How To Develop Emotional Intelligence In Others
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ for short) has become one of the most popular leadership theories. Many claim that it can have profound effects on your career and life overall.
This theory was first proposed by Daniel Goleman back in 1995 when he published his book “Emotional Intelligence.” Since then, many companies have made EQ training courses available via apps, websites, or in-office classes.
There are even some books that contain simple strategies to improve your own EQ. But what if you want to apply this knowledge somewhere else?
That is where things get tricky.
Most people do not learn how to effectively motivate others through their own internal qualities. So unless you are willing to teach someone directly, there is no easy way to develop their EQ strengths.
Luckily, we have another option at our disposal!
You can try to influence other people by altering your own level of empathy, understanding, and motivation. This article will go into more detail on how to train your own emotional quotient and how to help boost those of others.
It may seem impossible, but having a good amount of patience is one of the most important things you can develop as a leader. People will sometimes need more time than you to come to terms with what you have done or are doing.
This could be because they do not feel like talking about it yet, or they might need some time to process their emotions before they can talk about them.
It could also be that they want to argue with you so they must gather enough strength from other sources to keep arguing. Or maybe they just don’t agree with your decisions.
All these reasons are totally normal and acceptable! Even though it may take them longer than expected to get back into sync with you, remember that they were never really in sync in the first place.
If there is something you need to say or someone you need to speak to, give yourself extra time to say it. If people are trying to avoid you, let them go ahead without meeting you until they change their behaviour.
Make eye contact
Making direct, meaningful connections with people is one of the most powerful tools you have as a person. When we are not making enough eye contacts, we are sending wrong messages to other individuals in our lives.
We may be avoiding looking someone directly in the eyes because we do not want to seem too serious or we do not know what to say. Or maybe we just do not like who we think that individual is and so we do not make eye contact to show respect for their personality.
Whatever the reason, when we lack emotional intelligence we are actually limiting ourselves and those around us.
By never fully engaging with another person, you will feel that your inner thoughts and feelings go unseen, unread and unreceived. This can hurt you both mentally and physically. You will also get a limited sense of satisfaction from life due to this.
It’s time to change all of that. It’s time to develop your emotional intelligence.
You deserve it and others need it – especially if you want to achieve your dreams and fulfill your potential.
So how can you develop emotional intelligence? By making more intentional eye contacts with people.
Making an effort to look into each other’s eyes shows that you care about the other person and vice versa. Plus, it creates a deeper connection between two individuals.
But why is eye contact important? Because it is a way to establish trust, connect with others and influence them.
Listen to others closely
It is very difficult to develop emotional intelligence if you are not listening to other people. You have to understand how they feel, what makes them happy or sad, and why these things happen.
This is important because it goes beyond just knowing who your friends are and sticking around for casual conversations.
It takes more than simply being aware of someone’s emotions to help them find happiness.
You need to listen to those close to you and try to figure out what makes them unhappy and/or why they seem depressed.
If you notice that their mood seems down, ask them whether there is anything going on with them. Perhaps they are suffering from stress due to work or family issues.
By showing an interest in their well-being, you can help them get through the tough times. Also, make sure their needs are met – do their personal tasks for them, such as picking up after themselves or doing grocery shopping for them.
When they are happier, tell them about it – emphasize why this made them happy and learn something new.
Ask for feedback
Asking people how they feel is a great way to develop your emotional intelligence. This can be done through conversations, questions, or via written comments.
Ask about their emotions – what made them feel a certain way, if there’s something you did that made them feel bad or good, etc.
It’ll help you understand yourself more as well as others. When given an opportunity to talk about themselves, most people will do so!
When giving feedback to someone, make sure it's constructive. If you have nothing nice to say, don't even bother. You wouldn’t tell someone if they failed at something that they’d try to fail again, so don’t throw out negative remarks when someone does something wrong.
Never assume anything about another person unless you know them very well - not only emotionally, but also socially.
Don’t be egotistical
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to develop emotional intelligence is being overly focused on themselves. This can sometimes result in disrespectful, even hurtful behavior towards others.
People who try to motivate others by using self-serving strategies will usually fail. It is very difficult to gain someone else’s trust and respect if you are constantly putting yourself first.
If you want to develop your emotional control, then start practicing it on other people. Try asking people about their lives and learn how to relate to them.
Understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie and use this information to help them achieve their goals. By doing so, you will win over some strong emotions from them.
We’ve discussed before how important it is to have high emotional intelligence (EI) as a leader, but there is one major thing that can get in your way of achieving this. You need to be aware of how much you know and believe that you are better than other people.
This could go both ways – thinking you are the best or thinking that others are the better person. The first will hurt their self-confidence while the second will make them feel insecure about you.
As a leader, we should strive to bring out the best in those around us by putting their needs ahead of our own. If they feel good about themselves because of what they accomplished, then they’ll keep doing more of these things and giving their full effort.
If they feel bad about themselves, they’ll stop trying so hard and won’t put in the same amount of effort. This applies even if it’s just for a short time until they feel happier.
So, how do you develop humility?
Practice compassion. When someone does something well, try to acknowledge their efforts and success. Ask why they did that and what they learned from doing that.
Also, ask yourself whether what they did was really worth all the fuss.
A lot of theories about EI focus too much on having strong emotions or being able to control your emotional reactions. That’s great if you want to be someone who is always angry, or who can keep yourself from crying for hours after a sad event, but it's not very practical when what we need most are calm and peaceful times with loved ones that go beyond mere presence.
In those moments, people who have low EQ often don't understand why you're quieted down. They may think something bad has happened, so let out all this negative energy by saying goodbye or leaving you alone. Or they might try to force you into talking more than you feel like, which only makes you even more tense.
Don’t worry, there’s no reason you should spend every moment under a blanket of anxiety. But you will need to develop your ability to recognize when things are going badly and need help, and work on ways to reduce your stress level until you get through these difficult times.
That takes self-awareness and understanding how your body responds to situations. And while some ideas about empathy talk about feeling what others do not, that’s only part of it.
You also have to know what you need to feel better and ask for it.
Be honest with your peers
As mentioned earlier, one of the major factors in developing emotional intelligence is being able to identify what emotions other people are feeling. This can be tricky, however, because not everyone functions on the same level as you do when it comes to certain feelings.
People have different levels of stress, different levels of happiness or sadness, and different triggers for these emotions. There’s no way to know whether someone else will feel an emotion until they show some signs of it, so there's a limit to how well you can predict others' emotions.
But if you’re willing to be open about who you are and what you're going through, then chances are that person has gone through something similar before and they might be able to help you work through yours.
By being authentic and vulnerable, you increase the chance that person will connect with you and help you work through your issues. They'll also likely understand things better since they've experienced them before.
On top of that, by acknowledging their experiences and showing empathy, they’ll feel more connected to you which helps promote trust.