How to handle workplace pressure

As the pace of change in our workplaces continue to increase, it’s inevitable that the pressures will continue to rise as well. Most people feel this happening all around them. According to a Korn Ferry survey, two thirds of professionals say their stress levels at work are higher than they were five years ago.

The main reasons were found to be changes in technology, workloads, and interpersonal conflict. While some of the pressures such as the rate of technological change may not improve, areas such as interpersonal conflict can be managed more effectively.

People who have a high emotional intelligence are better able to manage their emotions and the emotions of those around them. Here are five ways that emotionally intelligent people are better equipped to handle workplace pressure:

  1. They’re aware of their own emotions

Being highly self-aware, emotionally intelligent people don’t let their stress levels get to the point where they feel out of control. They have a variety of tools they use for dealing with the stress when it starts to build up, such as taking a break or talking to trusted colleagues.

  1. They take time to respond

We feel before we think. When our emotions overwhelm us, we are in danger of reacting from our emotions. When we have an immediate response to something, this is because it takes about six seconds for messages to reach our thinking brain, from our emotional brain.

If we don’t immediately react, our thinking process can kick in, and we will make more reasoned decisions. Emotionally intelligent people are tuned in to their emotional level and know when they need to take a break before getting back to the matter at hand once they have been able to process with their thinking brain.

  1. They’re aware of what triggers them

We are all triggered at times. These are the times when someone says or does something that brings up strong emotions for us. The emotions arise because the situation brings up something from our past that we may not even be aware of. Because emotionally intelligent people are aware of their emotions and can trace them back to past events, they are less likely to be caught off guard. They have strategies ready to use whenever they find themselves triggered.

  1. They’re able to identify their emotions

The act of naming an emotion takes some of the power out of the feeling. Emotionally intelligent people are able to identify a wide range of emotions, thereby decreasing the likelihood of a damaging outburst.

  1. They show their authenticity

Emotionally intelligent people have a good sense of what to share, to what extent, and when sharing is appropriate. This allows people to get to know them and see their human side. Not having to be “on” at all times, and be all things to all people, relieves a great deal of pressure.

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