Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart and author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 identified eight habits that people with high emotional intelligence use in the workplace. The results are based on research with over one million people and show how Emotional Intelligence and not IQ may be a better barometer of workplace performance.
For starters, we’d like to share those eight habits with you and have you start thinking about which ones you identify with. Attributes include:
- They Are Relentlessly Positive
- They Use A Robust Emotional Vocabulary
- They Are Assertive
- They Are Curious About Other People
- They Forgive, But They Don’t Forget
- They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy
- They Are Difficult To Offend
- They Squash Negative Self-Talk
Four of the eight habits stand out to us as opportunities to do some self-reflection and testing of your own behavior at work. Our homework for all readers is to think through the habits and your own behavior to see how you can make incremental changes at work.
At first pass, this might sound like you need to be a cheerleader. Travis Bradberry summed the habit up nicely, however, by saying:
“…emotionally intelligent people…don’t get caught up in things they can’t control. They focus their energy on directing the two things that are completely within their power—their attention and their effort.”Travis Bradberry
In the office environment, it is easy to become distracted by other people’s promotions, changing budgets, new business initiatives, etc. While all of these events may have an impact on you, they are likely elements that you can’t control. The advice to focus on only those items within your control gives the opportunity to let go of emotional baggage and the past and think about how you will excel this week, month and year.
FORGIVING, NOT FORGETTING
Like positivity, forgiving can be a challenge in the workplace. The author points out however that holding a grudge against someone can be physically and emotionally unhealthy. The key to success here is to not let a situation or a specific co-worker bog you down, while protecting yourself from future challenges. That’s the “not forgetting” part and a brilliant piece of advice. When a situation like this arises, how are you letting the challenge roll past you without emotional consequences and how are you learning from that situation to be prepared to stop similar behavior in the future?
DON’T LET OTHERS LIMIT YOUR JOY
Bradberry explains that while we cannot completely shut out the feedback of others, spending our time comparing ourselves to others in the workplace is dangerous. We should always remind ourselves that feedback from others is just that – feedback. No matter how much someone tears our work down (or excessively praises it), we should be confident in thinking about the work from our own lens and knowing when it is solid and when it can be better.
The question to ask yourself at work, is how much is your satisfaction coming from the actions you take vs. comparing yourself with others? The sooner you can remove yourself from comparisons, the more you will control your own destiny and happiness.
SQUASHING NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
It’s that little voice inside you saying that you aren’t good enough, you don’t deserve success, you’re going to mess something up…
The author has a great tip to write down these thoughts when the come up and look at them on paper. You’re soon to realize that they are not facts – just statements.
Our challenge to you is to keep a piece of paper close and capture these thoughts each time they come up. How many times a day or week are you writing them down? And when and why are you writing them down? Clues will soon emerge as to where the negative thoughts come from and how you can attack and own actions that put you back in the driver’s seat of accomplishments.
Bottom line: don’t ignore the voices, evaluate them and learn from them.
We guarantee this will be a first successful step to forming a better work environment!