Mastering Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Words Matter - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

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Mastering Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Words Matter

In our fast-paced digital era, where face-to-face interactions are increasingly rare, the ability to navigate complex interpersonal dynamics is more crucial than ever. Yet, many professionals find themselves lacking the essential people skills needed to effectively manage stress, maintain positive relationships, and prevent conflicts from escalating. At the heart of these capabilities lies emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence encompasses more than just the words we choose; it's about understanding and managing emotions both in ourselves and in others. However, verbal communication plays a significant role in how we navigate workplace relationships. Certain phrases, when used insensitively, can hinder teamwork and indicate a lack of emotional intelligence.

A recent article on outlines four phrases that individuals with high emotional intelligence avoid:

1. I don't need your advice.

This dismissive statement not only undermines effective teamwork but also reveals a lack of trust in colleagues' abilities. Emotionally intelligent team players recognize the value of diverse perspectives and actively seek input from others, especially when facing complex challenges. They understand that soliciting feedback isn't a sign of weakness but rather a strength that fosters collaboration and innovation.

2. It is what it is.

While this phrase may seem innocuous, it often signifies a reluctance to engage in meaningful dialogue or problem-solving. Emotionally intelligent professionals understand the importance of actively addressing issues rather than brushing them aside with resigned acceptance. By embracing constructive conversations and exploring alternative solutions, they demonstrate a commitment to growth and excellence in their work.

3. We've always done it this way.

This phrase is a sign of change resistance and reflects a mindset of complacency. Emotionally intelligent individuals recognize the value of adaptation and continuous improvement. They remain open-minded to alternative approaches and are willing to challenge the status quo for the collective benefit of the team.

4. Nothing is wrong.

Denying or downplaying challenges not only erodes trust within a team but also hinders problem-solving and progress. Emotionally intelligent professionals communicate openly about issues and concerns, recognizing the importance of transparency and accountability in fostering a positive work environment. By acknowledging and addressing problems proactively, they demonstrate a commitment to shared goals and mutual success.

It’s important to communicate thoughtfully and empathetically. Being an organization over 120 years in existence with significant employee longevity, we’ve often found ourselves saying, “but we’ve always done it this way.” As an organization, we’ve made a conscious effort in recent years to avoid that phrase and be open to change and new ideas.

How do you foster thoughtful communication in your organization? Email me at [email protected].


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