3 Quick Ways Leaders Can Boost EQ In The Workplace

3 Quick Ways Leaders Can Boost EQ In The Workplace

People with high EQ have greater mental health, work performance, and leadership skills. EQ is something you’re always assessing, whether you're aware or not.

As a part of I/O Coaching’s work and “output vs. input” philosophy, our team is always focusing on these two pillars for problem solving and enhancing job performance, leadership skills and relationships.

In the case of Emotional intelligence, or EQ, these break down to the below:

  • Output: increase emotional intelligence for better working relationships.
  • Input: take a few moments each day to become aware of your emotions and then go deeper with colleagues.

Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others. People with high EQ have greater mental health, work performance, and leadership skills. EQ is something you’re always assessing, whether you’re aware of it or not.

What people don’t think about is how they can constantly boost and fine tune their EQ. Just like your IQ, there is a level of EQ that is inherent and baseline, however, with practice and intentional interactions, you can increase your emotional intelligence to drive leadership performance and enhance your relationships.

As business increasingly becomes more automated and technical, the reliance on individual people and teams to get work out the door has decreased. Of course, the need for human touch hasn’t disappeared, but think about it: a marketer can run a multi-million-dollar campaign without ever talking to another person, an engineer can work with a team in real-time across the world through Slack, and you can have three meals delivered directly to your couch for a week without ever having to say a word to anyone.

Simply put, our opportunities to interact with each other face-to-face are dwindling and therefore, we don’t have as many opportunities to practice our EQ skills in the workplace as we used to.


Daily EQ Practices for Leaders

Here are 3 quick ways to make sure you’re exercising your EQ muscle a few times a day:


Stop slacking

Consider who you haven’t connected with in a while. For small, casual requests or questions, take the time to walk over to a colleague and ask face-to-face or pick up the phone and make a call. More than likely, you’ll get a faster and better response this way and you’ll be able to read their reaction instead of it being disguised and unclear over text.


Observe your emotions

Observe and name your emotions. We tend to push off our emotions and hide them away in a workplace setting. When a feeling washes over you, whether it be frustration, excitement, or disappointment, it’s important to take a few beats in your head to observe the feeling and to give it a name. When you regularly and intentionally observe and identify your feelings it will become second nature.


Ask a follow up question

Ask your colleagues “why.” “Why are you frustrated with your project?” or “Why are you excited for the weekend?” Even the simplest of follow up questions will allow you to collect data on how and what makes others feel a certain way. This practice is key for flexing your EQ muscle. It will also strengthen your relationships in the office.


Emotional intelligence is a muscle that’s easy to build. It’s not something you can cross off your list and be “done” with, but instead, it’s a practice you commit to everyday. Try making at least one connection each day. These small steps will lead to big changes.


Nikki Goldman helps leaders to unlock their potential and forward their thinking. She is the Founder and CEO of I/O Coaching, a leadership development company that specializes in supporting founders and executives through coaching, experimentation, deep reflection, and action. Nikki acts as a thought partner to forward thinking CEO’s and executives. Her mandate is to help them to grow, shift, and evolve. She has deep expertise in creating strategic alignment, navigating tough situations, and helping them to see into the future. Nikki has worked with companies such as Peloton, Warby Parker, LOLA, American Express, and many more. 


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