By November 7, 2012 Read More →

Successful home working

What’s the answer to successful home working?

by Andy Britnell

Work from Home Wisdom - successful home workingThere has been a lot of research done into why some people are so much more successful than others. The difference often comes down to levels of emotional intelligence or EI. I’ve always seen working from home as a bit of a personal development exercise so wondered how much Emotional Intelligence is required for successful home working!

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?

In its simplest terms it covers the following ideas:

  • Self awareness – recognising emotions and their effect on us, knowing one’s strengths and limits, and a strong sense of self worth and capabilities.
  • Self regulation or managing feelings – self control, keeping destructive emotions and impulses in check (think biscuits here!), honesty and integrity, responsibility for personal results, flexible in handling change and being comfortable with new ideas, approaches and information.
  • Motivation – striving to improve and meet standards of excellence, commitment, initiative and persistence in reaching goals despite setbacks and obstacles.
  • Empathy – understanding others, anticipating customer needs, recognising and leveraging diversity and political awareness.
  • Social skills – using effective tactics for persuasion, listening fully and sending convincing messages, negotiating and resolving differences, building networks by nurturing instrumental relationships, collaboration, cooperation and team working.

As I was typing out this list I began to realise how important Emotional Intelligence is for successful home working as just about everything included here has a bearing on our day to day lives when we work from home.

So how does each factor impact the home working life?

Without self awareness we can easily allow our emotions to overwhelm us. Since this is the first discipline of EI it has a domino affect on the other four as well. When negative emotions get in the way we can resort to unconscious responses and lose self control. Our motivation takes a dive and our ability to take others into consideration goes out of the window. We are hardly likely to use our social skills effectively when we lose perspective and self worth!

At the less extreme end it may be we just don’t recognise our strengths. So we have an undeveloped view of ourselves as a competent professional. Very often the things we do well become a blind spot. Others see how elegantly you seem to perform a task but to you it’s just ‘something I do’. You may think ‘What’s the big deal? I can do it with my eyes closed.’

So developing a strong sense of self awareness affects the other aspects of your Emotional Intelligence.

How do I become more self aware?

Successful home working can be achieved if you are willing to make an investment in yourself. One of the safest and most inspiring ways to more self awareness is to take an Insights Discovery© Personal Development Profile which is available online from my site.

Next time we’ll look into the other aspects of Emotional Intelligence, what impact they have on you as a home worker, and how you can manage your emotions while home working.

Andy is a trainer and coach with a track record of helping people to develop their personal and business skills to achieve their ambitions. In response to demand he combines this with his knowledge of SEO in his blogging coaching, which helps new and frustrated bloggers to make their voice heard in the most effective way.

7 Comments on "Successful home working"

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  1. Elena Anne says:

    It’s amazing how strong emotions can be and it’s important to learn how to manage them. Acting out of strong emotion often leads to a bad outcome. Sometimes we’re much more susceptible to being overwhelmed by negative emotions when we’ve allowed ourselves to become depleted. Keep that emotional intelligence quotient high with lots of sleep, good food, and positive experiences. 🙂

    • Judy says:

      And of course it’s so hard to keep things in perspective when you work from home because the difficult stuff tends to stay in your mind all the time 🙁 So, yes, Elena Anne, I agree, positive experiences are essential and include getting out of the house as much as you can.

    • Thanks for your comment Elena.

      It’s amazing how we tend to hold on to negative emotions rather than positive ones.

      It’s strange that we seem to store old fears, anxieties, guilt, anger etc. but often fail to recognise the value of banking good feelings.

      We get what we focus on so perhaps it;s better to remember the good times rather than the bad.

      And as you say maintaining healthy habits like sleep, diet and exercise help us stay on top 🙂

  2. Sharon says:

    It is all too easy to start the inward spiral of self-doubt, as someone who has suffered from depression I do try to maintain a positive outlook as much as possible & am quite aware of my feelings day to day

    Thanks for the article Andy

  3. Hi Sharon

    Self awareness helps us to catch these feelings before they overwhelm us. When we recognise that we are going down the rabbit hole we will have more resources to tackle it with appropriate action.

    Sometimes just catching yourself can help. Once you do, you have more choice. You can choose to be fed up for 5 minutes and then change your state to something more positive!

    Or you can choose to change to a more positive mood immediately 🙂

  4. Lee says:

    I agree. EI is an important factor in your ability to successfully work from home.

    Self awareness – you need to know your strengths and limits so that you can identify the right type of work that you can do from home.

    Self regulation – you need to be able to manage your feelings because it is not always easy to work totally alone, and not have a peer to interact with.

    Motivation – you have to have motivation when you work from home because there are so many distractions that can easily deter you from your goals.

    Empathy – you have to be empathetic because if you have customers, you need to walk in their shoes in order to achieve success.

    Social skills – working at home generally requires network building in some form and if you have no social skills it will become apparent to those on the other side of your communication.

    • Great comment Lee

      It’s a lovely summary of Emotional Intelligence and it’s application in a home working context. I’ll be expanding on these in my next post.

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