Top Tips for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence
How do you manage your emotions when the pressures of work and home start to mount?
When we're experiencing stress it is easy for us to let our rational thinking and decision making skills go out the window.
People with strong emotional intelligence however, display more resilience to stress, make better quality decisions and achieve higher productivity.
As a leader, it's particularly important to possess high emotional intelligence because you must be able to perceive and influence the flow of emotions between you and the people you work and live with. The ability to evoke and inspire emotions in others is equally important.
What is Emotional Intelligence? (EI)
- EI describes our ability or capacity to perceive, assess and manage our emotions and the emotions of others.
- Positive emotions give us high energy levels and enable us to contribute to the working day in a postive way.
- Negative emotions create negative energy and can cause low morale, raise stress and evoke conflict. Leaders with low levels of emotional intelligence can be very damaging for an organisation.
Know Your Emotions
- The first key skill of being emotionally intelligent is being aware of our emotions and being aware of what it is we are feeling.
- Our emotions play a vital part in building and maintaining relationships at work and keeping them in check at times can be very challenging.
How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?
- Are you aware of the subtleties of your own feelings?
- Do you usually know what other people are feeling, even if they do not say so?
- Are you able to establish and maintain good customer relationships?
- Can you cope under stressful circumstances, without it affecting your working day?
- When you're angry, can you still make your needs known in a way that resolves rather than exacerbates the situation?
- Can you hang on to long-term goals and avoid being too impulsive?
- Do you keep trying to achieve what you want, even when it seems impossible and it is tempting to give up?
- Can you make reasoned and emotionally intelligent decisions?
- Are you a good team member?
- Are you trusted by others?
If you have answered 'YES' to these questions, then well done, you are displaying high levels of Emotional Intelligence! If your answers were mainly 'NO', don't worry because unlike your IQ, Emotional Intelligence can be developed.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
(The five components of Emotional intelligence as identified by Daniel Goleman, internationally known psychologist)
- Self Awareness: Being aware of and understanding your emotions and feelings. Awareness of your feelings increases self-knowledge which helps with self-improvement.
- Self Regulation: The ability to control your emotions and impulses. If you self-regulate your emotions, you will be less likely to become angry and make impulsive and careless decisions.
- Motivation People with high emotional intelligence are very motivated. They're highly productive, strive to improve or meet the organisation's goals and objectives and embrace a challenge. They will persist in their efforts despite any setbacks.
- Empathy: The ability to understand the wants, needs and viewpoints of other people. Empathetic people are excellent at managing relationships, listening and relating to others and will give praise and encouragement for other people's achievements.
- Social Skills: People with high emotional intelligence skills are excellent at interacting with others. They have strong interpersonal skills, are good team players, skilled at handling conflict and excellent in building positive relationships.
10 Top Tips for Becoming More Emotionally Intelligent
- Take Responsibility for your own emotions.
- Be aware of how you react to to other people, especially in stressful situations.
- Work on your negative feelings.
- Think first, about how your actions might affect others.
- Examine your own feelings, rather than the actions of others.
- Rise above uncomfortable emotions by developing coping strategies.
- Respect other people's feelings
- Listen twice as much as you speak.
- Resolve conflict quickly, apologise directly if you are at fault.
- Maintain rapport and others will respond positively.
Once you become aware of your emotions, you can then begin to control your behaviour.