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« 22. Low emotional intelligence signs: Blind spots »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited MSCEIT consultant.

There are many problems that may arise if you have low emotional intelligence in the area of emotional self-awareness at work.

Emotional self-awareness is a foundation skill influencing other dimensions of emotional intelligence at work.

I will list a few of the problems here and encourage you to add your own.

3 problems arising with low levels of emotional self-awareness.

If you do not know how you feel:

  1. You may not understand how people are perceiving you. Others may perceive changes in your emotions, even if you don't, and they will react to you accordingly. You may be surprised by people's reactions, confused by them, or disappointed by them. If you want to lead people or manage people you will be more successful if you have control over the image you leave with people, and to ensure you are not giving mixed messages.
  2. Your feelings may leak out into what you say or do. For example, if you resent something that has happened, but don't realise it, you may go and speak to someone, and instead of sounding pleasant or encouraging, you sound snide and sarcastic. The other person is then hurt or put-out by what you said. This can badly damage team-work, partnerships and stakeholder relationships.
  3. Your emotions may lead you to behave in a negative way towards someone, their ideas or communication. For instance, if you are feeling envious of someone else's success but don't realise this, when the person speaks out at a meeting you may undermine or disagree with what he or she says, as a way of getting even. Your comments may be inappropriate and put you in a bad light or you may have negated an idea that would have been of value.

How high is your emotional intelligence? Take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) to find out and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green. Click here to find out how.

3 more problems with low levels of emotional self-awareness.

  1. You may develop health problems, e.g. if you are not aware that you feel tense and stressed you may take no action, develop sickness and need to take time off work, losing money, credibility and productivity.
  2. You may not know what is knocking you around and blame external factors in your environment which are not at fault. Thus you could waste a lot of time and energy that could be better applied to more important tasks at work.
  3. You may not know what you want or need and may find it difficult to make good choices. For example, if you don't know what makes you feel good or what excites your passion at work, you may find it hard to know which kinds of roles to apply for. Similarly, you may automatically get promoted because of your technical skills and then find you are out of your depth as senior positions require people management skills that don't come easily to you.

Have your emotional intelligence assessed now.

Want to know how high your emotional intelligence is? There is another model of emotional intelligence, by Salovey and Mayer, that has an ability-based emotional intelligence test called the MSCEIT which you can complete online.

Click here to find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green.

Develop your emotional intelligence now

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Develop your emotional intelligence now and lead a happier, more productive life and improve your work relationships, whether with colleagues, stakeholders or customers.