Emotional intelligence supports your performance at business and at home, but it all starts with you. Understanding and regulating your own emotions can help you achieve success in all areas of your life, from confidence, empathy, and optimism to social skills and self-control.
Realizing how good you are at controlling your own emotional energy is a terrific beginning point no matter what professional area you are in, whether you manage a team of two or twenty, or even just yourself. Emotional intelligence isn’t something we’re taught or evaluated on in school, so where did it come from, what is it, do you have it, and how essential is it?
Fortunately, emotional intelligence is something you can acquire, and we’ve put together a thorough list of resources to help you assess your own level of emotional intelligence and develop practical emotional intelligence skills. Some of these pointers come from our own experience, while others come from our fantastic clients and partners who know how to motivate and inspire their employees, but most importantly, themselves.
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
- Social abilities
- Things to stay away from
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Simply put, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and control one’s own emotions as well as react to the emotions of others. It’s about gaining a better knowledge of how your emotions shape your ideas and actions so you may have more control over your actions and build the skills to better manage yourself. We can grow and gain a deeper awareness of who we are by becoming more emotionally conscious, which allows us to interact better with others and build greater relationships.
We recommend beginning with these first eight ideas, since they will help you find the roots of your emotional intelligence.
Make a habit of observing how you feel
We live such stressful, busy lives that it’s all too easy to lose touch with our emotions. Set a timer for various points during the day to reconnect. Take a few deep breaths and notice how you’re feeling emotionally as the timer runs off. Pay attention to where that emotion manifests itself as a physical sensation in your body and how it feels. The more you practice, the more natural it will become.
Keep an eye on how you act
While you’re honing your emotional awareness, pay attention to your actions as well. Examine how you behave when you’re feeling a certain mood and how it influences your daily life. It gets easier to manage our emotions if we become more aware of how we react to them.
Examine your own beliefs
It’s easy to become caught up in a ‘opinion bubble’ in today’s hyper-connected world. This is a condition of being in which your own beliefs are constantly reinforced by others who hold similar beliefs. Allow yourself to be challenged by reading the other side of the tale (even if you still feel they are right). This will aid in your understanding of others and make you more open to fresh views.
Accept full responsibility for your emotions
Your emotions and behavior are entirely your responsibility; no one else can make you feel or act the way you do, and embracing responsibility for how you feel and conduct will have a beneficial impact on all aspects of your life.
Take time to appreciate the good things in your life
Celebrating and reflecting on life’s pleasant moments is an important aspect of emotional intelligence. Positive emotions make people more resilient and more likely to have fulfilling relationships, both of which will help them overcome adversity.
However, don’t overlook the drawbacks
It’s just as vital to think about unpleasant feelings as it is to think about positive ones. Understanding why you’re feeling down is crucial to developing a well-rounded person who can better deal with unfavorable situations in the future.
Don’t forget to take a deep breath
Life throws us many challenges, and most of us are subjected to some level of stress on a regular basis. Remember to breathe to control your emotions and avoid outbursts when this happens. Call a timeout and wash your face with cold water, step outside for some fresh air, or make a drink – anything to keep your cool and give yourself a chance to process what’s going on and how you should respond.
A process that lasts a lifetime
Understand and remember that emotional intelligence is a skill that you can learn and improve over time; it’s a lifelong endeavor.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your own character, moods, and emotions, as well as their impact on others. It is a major component of emotional intelligence. It entails a realistic appraisal of your capabilities – your strengths and flaws – as well as understanding how others see you. It can help you identify areas for self-improvement, improve your adaptability, and limit erroneous decisions.
Acquire the ability to look at oneself objectively
It’s difficult to know yourself entirely, and it’s nearly impossible to look at yourself objectively, so feedback from individuals who know you is crucial. Ask them to identify your strengths and limitations, then write down what they say and compare it to what you already know. Look for patterns and don’t dispute with them — it doesn’t imply they’re wrong; they’re just trying to help you understand your experience from a different perspective.
Keep a journal
Keeping a diary is a terrific method to gain a good sense of yourself. Begin by writing down what happened to you at the conclusion of each day, how it affected you, and how you handled it. Documenting such facts can help you become more conscious of what you’re doing and will reveal potential concerns. Examine your comments on a regular basis to spot any patterns.
Recognize what drives you
When starting a project, everyone has a primary motivation. The challenge is remembering this driving drive when hardship strikes. All too frequently, people begin a project but abandon it because they lack the enthusiasm to finish it. Take the time to figure out what motivates you and use that information to help you cross the finish line.
