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5 Ways to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

9th June 2014

IQ measures your intelligence, whilst Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) is all about your ability to recognise emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realise how your emotions affect people around you.

Business success isn’t just about intellect and technical skills. The ‘people skills’ of EI – knowing who to trust, being able to communicate and get along with people – are also vital.

1. Label your feelings

  • Become emotionally literate – start labelling your feelings – stop labelling people and situations.
  • Use three word sentences beginning with “I feel.”
  • “I feel impatient.” not “This is ridiculous.”
  • “I feel annoyed.” not “You are an insensitive idiot.”
  • “I feel afraid.” not “You are driving like a mad man.”

2. Take more responsibility

  • Take more responsibility for your feelings.
  • Analyse your own feelings rather than the action or motives of other people.
  • “I feel jealous” not “You’re making me jealous.”

3. Use feelings in decisions

  • Use your feelings to help you make decisions.
  • “How will I feel if I do this?”
  • “How will I feel if I don’t?”
  • “Why do I feel this way?”
  • “What would help me feel better?”
  • Ask others:”How do you feel?” and “What would help you to feel better?”

4. Set ‘Feeling Goals’

  • Use feelings to achieve your goals.
  • Think about how you want to feel or how you want others to feel (i.e. your employees, your clients, your boss, your children, your partner).
  • Get regular feedback towards achieving your ‘Feeling Goals’ by periodically measuring feelings.
  • For example, ask people how respected they feel from 0-10?

5. Use feelings to show respect

  • Use feelings to help show respect for others.
  • “How will you feel if I do this?”
  • “How will you feel if I don’t?”
  • “ How can I make this easier for you?”
  • Then listen … and take their feelings into consideration