Imagine you have a colleague, Sita. One particular day, you notice that Sita looks sad and is not talking as much as she usually does. You might think, "Hmm, something seems wrong with Sita. She's not her usual cheerful self." You notice these changes in Sita’s behaviour and want to help her feel better instead of ignoring her changed behaviours, or pretending like everything is fine. You decide to ask her if something is bothering her. You might say, "Hey, Sita, you seem a little sad today. Is there something you want to talk about?"
Now, take a step back and think:
Did you ever think about what helped you recognize Sita’s emotions? The ability to understand, identify and regulate one's and other's emotions is called Emotional Intelligence. You were displaying your emotional intelligence because you were aware of Sita's feelings and you wanted to be there for her.
Yes - you read it right, intelligence was never limited to who solves problems the fastest or who could remember a lot of things quickly.
In the above example, observe how you were a supportive colleague to Sita just by using emotional intelligence.
Similarly, when you apply emotional intelligence in all the other aspects of workplace, you can have equally enriching experiences. Decision-making becomes easier when you put yourself on the other end of the table, you begin to communicate effectively, have stronger positive relationships and address conflicts in much simpler ways. Emotional intelligence helps build the groundwork for a collaborative space with a shared sense of empathy and support. If the team lead is considerate of his team’s emotions and needs it facilitates a cohesive team that is able to look beyond typical disagreements and work towards achieving the common goals of the organization.
The best part of emotional intelligence is that with practice, one can become more aware of his emotions and of those around them. It is important to remember that we all experience overwhelming days and can do better with some support. Just with some conscious effort, we can build better relationships and team dynamics. So, the next time you notice a colleague looking a bit off their element, don’t forget to check-in with them.