How To Improve Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman
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People with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize, understand and manage their emotions. They are also aware of the feelings of others and know how to influence them. In other words, they are good at keeping their cool and recognizing when it is time to take control or let things run its course.
There are several reasons why having higher levels of emotional intelligence is important. For example, researchers have linked low EQ with higher rates of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
You may not be aware that your colleagues, friends and family don’t like you because you don’t seem to develop strong relationships. Or maybe they feel overwhelmed by all the different emotions people around them are experiencing.
Either way, poor EQ can hurt your career and personal life for the worse. So, here are some ways to improve yours.
Make eye contact
Looking into someone's eyes is one of our first signals about how they are feeling. It can be an intimate connection, or it can be a more casual exchange; even when there is no implication of intimacy, making direct eye contact conveys confidence and strength.
When we look away from another person, we often feel uncomfortable or discouraged. They may sense that you do not trust them, or that you would rather keep your distance. In contrast, people who make frequent eye contacts seem more open and focused, and have been known as having higher self-confidence.
Making regular eye contact helps us understand what others around us are thinking and feeling. When we lack emotional intelligence, this ability goes down. Boosting your EQ by investing in some basic skills like making eye contact can help mitigate these effects.
You don’t need to stare very long -- a few seconds will do. And try to focus only on their face; looking at their body or their hands makes them conscious of their own physical presence.
Consistency is one of the most important things you can work on with EEQ. You need to show up in person, online, and at home consistently every week for it to have an effect.
EEQ requires that you be aware of other people’s emotions and what makes them feel good or bad about yourself and others. It also demands that you recognize your own feelings and how they influence yours.
You must know when to take action and which actions are worth taking. All of these behaviors contribute to overall emotional control.
Consistent self-awareness helps you identify possible areas where you may lack this ability. Once identified, you can begin to improve upon them.
It’s impossible to achieve true emotional intelligence if some parts of your life — such as work, family, and hobbies — are unstable.
If you want to increase your EQ, look into finding ways to maintain stable relationships and activities outside of school.
School should be a place where students learn, not a way to boost their empathy skills.
Be honest with your peers
When you're in school, don't lie about how smart you are or pretend to know things that really matter to them. If you're aware of a topic that's important to someone else, why not tell them about it?
By telling people what you know and understanding what they know, you can help them develop their knowledge and skills. In turn, they'll feel more connected to you and will trust your advice because you've earned their respect by being self-confident and open.
If you're too scared to be honest, those around you will still trust you but you'll lose their respect. Your colleagues and classmates look up to you, so if you're afraid to share your intelligence, they'll assume you're dumb.
Listen to others closely
One of the most fundamental skills for human beings is listening, and there’s strong evidence that people who are good listeners understand more than those who aren’t.
Research shows that being a very good listener is an important predictor of success in life. It can help you achieve your goals and improve relationships with family members, friends, colleagues and even customers.
In fact, research suggests that highly effective leaders are excellent listeners. That’s because leadership depends largely on understanding other people and how they think and feel.
If you want to be a leader one day, learning how to listen will make a big difference.
It’s also worth noting that while it’s great to have many strengths, we all have a limited amount of emotional intelligence. So investing in this area may make sense regardless of career stage.
There are several ways to strengthen your ability to pay close attention and recognize what emotions individuals are experiencing. Here are some strategies you can try.
Do not be egotistical
Many people have a hard time believing that someone could be self-aware and at the same time, less confident in themselves. They think it is impossible to know your own strengths and weaknesses and feel good about yourself.
But I believe there are several ways to improve emotional intelligence (EI).
One way is to reduce ego or “self” focus. This can occur through practices such as meditation, gratitude exercises, and repeated reflections of what you like about yourself.
You may also want to consider giving up perfectionism. It’s okay if you make mistakes, but don’t get too focused on making sure everything is perfect before you try again.
This article will talk more about improving your emotional quotient and how to do this.
Understand your emotions
One of the most fundamental things that all humans need is understanding of their own emotional experiences. We feel strong emotions, and we need to know what causes those feelings and why they’re there.
We also need to be able to recognize when someone else is experiencing an emotion and if that person is acting in ways that make sense from his or her personal set of rules for how he or she processes information and reacts to situations.
In other words, we must understand our own emotions so we can relate to others effectively and help them deal with their emotions. This is what makes good socializers valuable — not only do they learn how to manage their own emotions, but they teach people who lack emotional intelligence about how to regulate theirs.
It’s like having a second personality trait that helps you identify appropriate behaviors and responses to various individuals and situations. People with high emotional quotients are intuitively aware of the emotions of others and use that knowledge to motivate behavior changes in those around them.
Emotionally intelligent people are sometimes called “high-functioning" because of this. In fact, some researchers believe that emotionally healthy relationships are a key factor in creating and sustaining mental health in individuals. Read more at http://www.newyorker.
Do not get too emotional
Most people have a hard time recognizing when they are in an emotionally stressful situation, let alone identifying what is making them feel stressed out.
When we are angry about something, we can be very difficult to talk to because we don’t seem to understand why you would say or do such and such.
We may think you are wrong and that it doesn’t matter anyway. We may even believe that your comments hurt our feelings.
But we still keep talking over and under each other because we are trying so hard to prove how right we are that we fail to see the truth of the thing for which we were originally upset.
Furthermore, we forget that you probably said those things before we got worked up about them. You likely thought at the time that your comment didn’t make much sense, but now that we're thinking about it, maybe it does?
So instead of changing your mind, we stick with ours, creating more stress for both of us. This is one reason why disagreements often cause fights — we cannot change someone else's position, only their own.
Emotions play a crucial role in interpersonal relationships. But if we try to avoid them by staying calm, then we will suffer in ways that go beyond feeling bad.
We will miss important information because we won't want to put yourself into a potentially uncomfortable state.
Over the past few decades, psychologists have increasingly focused on what they call emotional intelligence (or EQ). This is not the same as being intelligent or smart. Rather, it refers to our ability to recognize, understand, manage, and use our emotions for constructive purposes.
Some people are more emotionally aware than others. We all have different levels of empathy, for example. But we can improve – and most do in fact show significant long-term increases during their lives.
In his bestseller “Emotional Intelligence”, psychologist Daniel Goleman identified six key components that make up your EQ. They include:
• Self-awareness or self-knowledge
• Acceptance of one's own feelings
• Ability to identify and name your emotions
• Awareness of the effects your actions have on other people
• Control over your reactions
• And lastly, willingness to acknowledge and work through your negative feelings
Optimism is probably the easiest thing in this list to bring into the equation. After all, why would you be discouraged if everything was going your way?
But optimism isn't just about feeling good when things go well. It also means having confidence in yourself and your abilities even when things aren't going so well.
That sounds easier said than done, I know! Luckily, there are several strategies that can help develop your optimism.