Acknowledging Others’ Feelings: A Strength, Not a Weakness

I’ve addressed the topic of emotional intelligence before and will continue to do so. Why? Two reasons: (1) having and being aware of your emotional intelligence is a critical characteristic for not only your career, but also (2) to be a successful human being. We’re all aware of the importance intelligence plays in landing opportunities. With so much emphasis placed on grades, standardized testing, etc. from a young age, intelligence is something we all acknowledge as necessary. However, while one’s IQ on paper may present more opportunities for getting in the door, a person’s “EQ”—or emotional intelligence—is what will get you promoted.

If you find yourself in a management position—no matter your industry—intelligence and skill will be important; however, your treatment of those around you will ultimately make or break you. Business is built on relationships to get specific goals accomplished. These relationships must be taken care of to achieve optimal performance—which requires making people, and their feelings, a priority.

Take the following example:

Let’s say that one morning you’re pulling into your company’s parking lot and you see your coworker holding back tears as she exits her car next to you. You ask her if she’s okay, and she’s not. You respond with, “Well, work will get it off your mind. See you inside.” Is it any wonder why she avoids you for the rest of the day?

One key to successfully managing relationships is leaning into your own discomfort and taking a moment to acknowledge, not stifle or change, another’s feelings. Saying instead, “I’m sorry you’re upset, what can I do?” would show you recognize their feelings and want to help in some way. Simple acts—like perhaps getting her a tissue in the case of this coworker—and acknowledge emotions without making them a big deal, marginalizing them, or dismissing them can strengthen any relationship. Everyone has a right to experience feelings, even if their feelings are different from yours. You don’t have to agree with the way people are feeling, but you do have to recognize those feelings as legitimate and respect them. That’s what an emotionally intelligent manager and human being does.

Being aware of those around you allows you to listen to them with greater intent and focus. Doing this allows you summarize back what you’ve heard, which not only shows great listening skills, but an ability to reach out, show interest, and provide care if need be. The result? You’ll end up with a better connection with that employee—or whomever you’re interacting with—which fosters greater trust, admiration, and productivity because of those feelings. All it requires is taking a little time to pay attention and acknowledge the feelings of those around you.

Remember, business is based on relationships. For business to be successful, the collection of those relationships need to be handled successfully. Learn how to increase your effectiveness in leading and how to improve your emotional intelligence by visiting, www.chuckgarcia.com.