How You Can Develop Emotional Intelligence In Others
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EI for short) has become one of the most popular leadership theories. It looks at how well you control your own emotions to determine if someone else will trust you or not.
This theory was first developed by psychologist Daniel Goleman back in 1987 when he published his book “Emotional Intelligence”. Since then, many other experts have made similar claims about this factor being important in achieving success and improving relationships.
There are several different types of emotional intelligence that people possess, with some having more than others. Some examples include understanding and recognizing another person’s emotions, identifying your own feelings clearly, knowing what actions will motivate yourself and others, and using these skills to regulate your own emotions.
Overall, we can all improve our emotional intelligence and develop it in ourselves and those around us. This is an essential skill to have since almost every relationship involves emotion.
So why don’t we seem to teach this concept better? According to recent research, developing your emotional intelligence may be easier than you think!
Dr. Gary Alexander conducted an interesting study where he asked participants to read a brief article about emotional literacy and rate the items on a scale from never had this before to always have this tool to effective leaders.
Almost everyone agreed that individuals who succeeded in life were usually good at regulating their emotions, but only half of the respondents said they ever learned this technique during school.
Listen more than you talk
Many people who are good at listening are also very direct with their comments and conversations, they can be slightly annoying at times, but that is what makes them powerful listeners.
People often go beyond your expectations of how much time someone should take to speak before responding, and this is a great quality. People who listen well understand that it is up to them to make a conversation interesting or start talking about something else.
They will not feel compelled to keep talking if the other person does not seem interested, which takes away a lot of pressure for both individuals.
When was the last time you talked about something important to you? Chances are, you have to do some work to get those stories. When you are able to connect with another individual about things that matter to them, you develop emotional intelligence.
Make eye contact
Making direct, meaningful connections with people is one of the most powerful ways to develop emotional intelligence. When you make direct eye contact with someone, you show them that they matter to you.
When you look away from someone, you send a message that they do not matter enough for you to focus your attention on them. This can be very hurtful for those individuals who value your friendship or relationship with them.
By making frequent eye contacts with people, it creates an environment where conversations are possible. Because you made space for conversation by investing time in it, both parties feel comfortable being more open-hearted and honest.
Making eye contact also helps emphasize what you are saying and gives other people the chance to respond to you. It encourages interaction between people which is a key factor in developing relationships.
Regularly looking into someone’s eyes says “I care about you” and makes others believe that too.
One of the biggest reasons why people get stuck trying to develop their emotional intelligence is because they give up before achieving their goal.
It can be hard to motivate someone when they are not motivated themselves, but if you have no motivation, then there’s really nothing you can do to help them.
On top of that, some people may feel discouraged or even depressed after attempting to improve EI, making it more difficult for them to keep going.
So, how can you possibly expect to succeed if you don’t put in any effort at all?
The best way to ensure that your efforts pay off is to set small, achievable goals that combine both short-term and long-term benefits.
Start by picking one thing you want to achieve and see what steps you can take towards that.
Being able to recognize someone’s positive qualities is a great way to develop their emotional intelligence. When you notice something good that person does, praise them for it!
When someone else has done well, give them some credit for their hard work. Even if they could have easily left, they chose to stay.
They put in the effort to achieve what they wanted, which makes them worthy of your respect and gratitude. Taking time to acknowledge these achievements will help boost their self-confidence.
It can also inspire them to keep doing good things because they feel appreciated.
Furthermore, being optimistic can have an incredible influence on others. People who are surrounded by negative people grow more pessimistic, while people with optimistic people in their lives remain upbeat and happy.
If you want to improve another person’s emotional intelligence, try looking for ways to be optimistic.
People are often times influenced by what they perceive of you. If you want someone to trust you, work on being more trustworthy. When people look at you, how you carry yourself says a lot about you.
Being friendly is one of the best ways to develop emotional intelligence. People will feel comfortable around you if you treat them with respect and kindness.
Show interest in other people’s lives and make an effort to get to know them. Ask open-ended questions and keep conversations productive and fun.
Do not overdo it though — too much friendliness can backfire and create a very uncomfortable environment.
Avoid using slang or casual language, unless you are talking to peers who use that style. Use appropriate vocabulary and stay formal even when your friends do not.
Never assume anything about another person without asking for confirmation. For example, if a co-worker does not respond to you after an argument, maybe he/she was offended by something you said.
Ask why they did not reply and try to understand their perspective, but never take their silence as a sign of weakness or that they agree with you. That would be putting up a wall that may hurt them later.
Let them talk
It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence isn’t something you are born with, like having brown eyes or being left-handed. Rather, it is a skill that can be learned through education and practice.
This means that even if someone doesn’t seem like they have much of an understanding of emotions, there are things you can do as a person working towards developing their EQ to help them.
The first thing you should do when you realize someone has set a new goal is to give them a chance to prove themselves. This could mean letting them talk about how hard this will be for them, or offering some tips on what they could do to get started.
By giving people chances to show off their skills, you also highlight your own talent which may inspire them to try harder too.
Try to see things from their perspective
A large part of developing emotional intelligence is understanding how other people feel and relate to you. This includes not just friends, but also family members and colleagues at work.
People come with a set pack of emotions that they learn as they grow up. These emotions are tied into who they are and what makes them happy or unhappy.
If someone does something that makes you angry or upset, try to think about why this happened and whether there was anything you could have done to prevent it.
A lot of theories about emotional intelligence focus only on your own emotions, how to control them, and what other people’s emotions are like. Some theories even suggest that having higher emotional intelligence makes you happier!
This can be confusing for some because they believe that if they learn how to manage their own feelings then they have mastered EI. This is not true though!
Emotional intelligence is also referred to as ‘self-awareness’ or ‘self-regulation’. It means being able to recognize your own thoughts and feelings and then using this knowledge to make decisions and respond to situations.
So while it is important to know yourself well, it is just as crucial to understand who you are with yourself and what affects you emotionally. This will help you be more effective when trying to develop relationships, work colleagues, family members and so on.
There is no one way to develop self-awareness or emotional regulation. What works for one person may not apply to another. Luckily, there are several strategies you can use to try and improve your emotional skills.