How much attention do you pay to your emotional intelligence? Do you know what it is? I want to increase your awareness of emotional intelligence and, most importantly, provide you with 8 Tips To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence…read on!
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salavoy and John Mayer – and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name.
“We define EI as the ability to:
In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.”
In a recent post, Dr. Travis Bradberry notes that a wrench has been thrown into an long held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success. Recent research demonstrates that emotional intelligence is the critical factor to explain the difference between star performers and the “rest!”
As Bradberry considered how much of an impact emotional intelligence (EQ) has on your professional success, he quickly landed on a short answer…a lot. Tremendous results are ours when we focus our energy on improving our emotional intelligence.
Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence.” – Travis Bradberry
Can you be successful without emotional intelligence?
Sure, you can but chances are low that you will!
Do You Want To Be A Top Performer?
Emotional intelligence is a bit of an intangible. It’s about achieving positive results by improving how we manage behavior, handle social complexities, and make personal decisions.
What makes up emotional intelligence?
Four core skills make up emotional intelligence and pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.
Personal competence includes two skills: self-awareness and self-management. These skills are focused more on you as an individual that on your interactions with other people. Your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies is the focus of personal competence.
- What is Self-Awareness? It is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
- What is Self-Management? It is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
Social competence includes two skills : your social awareness and relationship management skills. Your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships is the focus of social competence.
- What is Social Awareness? It is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
- What is Relationship Management? It is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.
Recognizing that it is very difficult to know which behaviours we should emulate, due to the intangible nature of emotional intelligence, I would like to share 9 Tips On How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence based on Bradberry’s analysis of the data obtained from TalentSmart in its testing to identify the habits that set high-EQ people apart.
1. Be Positive – Resist the temptation to focus on the negative things around you and in the world…I know that’s hard. The first question to ask yourself is – can you control the negative circumstance? If the answer is no, stop thinking about it and focus your energy on directing the two things you can control: your attention and your effort. Emotionally intelligent people don’t get caught up in things they can’t control. There is much research that shows optimists are physically and psychologically healthier than pessimists. A positive approach to life improves our emotional intelligence and helps us perform better at work.
2. Develop your emotional vocabulary – A higher EQ means that you have mastered your emotions because you understand them and these people are more likely to have a robust vocabulary to identify their feelings as they happen. Unfortunately, few people can accurately identify their feelings as they occur. PROBLEM…unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood and this leads to irrational choices and actions that are counterproductive. We all experience emotions…people with high EQs use more specific word choices and this helps them know what they are feeling, what caused it and what they should do about it.
“Our research shows that only 36% of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood…” – Travis Bradberry
Emotionally intelligent people are able to identify whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious” rather than simply identifying that they feel “bad.”
3. Be assertive – Remaining balanced and assertive by steering themselves away from unfiltered emotional reactions is a key attribute of emotionally intelligent people. People with high EQs are able to neutralize difficult and toxic people without creating enemies by balancing good manners, empathy, and kindness with the ability to assert themselves and establish boundaries. I’m sure you have noticed that, in conflict situations, most people default to passive or aggressive behaviour and emotionally intelligent people are able to handle this conflict by remaining balanced and assertive.
4. Be curious about other people – One of the most significant signs of a high EQ is curiosity which is the product of empathy. Being introverted or extroverted does not matter…emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them and want to know more about what they are going through.
5. Don’t hold a grudge – Emotionally intelligent people forgive in order to prevent a grudge and this doesn’t mean that they forget mistreatment. They recognize the devastating impact of holding on to stress and they know to avoid this at all costs. Emotionally intelligent people quickly let things go and are assertive in moving past the mistreatment.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others – Emotionally intelligent people won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take anything away from feeling good about their accomplishments. You are no longer in control of your happiness when you compare yourself to others to gain a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. We get to decide how we feel about what others think of us.
7. Develop a “thick” skin – Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded and this makes it really difficult for others to say or do something that upsets them.
8. Stop negative self talk – Emotionally intelligent people will be more rational and better able to think clearly when negative thoughts come to their mind. Letting negative thoughts take a hold of your thinking gives more power to the negative thoughts and please remember that most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. Be on guard for statements that include words like “never,” “worst,” and “ever”…they are never true!
What’s In It For You?
When you train your brain by repeatedly practicing these emotionally intelligent behaviors, your brain will help them become habits. The best thing about good habits is that your interactions will display emotional intelligence without even having to think about it.
Reinforcement of emotionally intelligent behaviours will choke off old, destructive habits!
Please share and let me know if you have any questions or would like to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think.