New Job? How to Make Emotional Intelligence Work For You

Starting a new role can be daunting. Mixed in with the excitement and relief of getting the job, comes trepidation, fear and worry, as you contemplate learning the ropes. Whether you’re starting out in a new organisation, taking a step up or moving to another area, the first few months in a new role can be challenging.

Emotional Intelligence (also known as Emotional Quotient or EQ) can play a huge role in how you navigate those first few months. EQ helps you understand your feelings, recognise how they impact your behaviour, interpret the responses of others and interact effectively with your colleagues.

In a new role, well developed emotional intelligence can set you on the path to success.

EQ can help you recognise how you are feeling and allow you to regulate your behaviours to minimise any negative impact on your new team. The ability to view issues from multiple perspectives, understand others’ point of view and interact genuinely are valuable skills to have as you find your way in your new role.

If you’re starting a new job in 2019, here’s how you can make the most of your new position by making emotional intelligence work for you.

Self-awareness

Emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness – the ability to understand your thoughts, feelings and actions. When you’re in tune with your feelings and aware of how they impact on your mindset and actions, it’s much easier to step back, take a deep breath and give yourself the space you need to ultimately succeed.

Starting a new role is stressful, but a lot of that stress comes from the internal expectations we place on ourselves to get on top of things as quickly as we can. It’s important that you accept it’s going to take time to get into the swing of things, that you will make mistakes as you learn and that it’s okay to give yourself space to learn and grow.

Self-regulation

In a new role, it’s important to put your best foot forward while you get to know the people you’re working with, the environment you’re operating in and the work you’re managing. This means, learning to self-regulate your behaviour, especially in the stressful moments that are part and parcel of any new job.

It’s important to learn the difference between responding and reacting. When you react, your emotions often lead the way, before your brain can kick in with a rational response. Taking a moment to think, removing yourself from the situation or asking for time to provide a detailed response, gives you time to listen, contemplate and self-regulate.

Motivation

Generally, motivation is high when you begin a new role but, after those first heady weeks of excitement, the novelty can wear off and you can find yourself questioning your career choices.

It’s important to take time to find your ‘why’ in your new position, before you slip into business as usual. How can you make this role your own? How can you make a positive impact?

It’s also crucial to fight the urge to become defensive or defeated when you receive feedback. It’s hard to accept criticism, especially when you’re working so hard to find your feet in a new role. People with strong EQ can accept feedback, learn from mistakes, ask questions and resolve to do better. Use this to motivate yourself further in your new role.

Empathy

The ability to shift your outlook and see situations from the perspective of others is a powerful tool in the workplace. In a new workplace, it’s important to keep an open mind as you navigate a whole lot of unknowns. You’ll be navigating a new hierarchy, interacting with new personalities, learning new procedures, all while finding your place in a new setting.

Take the time to understand those around you. See their work from their perspective. Try to understand why doing things a certain way is important to them. You may not agree with them and you may be able to make improvements down the track. But, in those first few weeks, make the effort to listen, learn and understand your new workplace from every angle.

Social skills

One of the more daunting aspects of a new role is getting to know your new co-workers. The workplace can be a minefield of personalities and no-one wants to get off on the wrong foot. However, social skills are a key element of EQ. It’s valuable to get out there, introduce yourself and start creating networks, from day one.

Developing broad social networks gives you a finger on the pulse of your workplace and provides insight into different points of view. Creating rapport with your colleagues makes it easier to resolve issues, get tasks completed and find ways to improve processes. Make the effort to get to know your colleagues and utilise your social skills to your advantage.

Are you interested in discovering more about the benefits of emotional intelligence? Hunterlink offers a range of social and emotional intelligence courses to improve the skills of your workforce. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organisation.