Tips for Working with People with No Emotional Intelligence

TSP • @myTSPnet


If you want to succeed in life, it helps to have a high EQ, or emotional quotient. Your emotional quotient is how well you understand your own emotions and those of the people you interact with. When it comes to happiness and success, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability. When you’re observant and reflective of other’s feelings, you can be a better leader, spouse and overall person. Unfortunately, not everyone has this natural ability.

Think about people you know who are oblivious to how their negativity affects others or those who get angry when faced with confrontation. These situations happen all the time, but only emotionally intelligent individuals know how to respond in a way that steers the situation towards a positive outcome.

Emotional intelligence also includes how you react to other’s emotions. Your emotional reactivity is crucial when dealing with others in life and in the workplace. Mood swings are common behavioral currency in individuals with a lower EQ. You can adapt to this by carefully tuning into their emotions and remembering that they are likely to react in an exaggerated manner. The more someone’s mood fluctuates, the more important it is to tune into their emotions and ride their mood waves.

When dealing with someone who isn’t great at discerning your mood or sentiment, you might as well just tell them what you’re thinking. Studies show that 55% of communication involves body language. 38% of your communication is your tone of voice and only 7% is comprised of spoken words. If you want the other person to understand how you feel, there’s no point in playing a silent game or waiting for them to figure it out.

We all differ in our ability to make sense of ambiguous real-world situations, and most of the people problems we encounter at work fit into this bucket. Regardless of your own EQ, if you work with someone who isn’t adept at interpreting your emotions, it’s key that you help them understand. Use explicit communication, put things in writing and set out clear goals to ensure that your message is understood.

If you feel something strongly, but the person you are up against is averse to emotion, you’re wasting your time trying to explain yourself. Chances are your tears, worry, frustration and anger aren’t going to help them sympathize with you. Rather, they’re likely to regard you with less esteem, get mad or retreat. Remain calm and state your case succinctly.

It’s important to avoid being a source of stress. This means staying calm, reducing the likelihood of conflict and acting as a soothing influence for them. Managers have a tendency to like people who are similar to them, but this isn’t the case for those with a lower EQ. The more volatile you are, the more you’ll enjoy the company of stable and predictable people, even if it means that employees are doubling as informal therapists or coaches.

One problem with people who score low in emotional intelligence is that they are unable to empathize with others. If you believe you have a high EQ, then you should be the bigger person.

Someone who drones on with lengthy stories is really looking for others to validate their worth. Yes, you can be rude and cut them off. There are even fake-call apps you can use to stage an exit. However, you’re the one with the high EQ, right? Listening to a boring story won’t kill you, and it certainly won’t last forever. Stretch yourself to listen with attention and empathy because it’s the kind thing to do and you will leave the encounter feeling content.

Emotional intelligence is an essential part of our day to day interactions and wellbeing. As we navigate technological advancements, emotional skills are becoming less important and therefore less practiced. It’s important to embrace individual differences, not just tolerate them. Others might even learn from your example.