It has been said that EQ is even more important than IQ when it comes to success in life and in business. Emotional intelligence helps to nurture close, healthy relationships, which are a key to growth in business. It helps how we are seen and responded to socially. EQ points to improved decision making processes and is a strong forecaster of success in business. It also develops our self- expression.
Fortunately we can develop and improve our emotional intelligence in the following ways:
- Become aware of our thoughts and feelings – Being aware of our thoughts and feelings as they happen allows us to assess them and act intentionally, rather than reactively or from habit. Work out what triggered our emotions, then try breathing deeply to focus on our feelings. Once identified, accept those emotions and take control of them. Our thoughts induce feelings, which give us important information for our emotional intelligence.
- Observe our behaviour – The more aware we are of our behaviour, the more we can notify our behaviour to act and meet our needs. We begin to act more appropriately and positively in different situations. Let’s take a moment each day to observe our reactions and responses.
- Take Responsibility – We need to take control of our emotions. We cannot change others actions, but we can change how we respond. We also need to eliminate blame and excuses from our lives. It is helpful to listen to constructive feedback from a trusted other.
- Respond, rather than react – We should slow down to assess the situation in order to respond appropriately. This is a form of managing stress. Be mindful by watching ourselves in situations that could be upsetting. Pay attention to how we think. Then pause. We can watch our initial reaction, then let it subside. Then respond.
- Be Empathic – Reading people and situations. Understand why people react the way they do and show them that we understand. Think of others. Suspend our judgements. Give attention to others. Listen more. Always treat others with dignity and respect.
- Connect – Make an effort to understand the person and encourage a connection. Be interested, accessible and responsive. Look at things from the other person’s point of view.
- Understand what’s behind our anger - Anger is rooted in other emotions, such as shame or insecurity. When angry, we need to focus on what we’re feeling and thinking. Deal with it by using some of the old tricks, such as counting to 10, taking deep breaths and dealing with the matter when we have calmed down.
Pic by Cara Lancaster
By Karen Lancaster