This skill is an important measure of your ability to succeed in the workplace, and yet it is often ignored. Negative emotions are very common in most jobs, and being able to process these emotions and use them to fuel positive outcomes can determine how well you thrive in your workplace. Fortunately, unlike your IQ, emotional intelligence is a flexible skill that can be improved with hard work and dedication.
Because emotionally intelligent people tend to be in short supply, they are given a high premium when it comes to wages. 90% of top earners score highly in emotional intelligence, while emotionally intelligent people earn about $28,000 more annually than those who score below the median. To improve your emotional intelligence, start by choosing three times a day to stop and name which primary emotion—joy, fear, anger, sadness, hurt—you feel closest to at that moment. Doing this forces you out of your routine and increases your ability to recognize how your emotions affect your body.
Next, begin to notice which of these feelings are present in you most frequently. By becoming aware which emotions come easiest to you and which are more difficult, you can start increasing your expression of positive emotions and decreasing the effect negative emotions have on you during the day. By regularly practicing these steps in your workday, you can gradually improve your emotional intelligence and your work performance.
Ken Wargo is a veteran project manager with experience in sales and finance. He has the ability to accomplish challenging goals no matter the workload.