Relax and enjoy yourself
We don’t always take the time to slow down and absorb how we’re feeling, which can lead to emotional outbursts. Give yourself a break and make an attempt to meditate, practice yoga, or read — a little escapism can help you feel better. Then try pausing before reacting the next time you have an emotional reaction to something.
Recognize and accept your emotional triggers
Individuals that are self-aware are able to recognize their feelings as they arise. It’s critical to be able to change your emotions to your circumstances. Take the time to absorb your feelings before articulating them. Don’t deny your emotions stage time, but don’t be inflexible with them either.
Predict how you’ll feel in the future
Consider a circumstance you’re about to face and imagine how you’ll react. Practice recognizing and embracing your emotions — naming your emotions gives you control. Rather than simply reacting to the emotion, try to find an acceptable response.
Have faith in your instincts
If you’re still undecided, go with your gut instinct. After all, your subconscious has spent your entire life learning which path to choose.
You can master self-management if you’ve mastered self-awareness and understanding how your emotions work. This entails accepting responsibility for your own actions and well-being, as well as managing emotional outbursts.
Snap out of it now
Changing your sensory input is one of the most effective ways to keep your emotions in check – as the old adage goes, motion dictates emotion. So, shake up your physical routine by going to an exercise class, or channel your active mind with a puzzle or a book – anything to shake up your current pattern.
Establish a routine (and stick to it!)
If you want to finish activities effectively, you must plan and keep to a schedule.
When you make appointments in your calendar, you’re telling yourself things like, “I’m going to do A, B, and C by X date, and it’ll take Y hours.” It gets more difficult to procrastinate once you’ve made this pledge.
This may seem simple, but controlling what you eat and drink may have a significant impact on your emotional state, so do your best to eat a well-balanced diet.
Do not become enraged
Make a productive use of your emotional energy. It’s fine to hold on to overpowering feelings, especially if it’s not the right time to do so. When you do, instead of letting it out on something pointless, channel it into inspiration. Do not become enraged; instead, strive to improve.
Be enthusiastic about it
Taking the time to be engaged in the subject matter, whether it is corporate or personal, is a critical aspect in regulating yourself and your emotions.
It’s Your Choice
If you can’t trust yourself, don’t expect others to trust you.
It’s difficult to acquire someone’s trust, and it’s even more difficult to reclaim once it’s been lost. Remember that people are simply human and that they will make mistakes. By putting your trust in others, you are urging others to put their trust in you as well.
You have the option of overreacting or remaining calm when confronted with a circumstance. However, it is all up to you.
Self-motivation relates to our inner drive to achieve and develop our dedication to our goals, our readiness to act on chances, and our overall optimism, which is a personal skills part of emotional intelligence.
Personal objectives can give both long-term and short-term motivation. So grab a pen and paper and think about where you want to go and what goals you want to achieve. They should be based on your strengths, relevant to you, and, most importantly, interesting and attainable. This task is enough to get you inspired right away!
Keep your expectations in check
When you create a new goal, make sure you set realistic and clear goals for yourself to achieve that objective, and remember that change is an unavoidable part of life. See how it works? Achievement promotes confidence, and as self-confidence rises, so does the ability to achieve more.
It’s critical to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook in order to stay motivated. Consider issues and losses as opportunities to learn rather than failures, and try to avoid negative people in favor of good, well-motivated people who will have a positive impact on you.
Learning continues throughout one’s life
Both knowledge and information are essential for keeping your mind stimulated and engaged. And, because information is so readily available, you have the ability to fuel your ideals and passions with a single click!
Prepare to step out of your comfort zone
The most significant impediment to reaching your maximum potential is failing to challenge yourself on a regular basis. If you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, great things can happen to you, therefore do so as often as possible.
When you need assistance, don’t be hesitant to ask for it, and vice versa. If others require assistance, don’t be hesitant to provide it. Seeing others succeed can only serve to boost your own motivation.
Stretch while standing
Take a moment to stand and stretch out as much as you can for 10 seconds to enhance your motivation. You’ll be in the right state of mind and ready to work when you return to your desk.
Simply said, empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Recognize that everyone has their own unique collection of emotions, desires, triggers, and anxieties. To be empathetic, you must allow their experiences to resonate with your own so that you may respond appropriately emotionally. It’s a lifelong talent and the most crucial for navigating relationships, and while it may not come naturally, there are a few strategies to cultivate it.
Before you to empathize with someone, you must first comprehend what they’re saying, which means that listening is at the heart of empathy. It entails putting your own issues on hold in order to absorb their situation and consider how they are feeling before reacting. It also entails letting them talk without interruption, preconceptions, skepticism, and putting your own issues on hold in order to absorb their situation and consider how they are feeling before reacting.
