Building Good Working Relationships

Each of us strives to form good working relationships, to be a cooperative and constructive member of the group, to control anger and other counterproductive impulses, and to increase our effectiveness with co-workers. We need to be able to separate healthy feelings from unhealthy feelings and turn negative feelings into positive ones. This is called emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability with which people deal with their own emotions and the emotions of others. It focuses on the four basic competencies—self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and social skills—that influence the way people handle themselves and their relationships with others.

When emotional intelligence or people skills are low, the behaviors we see can be negative and counterproductive, such as loosing perspective, withholding information, being judgmental, and disregarding the feelings of others. We can increase EI by paying attention to our feelings, resisting unexpected impulses, thinking about the consequences of our actions, recognizing the feelings of others, seeking feedback for our behaviors, and setting boundaries.

The key to emotional intelligence is understanding your emotions and the emotions of others and acting in the most appropriate way.

Mallary Tytel President and founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.