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Quick tips to develop your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, evaluate and control your own emotions and to better understand and manage the emotions (or motivations) of others. It is all about your ability to recognise emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realise how your emotions affect people around you.
People with a high degree of emotional intelligence have the ability to perceive and evaluate their own emotions and can sense the emotions of others. They know themselves very well and can easily handle stressful situations. They are good decision makers and have a strong sense of intuition. All of these qualities are important to becoming a strong leader.
With practice and feedback on your performance, you can become more effective in recognising and managing emotions in both yourself and others.
Emotional Intelligence is central to our life experience and can influence how successful we are in our relationships and careers. 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.
‘The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.’ -Rasheed Ogunlaru
So, how can you help to develop your emotional intelligence?
- Become emotionally literate. Label your feelings, rather than labelling people or 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.”
- Distinguish between your thoughts and feelings.
Thoughts = “I feel like…” “I feel as if….” “I feel that…” “I think you…”
Feelings = “I feel (specific feeling word).”
- 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.”
- 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?”
- 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?
- Validate other people’s feelings.
Avoid judging people. Show empathy, understanding, and acceptance of other people’s feelings.
- 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.
- Avoid those people who invalidate you – those who drain away your positive energy.
If possible, spend less time with them, or try not to let them have psychological power over you.
Remember no one can make you feel inferior – without your permission.
‘Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.’ – Leo Buscaglia