Emotional intelligence is at the crux of all successful relationships - be it between parent and child, or between spouses, friends, or colleagues. Emotional intelligence is being acutely and accurately aware of our own emotions and those of others. It demands a constant introspective attitude towards our thoughts, which are what give rise to emotions.
Emotional intelligence also demands seeing ourselves as clearly as possible, to be unforgiving to our truths and question our motives. It operates from the premise that all actions have their basis in emotions. And it is the way we act -- our behaviours, our spoken words - that largely determine the nature and quality of our relationships.
Awareness is one thing, but acceptance of our emotions is just as necessary. It is only when we can accept the good and the bad, can we begin to understand, accept and work with all the emotions of others.
Everyone has their own, unique way of perceiving the world. It determines how we interpret the events happening around us. A useful skill in getting along harmoniously with a colleague 'different' than you is developing the ability to perceive any given circumstance from a different point of view.
For instance, if your colleague views an event to be more catastrophic (based on their life experiences), they will react accordingly. Or, they may perceive the event to be of no significance and take no action. In either case, if their subsequent actions are hurting you or the organisation you can always talk to them (look below for tips on giving feedback) and call for a more appropriate action.
Do these perception exercises of looking at things from different perspectives in order to understand the different ways people see the world. Slowly, with enough practice, you will have better emotional intelligence to deal with the views of others. It will help you understand every situation, respond effectively and make better decisions.
You can decide whether you had a good day at work instead of a bad day just by deciding to look at things positively. Positive thinking is what allows you to see a situation at work in a better light. If you choose to see the positive side of a certain colleague you dislike or a situation which didn't go the way you wanted, you prevent your mind from getting stuck with a negative and angry thought. This can mend strained relationships with colleagues. Take things in your stride and let go of those issues and views which you cannot change or which are unhelpful.
To learn and practice the skills mentioned above, you need to have a flexible mind and be humble. Humility and flexibility together brings willingness to understand new ideas and the viewpoints of others. Flexibility also allows one to unlearn the unhelpful mental patterns that our brain often gets used to and learn new ways of thinking and new attitudes.
Making your mind flexible is not easy to practice but can be done. Learning and knowing new things can give your brain adequate workout which helps it take and assimilate new information easily. Moreover, the best way to make your mind emotionally flexible is to constantly look for the cause of your emotion if you are feeling angry, sad or anxious. Be constantly aware of how the world around you is affecting you emotionally and mentally and how your resultant beliefs and actions.
Talking to your colleagues about a distasteful situation or clearing cloudy air is never easy. But, if you follow a few quick tips, you can be assured the situation won't blow up or get out of hand.
Tips on giving feedback:
Tips on receiving feedback:
Of course, monetary and material rewards have their own place as motivators and should not be neglected, but do understand that every human being has an innate need to be acknowledged for who they are and the work they have done.
Everyone is fighting their own private battle and coming to work and give it their best. One word of appreciation for a work well done goes a long way in keeping them on the path of repeated successful work. However, do not go overboard with the praise. Rewards work better and generate consistent desired action when given intermittently. While this is a simplistic ideology, it can be very effective when you do not have other means or time to engage in motivating others.
Follow the tips above and carve out a better relation with your office mates. Remember that without proper communication between employees, the collaborated work is bound to suffer.