Self-confidence & emotional intelligence in the workplace

Written by morgan rush
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Self-confidence & emotional intelligence in the workplace
Self-confident employees feel ready to take on new assignments. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Employers look for workers who possess key workplace skills, such as budgeting, planning meetings, adhering to deadlines and effectively incorporating technology use. These skills certainly contribute to productivity and profitability, but preferred employees may also exhibit subtler skills related to self-confidence and emotional intelligence. Understanding how self-confidence and emotional intelligence in the workplace contribute to a company's mission can help you hone these valued skills.


Self-confidence can be described as a general sense of well-being and self-worth that relates to an individual's perception that she deserves to be happy. Self-confident employees believe that they can positively contribute to their workplace environment. Emotional intelligence differs from traditional definitions about intelligence in that it incorporates a person's ability to monitor her emotional perceptions and make internal adjustments that increase her effectiveness in the workplace. Employees use emotional intelligence to determine why they might be experiencing a particular emotion and then attempt to control the emotion so that it doesn't negatively impact their actions.


Workplaces benefit from self-confident employees because these workers feel prepared and ready to take on assignments and cooperate effectively with colleagues and managers. If they're unsure about directions or processes, self-confident employees don't hesitate to ask for clarification. Employees lacking self-confidence may make mistakes because they're worried that asking questions makes them appear unprepared or unqualified to handle assignments. Additionally, workers with high emotional intelligence are less likely to flare up emotionally or become involved in petty disputes with colleagues, since they're better able to control their feelings.


Self-confident employees may take ownership of their mistakes as well as identify ways to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. They seek out and maintain healthy, positive relationships with co-workers and managers to create a more effective workplace environment. These workers are more likely to listen to and welcome different viewpoints and ideas, as well as seek out challenging assignments and roles to increase their abilities. Workers with high emotional intelligence are also likely to nurture friendly, professional relationships in the workplace. They routinely address and manage stress, maintain high standards for integrity and are often adept at handling change.


Improve your self-confidence in the workplace by consciously trying to eliminate negative self-talk. For example, rather than thinking, "That new project is too difficult for me," consider thinking, "I'm going to make a list of three mentors who can help guide me into making this project a success." Surround yourself with positive, self-confident colleagues and study their habits. Spending time with whiners, slackers and professionals with poor self-confidence will decrease your ability to develop self-confidence habits. To increase your emotional intelligence, identify emotions when they arise in order to better manage their effects. For example, you might note, "I'm feeling stressed because I agreed to take on three new assignments. To reduce that stress, I'm going to create a to-do list and ask to push back the deadline on the largest project to give me two additional days for fine-tuning details."

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