the workforce. If there is an office dog, the employees can take the dog for a walk. They can also share the responsibility of taking care of the dog. It will encourage them to stay active and happy in the workplace.

Dogs make the place more human

A dog or cat can completely change the plastic environment of the workplaces. People become so engrossed in their work, that they slowly ignore their human feelings for each other. Frequent dog petting or cuddling can help people come out of their robot-like situations in the office.

Pets stimulate creativity

Pets can provide natural pauses in workflow. The small breaks allow the human brain to relax and think outside-the-box. Pets allow you to relieve stress and think creatively. The more time you spend with your canine friend, the more relaxed you feel. A calm and fresh mind always bring the best idea in the workplace.

 

To increase the productivity and happiness of your employees, dogs can play an important role. You can arrange some training for the office people if they want a furry friend in the office premises.

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Lifestyle

How To Spend Less Time On The Internet

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In the age of technological revolution, people have become completely reliant on high tech gadgets like laptops, tablets, notebooks, and mobile phones. You can be online anywhere, anytime. So, virtual socializing has become predominant in one’s life. The Internet is not only helpful for studies and work, but also a great medium for shopping, socializing, and entertainment. Because it is so engaging, more and more people are getting hooked to its benefits, and sometimes they lose some precious moments of their life to the Internet. Here are some tricks to take you out of this web and enjoy your real life.

Keep track of your surfing time
If you want to cut the span you spend on the internet, keep track of your surfing time. You need the internet for your school or college projects, office work, and some time for socializing. Do not convince yourself that you need an entire day for these activities. Check how much time you need to check and compose important emails. Keep note how much internet you consume for your profession. Now you know how much time you spend browsing the internet without any goal. You may be surprised to notice that you waste at least 2 hours of your day on social networks. If you can keep a fixed time for social networking, you would naturally spend less time in front of your computer screen.

Take regular breaks
Remind yourself that sitting with your smartphone or laptop and constantly internet surfing is not good for your health. It can lead to regular headaches and eye problems. If you get a short break from your work, do not immediately log onto Facebook. You can go out for some fresh air. Try to keep an engaging book near you. Read for 10 minutes when you have a break. You can also call your friend. It will refresh your mind and you can concentrate on your work more effectively. Make a routine for yourself. If you spend 2 hours in front of the computer screen, try to keep 15 minutes more for your evening walk sessions.

Block the addictive sites for some time
When you know which sites consumes most of your time, you can block them temporarily. Most browsers are equipped with apps that can temporarily block some sites. You can also install add-ons to block the access of distracting sites. When you cannot visit those sites, you will naturally reduce your internet surfing time.

Time for some offline activity
Some interesting hobbies can help you reduce your time on the internet. You can keep a pet. Taking it out for a walk regularly can keep you occupied for some time each day. Call your long-distance friends instead of liking their photos on social networks. You can also learn to play drums or guitar. These activities can keep you refreshed.

Move your devices
Try not to keep your laptop or notebook in your bedroom. Your sleep cycle gets disturbed when you spend more time on the internet at night. If you have a habit of checking Facebook and Instagram after waking up in the morning, keep it far from your bed at night.

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