The personal touch
One way to develop your EI at work is to stop and reflect on how good you are at empathising with others.
“The greatest gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy” Meryl Streep
The easiest way to flex and build your “empathy muscle” is to look at how much you know your colleagues as a person and how much understanding you show them. Here are two suggestions to help build your “empathy muscle” and develop your EI.
Make it your business to know stuff about them and what’s important to them. It could be as simple as keeping a note of birthdays, their kids or pets names. It might be remembering that they were going to a concert at the weekend and mentioning it the next week. For some people, this is just second nature but to others, it is something they need to make a conscious effort to do or make a note to remind them. Either way, you are flexing your empathy muscle, which helps build rapport and therefore relationships.
Get behind the behaviour. If a colleague is irritable or just a bit “off “, instead of being frustrated by their behaviours, stop and ask the question “What could be their motivation for behaving like this?” Coming up with a list of potential reasons may help you show them more understanding to allow you to support them as a fellow human being who is experiencing some challenges.