Learn about the biological and emotional needs of people in the workplace.
- Now let's explore the second major aspect of emotional intelligence, understanding others and building positive relationships. The good news is that as you delve into knowing yourself, it becomes much easier to correctly read and identify similar qualities in others, like their emotions, values, skills, and work style. For example, when you get clear about your own values and how you demonstrate them, you can start to spot values indicators in others. Take a moment to think about your colleagues. Based on your interactions with them over time, what would you identify as their top five values? You want to make an educated guess here, based on all the information you have.
Then, verify your guess by asking them. You can say something like, I've been reflecting a lot on my own values, and I'm interested in learning more about yours. What are your top values and why? Of course, you want to choose a time and place that's conducive to this topic, but you'd be surprised how open people will be when given the chance. The best strategy for getting to know others is to ask them. This is true for all the qualities, not just values. While you can certainly base a lot on your observations, you always want to verify your impressions with confirmation from that person.
These conversations not only give you data, but they help build rapport as well. The truth is that emotional intelligence is more about effort than innate skill. So take time to reflect on what you know about others, gathering and verifying information as you go. With time and focus, you'll greatly increase your understanding of others. As I have mentioned, I studied the brain science of success and the main thing I want you to know about humans is that we're wired for three core things.
First, we're wired to survive. This is our need for food, water, and shelter. Recent global conflicts and natural disasters have highlighted how primal these needs are. People will go to extraordinary lengths to gain and protect food, water, and shelter because of our most basic need to stay alive. When we're not in crisis, these needs come in the form of job security, because earning a paycheck is how we purchase food, water, and shelter. So anything that messes with our sense of job security like a new boss, a performance review, or being assigned to a new team can trigger these primal instincts.
Second, we're wired to belong. This is our need to be part of a community and form meaningful bonds with others. This is tightly interwoven with our need to survive because our chances of survival are greater when we're part of a tribe. Entire structures of our anatomy are dedicated to helping us understand and connect with others. We hunger for and seek a place to belong, and we're sensitive to our place with the group because biologically, we know that being marginalized from a group can be dangerous.
And third, we're wired to become our best selves. Once the other two needs are met, our final and perhaps greatest need is to grow into our potential and make the contribution we're here to make. This is the seeking part of human nature, and it distinguishes us from all the other living organisms on the planet. Our brains are wired to seek new levels of growth, and we have brain structures dedicated to creating feelings of reward or success, as well as steering us away from failure.
As you develop your understanding of all the people in your life, you'll gain more and more insight, which leads to many other measures of success.
- Analyze the brain science behind emotional intelligence.
- Identify and assess your emotions.
- Determine how to exercise emotional self-control.
- Identify your triggers and how to respond the them.
- Assess how others respond at work.
- Determine how to maximize team performance using emotional intelligence.
- Discover how to catalyze change.