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4 Ways Emotional Intelligence Can Make You Love Your Job Again

If you struggle to enjoy your job, you probably have valid reasons for your dissatisfaction. Some of these circumstances may be out of your control, but the ability to love what you do starts with what you can control — yourself — which may require some deliberate personal work.

This inner work isn’t necessarily easy, but it can have a positive effect on your outlook at work and life at home.

In comes emotional intelligence, which impacts how you perceive, express and respond to emotions. Developing this trait can help you love your job again.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence involves recognizing others’ emotions and managing your own.

5 elements of emotional intelligence in the workplace:

  • Self-awareness – You can recognize and understand your moods, emotions and desires. You see how they impact yourself and others around you.
  • Self-regulation – You can control impulsive responses and feelings that only keep you from growing. You don’t let petty disagreements and obstacles get the best of you.
  • Intrinsic motivation – Your passion and enthusiasm keep you pushing toward your work goals.
  • Empathy – You see others’ sides of things by understanding their experiences as much as possible. You respond to their emotions with kindness, respect and professionalism.
  • Social skills – You’re skilled at navigating relationships, building networks and taking initiative. In cases of leadership, you’re good at developing and leading teams.

Build trust with your co-workers

With high emotional intelligence, you can develop healthy work relationships, which not only impacts your work performance but also your sense of community and belonging.

You show compassion toward co-workers and supervisors, noticing when they’re having a tough time. You don’t blindly react to your colleagues’ irritable moods; you assume the best about their intentions, even when they do things that rub you the wrong way.

Let’s say you ask Rob a question about a project, and he snaps at you. A good way to practice emotional intelligence is to avoid snapping back. Instead, take a deep breath, and either let it slide or ask if everything’s OK. Offer a listening ear in service to his well-being.

Emotional intelligence helps you build trust with coworkers like Rob, so they feel comfortable talking to you and being themselves. They’re also more likely to trust your ideas and perspective — and vice versa.

The secret recipe for higher productivity

Emotional intelligence helps you boost your productivity at work. It also increases the probability that your manager will give you a positive evaluation.

Here’s why:

  • You’re more emotionally stable, managing your emotions and regulating your response to stress
  • You’re confident in your abilities
  • You stay focused and work hard
  • You draw from intrinsic motivation, which keeps you persistent and productive

The way you feel impacts your cognitive ability. The more you acknowledge, recognize and control your emotions, the more focused and motivated you’ll be on the job.

Become a better leader

If you’re in a leadership role or hope to be someday, emotional intelligence can set you up for success. You’re able to communicate your vision in a persuasive and inspirational way that others can understand and support.

You help manage your employees’ emotions during stressful events by:

  • Mediating situations
  • Offering support
  • Providing constructive feedback and solutions

You listen to others during meetings and one-on-one conversations, and you’re open to thoughts and solutions regarding change.

Instead of saying to your employee, “Our work-life balance is fine. Maybe you’re just not willing to work hard enough.”

Respond with, “Thanks for sharing your thoughts on work-life balance. I’ll consider this issue and see what I can do. Let’s schedule a follow-up meeting for next week to discuss your feelings.”

Then sincerely consider ways to implement that change. This response could foster an opportunity to broaden your perspective and build a strong partnership with your employee.

Emotional intelligence increases job satisfaction

In combining these skills, you’re able to better understand yourself and those you work with. You help foster an environment that’s built on trust. You’re more confident, motivated, successful and satisfied with the job you do on a regular basis.

That’s how you use emotional intelligence to love your job again.