Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Charlie Gladstone Author and Creative Entrepreneur  

Cultivating emotional intelligence in the workplace

Bringing happiness and a sense of community to others, and helping them earn a livelihood, is something I’m incredibly proud of. I want people to value and enjoy being at work, and I advocate it daily. It comes from the heart. But also, I know that the happier people are and the more valued they feel, the more productive they are and the more important to my team they become.

This is in no small part thanks to the emotional intelligence I cultivate in myself and my team. It has a deep power and helps nurture a culture of positive productivity.

The principles of emotional intelligence can sound rather simple. In reality, it takes dedication and no end of patience, kindness and empathy. Yet as you become more emotionally intelligent, it can be a game-changer for you and your business.

These are my top tips for positively managing emotions in the workplace, informed by more than three decades of my leadership experience:

Know yourself

You might think you understand how and why you behave as you do, but if you take the time to closely observe your behaviours and your triggers, you’ll gain much clearer insight. You’ll begin to spot patterns and make connections.

Control yourself

Next, you need to learn how to control your emotions. It’s not about repressing feelings. Rather, it’s about self-control and regulating your emotions. In turn, you’ll feel calmer and become a more positive influence on others.      

Observe others

The key to understanding people is to simply stop and listen. Properly. Observe others with awareness and empathy, and always without judgement. You’ll get to know them. And then, if necessary, you can help them.

Don’t react

Even when somebody flies off the handle, the best thing you can do is not react. That doesn’t mean you can’t take action, but if you remain calm and empathic, respect is quickly nurtured and differences of opinion can be resolved.   

You’re not perfect

Displaying emotional intelligence includes going easy on yourself. You’re not perfect, thank goodness. If you’re having an off day, that’s ok. Just remember to try to be aware of how you feel. 

Say no to ego

We can’t remove the ego entirely. But self-aggrandising, conceited and arrogant tendencies and behaviours serve no communal purpose. Remove these from the room and relations will be much easier. 

Remain calm

The best way to stay in control of your emotions is to never lose your temper. But if you do, then please, make sure you regret it! Assess the situation, understand the trigger, and learn from it for the future.  

In conclusion . . .

Emotional intelligence is innate within us all. I believe that. We have to understand and learn to manage our emotions. But in difficult situations—and the modern workplace is full of them—try to remain calm and composed so you have clarity of thought. Tune into that inner wisdom. It will serve you and your team well.