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Is your EQ holding you back at work?

Apply EQ to eliminate shortcomings
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Apply EQ to eliminate shortcomings

You believe professional outcomes depend on your cognitive skills and the results you deliver. Then where does emotional intelligence or EQ (emotional quotient) fit in? Since you are dealing with your internal emotional state as well as that of other human beings, an inability to understand and manage emotions slows you down or prevents you from achieving the desired. Thus, your success is driven not just by intelligence and skills but also by the emotional tools at your disposal. Your emotional intelligence lies in self-awareness/perception, self-regulation/control, motivation, empathy and social skills. However, the following negative behaviours could be holding you back at work.

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Finding meaning
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Finding meaning

Human brains are meaning-making machines. Take this to the workplace and you can assign a lot of meaning to the money you earn and link it to your confidence, social status and personal judgments of good and bad. It is easy to get biased where you take everything personally and thus take the wrong decisions. Recognise that everyone is too focused on their own world to think about you or plot how to make you fail.

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Looking good
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Looking good

Do you have a persistent need to appear smart, intelligent, powerful or important at work? Recognise that your human bias to look good and feel needed makes you constantly try to display your importance. Unfortunately, this reduces your impact. Recognise that people respond better to supportive behaviour than authoritative and they connect better through authenticity and vulnerability than through the mask of importance.

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Mistaken identity
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Mistaken identity

Who are you? If your answer is VP Sales or Manager, Finance – you are wrong and are also sabotaging your future. This means you are used to equating your personal identity with your professional role. When you create your identity through your job, your primary underlying emotion is fear which blinds you to good opportunities. Firstly, redefine who you are—where your skills (and not your job) are merely a part of your self-image. Secondly, recognise that a loss can never be an absolute judgment of you as a person and you can reframe it as an opportunity to change behaviour and discover your best future.

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Emotional compensation
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Emotional compensation

Demanding respect on account of your position, expertise or experience squelches communication and self-expression of others and thus ultimately backfires. If you want the support of others, begin with respecting their ideas and contributions even when they disagree with you. Now you are likely to get reciprocal respect from them.

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Righteousness
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Righteousness

Do you want to grow in your career or do you want to be right? The two are mutually exclusive. The need to be proven right in arguments and discussions shuts you out to learning and course correction while you come across as arrogant. The opposite is your need to grow that makes you open to suggestions, different ideas and criticism some of which will add to your learning while leading to better results. So, remind yourself each time that you are better off being wrong and learning something new for the future instead of being perceived to be right temporarily.

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Inconsistent outcomes
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Inconsistent outcomes

Reliability is the strongest indicator of success in your career. Consistently delivering what you said or what is expected of you gets you the promotions you deserve. For colleagues to trust you, they need to see your ability to handle stress and control emotional responses. To improve your expression and thus persuade people better, increase your empathy by imagining yourself in their shoes and feeling the emotions they may be going through. Changing your bias for emotion-less communication will come only from constant practice.

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    Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service