Being sought out for your expertise at work does many wonderful things for your self-esteem. It checks all the boxes; you feel respected, you feel secure in your work and you have confirmation that you are in the right place in your career (you belong).
So how can you be recognized for your deep knowledge more often and by more colleagues?
Emotional intelligence holds the key. Emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive, use, understand and manage your emotions” (Dr. Susan Albers), it can help you be more relatable to others, which is instrumental in being asked for your expertise (consistency is important).
Being relatable uses three areas of emotional intelligence. 1. Building positive interpersonal relationships with others. 2. Being able to empathize with others. 3. Genuinely wanting to help others (even when there is no real advantage to you in doing so, also known as social responsibility).
It’s sometimes tough to get all three working together; as an example, you may genuinely want to help, but not this colleague (you don’t trust them). You may want to help your colleague but don’t understand their concern (you can’t connect to their need). You want to help, but don’t want the commitment of being the expert here (you get overwhelmed just thinking about what’s involved). All circumstances that could potentially impact the way you respond and consequently how others perceive you (i.e., your relatability).
To remain relatable when things aren’t lining up, balance between these three areas of emotional intelligence is needed. You can provide support by connecting to what this other person is feeling, without being intrusive, without over-committing your time and without having trust present, allowing you to continue to build strong professional relationships at work with everyone. Let’s look at some examples.
What is important to note is emotional intelligence is not about meeting the needs of others at the expense of your own needs, but being open, curious and clear about what is happening in that moment, ensuing everyone can have their needs met.
That is the power of emotional intelligence in making you more relatable at work.
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I believe in empowering others in many tangible ways. When I learn new career strategies or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website.