Make an effort to be personable
Whether you’re leading a team or working on a project with others, make an effort to be personable and available.
We’ve all heard the phrase “put yourself in their shoes,” and this is exactly what we’re doing here. The simplest method to acquire some perspective the next time a problem or circumstance occurs is to put yourself in the shoes of the other person and think about what’s going on from their perspective. There is no right or wrong in some situations, but at the very least you will comprehend enough to reach a conclusion or offer helpful counsel.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable
Listening to someone’s experiences and connecting them to a comparable experience of your own is one of the simplest methods to offer a true exchange or indication of empathy. Don’t be scared to be vulnerable; it could lead to a wonderful and long-lasting friendship.
Immerse yourself in a different way of life
Even in an ever-shrinking world, the old adage “travel broadens the mind” still holds true. Jumping on a plane and flying somewhere completely new is sometimes the best way to broaden your thinking.
Develop an interest in strangers
People with a high level of empathy have an unquenchable interest about strangers. We learn about and begin to understand perspectives, views, and lives that are different from our own when we speak with others outside of our regular social group. So the next time you’re stuck on a bus, you’ll know what to do…
Recognize what others are saying
Another helpful suggestion is to use recognition words like ‘I understand’ and ‘I see’ when listening to what someone has to say to demonstrate that you’re paying attention (but only if you’re genuinely listening!).
Social skills, in the context of emotional intelligence, refer to the abilities required to effectively handle and affect the emotions of others. It encompasses a wide range of abilities, including communication and dispute resolution, as well as dealing with change, meeting new people, and forming connections, and it affects practically every aspect of our lives, from business to romance. It’s complicated, and it necessitates the application of practically every point we’ve just discussed, but here are a few tips to get you started.
Isolating one ability you know you’d like to improve is a smart method to get started on developing your social skills because it narrows it down and gives you focus. Daniel Goleman, a well-known psychologist, recommends focusing on someone you know who excels at that area, seeing how they act and manage their emotions, and then implementing and applying that knowledge to yourself.
Put on someone else’s shoes
Of course, not literally! Although everyone has heard the term “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” how many people actually put this advise into practice? Give it a shot; you never know what can happen.
It is said that practice makes perfect
It may seem unusual to practice your social skills, but like with anything else in life, practice makes perfect.
Cold turkey on social media
We don’t want to come out as old-fashioned, but bringing your social life offline and engaging with people in person can provide you with a plethora of possibilities to improve your social skills. So, instead of texting your best friend, invite them out for a drink! Within the limits of (un)social media, emotional intelligence does not grow…
Get out there and network
Attending local networking events is a great method to hone your social skills. The beauty of these gatherings is that everyone who attends has a common cause for being there.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it that counts
We’re discussing the significance of nonverbal communication and how it might influence a person’s perception of you. Body language, voice tone, and eye contact are all important indicators of how you’re feeling emotionally. So, once you’ve regained control of your emotions, consider your physical appearance.
The best way to improve your social skills is to get out there and mingle. It may seem obvious, but you can’t improve your social skills until you interact with others! Join a group or network outside of your typical circle to put all of our advice into practice.
What to avoid
The following characteristics are only seen in a small percentage of people with a high EQ, so keep that in mind.
Emotionally intelligent people listen, provide sensible advise, and extend empathy to those in need, but they do not let the lives and emotions of others to influence or govern their own.
Complaining suggests two things: first, that we are victims, and second, that our issues have no solutions. An emotionally intelligent person rarely feels victimized, and even fewer times does he or she believe that a solution is out of reach. As a result, rather than looking for someone or anything to blame, they think constructively and resolve the problem in private.
Cynical views can be stifled by emotionally sophisticated persons. They recognize that negative thoughts are just that: thoughts, and they base their decisions on facts, as well as the ability to shut or zone out any negativity.
Reminiscing about the past
Those with high emotional intelligence choose to learn from their mistakes and decisions, rather than concentrating on the past, and instead choose to live in the present.
While a certain amount of selfishness is necessary to succeed in life, too much can damage relationships and bring discord. Try to be less selfish and more considerate of others’ needs.
Surrendering to peer pressure
They don’t feel obligated to do something just because everyone else does it if they don’t want to. They think for themselves and don’t conform solely to satisfy others.
Being excessively critical
Overly critical behavior ruins a person’s morale faster than anything else. Keep in mind that people are just like you, with the same motives (and limitations). Take the time to get to know someone else before communicating the change you want to see.
You, too, can realize your full potential and achieve your goals by understanding and successfully utilizing emotional intelligence.
Why not explore our Wellness events to discover new ways to develop EQ in your team?