How To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (“EI”) has become one of the most popular workplace qualities and strategies. It is considered an important factor in employee engagement, performance, success, and productivity.

Many employers now prioritize education about EI for their employees. Some even offer courses or training in it as a perk or incentive to keep workers engaged and motivated.

But what does “emotional intelligence” actually mean? And how can you develop it?

This article will go into more detail on both those questions! Read on to learn more about what makes up your personal EQ and some ways to improve yours.

Disclaimer: While this article will talk about certain traits that make up your emotional quotient (or EQ), we are not telling you to try to be like someone else with higher EQ. Rather, we believe that developing your own EQ is an integral part of being happy and successful in life.

So why not work on improving yours?

Emotional Quotient Definition

The term “emotional intelligence” was first coined by Daniel Goleman in his best-selling book The New Harvard Business Review. He described it as “the ability to identify and manage your emotions, and the skills to recognize and understand the emotion of others.”

Since then, other experts have adapted the concept slightly to include another component: motivation.

Have patience

Working on your emotional intelligence doesn’t happen overnight, but you can work on it every day for the rest of your life. It takes practice, so have some faith in that!

It will also help if you understand how emotions work. All humans are born with a set amount of emotional intelligence, but as we grow up, our understanding of emotion grows weaker.

This is because we don’t use all the same parts of our brain when we’re older. We develop other areas of smarts instead, like logic or social skills.

So although people who were very intelligent as children may still have strong logical thinking, they may lose some touch with their inner feelings. This can sometimes make them seem quite detached or even cold.

Make eye contact

how to work on your emotional intelligence

A big part of emotional intelligence is making sure you are looking people in their eyes. When you do this, they feel seen and acknowledged as a person. It also helps them determine how much trust they can place in you, since they see that you care about them.

When someone is talking, it is easy to look away or focus on something else. But when their gaze meets yours, you should give them your full attention.

Make constant effort to maintain meaningful eye contact, even if you don’t feel like it at first. This will take practice, but eventually you’ll be able to do it without too much effort.

Keeping eye contact boosts emotional intelligence because it shows respect for the other person and gives them an idea of what kind of relationship they can expect from you. It also allows them to read your emotions, which is important for understanding why they may be feeling some specific feelings.

If you struggle with keeping eye contact, try putting off meeting their stare until you have practiced it enough times. Or ask a friend to help you out by giving you a quick glance every now and then.

Be realistic

how to work on your emotional intelligence

Working on your emotional intelligence doesn’t mean that you have to be overly sentimental all of the time. It is important to know when it is appropriate to feel angry, hurt or stressed out and what things can make you feel those feelings.

It also means knowing how to let go of these emotions. If you keep thinking about something for too long, you will start to obsess over it and this could become a problem.

You may find yourself getting very upset with someone but then later you think back about the thing you were complaining about and you realize it didn’t really matter much. Or maybe you realize that you just wanted to complain about it.

By letting go of the emotion, you take control of your reactions to the situation and you are more likely to focus on solving the problem instead of being distracted by your own negative thoughts and feelings.

Share your experiences

how to work on your emotional intelligence

Working on your emotional intelligence means learning how to recognize, understand and manage your emotions. It also includes practicing these skills in other people, including colleagues, friends and family.

Working on your emotional intelligence is about being aware of your own feelings and those of others. You’d like to think that we all have the same amount of self-awareness, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

Some people are more conscious of their emotions than others — they seem more able to identify what makes them feel bad or happy. This can make it hard for them to relate to everyone else.

Others may keep things to themselves for too long before sharing their thoughts and feelings, which only adds to stress.

It’s important to be able to recognize when you’re not in control of your reactions and emotions so that you don’t overreact. Learning how to deal with difficult situations helps you get through the day without letting your emotions take over.

Be honest with your peers

how to work on your emotional intelligence

As mentioned earlier, one of the key components in improving your emotional intelligence is understanding how other people perceive you. This includes things such as whether they consider you to be friendly or not, how they perceive you during meetings, and if they think you are able to lead others.

It also means knowing what makes them happy and sad, and why. In fact, asking about these things and listening to the answers can help you improve your own mood and mental state.

Be honest with yourself too. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t pretend it does. You may need to make some changes, but that’s okay!

And finally, be aware of when something isn’t working and try to fix that. Sometimes we get stuck because we're doing something wrong, so take a look at it.

Listen to others closely

how to work on your emotional intelligence

One important thing that many people do not realize about emotional intelligence is how listening to other people is a way to develop it.

By paying close attention to what other people are saying, telling their stories, and analyzing their behaviors, you can get some insights into how they feel and why.

This can be done either directly or by studying their behavior. For example, if someone says something kind or encouraging, this gives you an indication of how they feel inside. If they seem angry or hurt, this tells you something about their level of emotional maturity.

If there’s something they say or do that makes you think they no longer like each other, then you know one of them needs to learn how to communicate more effectively.

That could be because things suddenly changed and emotions got stirred up, or because one person tried to talk things out and the other didn’t respond well. In both cases, your best bet would be to give those individuals some time to calm down before having another conversation with them.

Don’t be egotistical

how to work on your emotional intelligence

One of the biggest reasons why people lose motivation in life is because they are always thinking about how much they know or how great they are.

This can sometimes result in feelings of self-importance that go beyond what's appropriate.

If you feel like you know everything, then chances are you don't know anything yet. You may even come across as arrogant or conceited.

On the other hand, if you think you're totally novated (no knowledge at all) then you'll probably stop trying to learn new things and focusing on developing your skills and talent.

You see, the more you know, the less confident you have to be. A little bit of ignorance can make you feel better about yourself.

So, work on lowering your emotional intelligence by dropping ideas like ‘I'm just too smart' or 'There's really nothing I need to learn'.

Be humble

how to work on your emotional intelligence

We’re not all equal when it comes to emotional intelligence. Some people are more gifted at feeling emotions than others.

Some people feel strong emotions very quickly, while other people take longer to process them. This is normal, however, you should never make assumptions about how someone else will respond to something or what they experience.

It can be difficult trying to work out what another person experiences internally. Even if you think you have good knowledge of someone, there could still be things you miss.

Never assume that because someone doesn’t seem like they are reacting to something that they aren’t experiencing any emotion. Sometimes, even thinking about a thing makes some people feel uncomfortable or stressed so they don’t show their true feelings.

Be aware that your own level of emotional intelligence may influence how much empathy you have for others. If you struggle with these concepts, try practicing self-awareness and compassion.

SQ Recommends

Copyright © 2024
Success Quarterly Ltd. company