Integrating Emotional Intelligence Into Your Workplace Health and Wellness Program

The article below was written by my research partner, Ashley Bowers, President of TTI Performance Systems, Ltd. Psychological research has shown that our bodies and brains are connected.

So when developing a new workplace health and wellness initiative for your company, it's important to consider the brain, and the emotional stress that can take a toll on our physical health. If we better understand what stressors exist in our workplace environments, we can identify appropriate tactics to reduce those stressors and maintain emotionally balanced professional environments.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. EQ helps us manage stress, and it is vital for enhanced cooperation and teamwork. It manifests itself when employees blame others; use victim statements; refuse to hear critical feedback; dismiss diverse opinions; and demonstrate passive-aggressive traits. When we can self-reflect, self-regulate and employ empathy in the workplace, we are better able to adjust to change, maintain our commitments to people and create balance.

A strong EQ contribution to a comprehensive health and wellness program starts with assessing each individual's Emotional Quotient score. This personalized and confidential report is best immediately evaluated and debriefed by an EQ-certified analyst. The report is also effective when also debriefed in a "triad." In a triad debriefing, two respondents are debriefed in tandem, sharing pertinent information from each other's reports (triad debriefings should be done after one-on-one sessions have occurred). These triads are excellent when implemented between managers and their direct reports. With any debriefing, the overarching goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the content of the report, tying the assessment results to the context of the respondent's personal and professional life.

At any level, Emotional Intelligence training will empower individuals to understand his or her own EQ, identifying ways to take action to accelerate EQ development, while leveraging new knowledge to make better decisions on the job. Ultimately, this reduction in stress will contribute to a healthy working environment, thereby increasing productivity and engagement throughout the organization.