They’re invisible. They’re not anything people “get.” In fact, they are something everyone from top to bottom can “give:” The most human of vibes that come from emotional intelligence.
Work can be stressful and pressure-packed. It can require employees to grind through times of drudgery with seemingly no end in sight. Some individuals may feel their role is unimportant to the overall outcome. Multiple priorities under tight deadlines can be overwhelming. A stagnant economy and competitors can slow progress towards goals, delaying or sidetracking the rewards of growth.
A culture with a collective mindset to be emotionally intelligent can help mitigate all of these factors.
Some individuals inherently possess emotional intelligence. Others have to be more intentional to create habits and behaviors exhibiting emotional intelligence. The good news it’s not that hard. Emotional intelligence is a set of vibes that bring to life the mantra “treat people the way you would want to be treated.”
- Empathy – At some point, everyone struggles with a project, makes a mistake or falls short of a goal. That’s the moment people need the most encouragement to be resilient and do better. Showing compassion for others – and even yourself – when things aren’t going well is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- Honesty - Empathy doesn’t mean teammates shouldn’t be honest, objective and constructive when something can and should be done better. Constructive suggestions and criticism is how individuals and teams get better. Being honest is not being harsh. It’s actually another version of support. And people should be open to honest and constructive feedback. They will be the better for it. Honesty, especially when something is hard to say or hear, is a sign of respect.
- Grace – Give each other the context, resources and time to get each part of a project done well. Listen to others to understand and not just to respond. And be responsive to keep things moving forward. Teammates reach out by e-mail or other means at work because they need a response to help them get a task done. Respond within a reasonable time or if you can’t get them what they need, let them know so they can find the answer elsewhere and/or adjust their timeline.
- Kindness – This sounds so simple, but it’s not as common as one might think at some places. Saying hello or asking how the kids are doing or if someone who’s been sick is feeling better are simple gestures that make others feel like they are working with people that care about them. And when people care about each other, they truly become a team.
- Helpfulness – Especially for the most stressful times and urgent needs, the default should be to pitch-in however one can to get the job done. Even if what needs to be done is “out of your lane.” That may just mean getting pizza and M&M s for those working through the night or sending them an encouraging or humorous message on Teams or Zoom. Little things can fuel a smile and a second wind.
When that happens, not only are people working to live, but they feel like they are “living,” even while at work.