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Emotional Intelligence: How to Improve

This article contains information on how to improve your emotional intelligence as well as its importance and key components needed to achieve it.

Emotional Intelligence

A lot of times, we tend to pay more attention to academic intelligence while ignoring other aspects. Personally, intelligence goes beyond having the ability to solve arithmetic. A person’s ability to manage and control their emotions shouldn’t be taken for granted because it houses all other forms of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, evaluate and manage your own emotions as well as understanding and influencing the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence is either innate or learned. In other words, it is not naturally found in every individual. For those who lack it, it can always be developed in specific ways. Taking time to build this skill can be helpful in building relationships and accomplishing shared tasks.

Having high emotional intelligence is very important, but oftentimes it is underrated. In this article, I will be identifying the need to be emotionally intelligent as well as various ways of building emotional intelligence.

IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotions are very strong feelings and most times, can lead you to act without critical thinking. Having emotional intelligence can help you avoid situations where you might act on impulse. Moreso, controlling your emotions and those of others can help you be more successful in all areas of your life.

Emotional intelligence can play a large role when you are:

  • Building relationships with others;
  • Having difficult conversations without hurting others people’s feelings;
  • Feeling stressed or overwhelmed;
  • Resolving conflict

Using social media as a case study, a lot of terrible things go on in the various social media platforms. It takes a person who is emotionally intelligent to thrive on social media.

While emotional intelligence is very important in all areas of our lives, it appears to be extremely useful in our daily work activities. There are specific ways we use this skill at work with colleagues and clients.

HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES WHEN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE CAN BE HELPFUL:

1. During A Phone Call

As simple as receiving a phone call may seem, a lot of times things get messy. For instance, you have a phone conversation with a client who complains of poor service delivery and expresses anger about the whole situation. To the best of your knowledge, the said client has been having a hard time at work too.

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So, it’s very possible that the expression of anger may also be coming from a place of frustration and not just the service delivery.

Emotional Intelligence helps you understand that simply listening to the client’s complaints with a calm, empathetic demeanor is the best response and not getting into an argument. You might schedule another call for a better time.

2. During a meeting

A lot of issues come up at office meetings that it only takes Emotional Intelligence to prevent. During a meeting, you noticed your employee is acting cold than usual and probably not contributing to the discussion. While it may appear that they are not paying attention, you decide to have a casual conversation with them to ensure everything is okay. Scolding or inquiring publicly isn’t always the right approach.

3. During Project Review

During a review of a recent project you put together, you receive professional criticism about certain ways it can be improved. After the meeting, you are feeling deflated and anxious. After processing your emotions, you realize that you were focusing on the negative because of all the time and effort you put into it. Instead of feeling disappointed, you decide to feel motivated about the ways you can make your work better.

KEY COMPONENTS/ELEMENTS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

1. Self-awareness

If you are self-aware, you tend to understand your emotions and their triggers. Your ability to manage these feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy often depends on the quality and consistency of your life’s emotional experiences. If your primary caretaker as an infant understood and valued your emotions, it’s likely your emotions have become valuable assets in adult life. But, if your emotional experiences as an infant were confusing, threatening or painful, it’s likely you’ve tried to distance yourself from your emotions.

Having a moment to connections with your changing emotion is the key to understanding how it influences your thoughts and actions. You also know how your emotions and actions affect those around you.

Self-awareness can be improved through some of the following ways:

  • Learning new skills
  • Meditation
  • Pursue your passions
  • Keeping a journal
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Reflecting on your experiences

2. Self-regulation

This is the ability to control and adjust your emotions to create a more positive effect.

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In other words, it means waiting for the appropriate time and place to express them. Being in control of your feelings is essential in any situation because your emotions have an impact on other people.

3. Motivation

Motivation is the desire or zeal to do something. It relates to emotional intelligence because your desires can prompt different feelings towards something or someone. No matter how bad a situation can be, your ability to identify something positive in the situation helps motivate you to do your best.

4. Empathy

This is the ability to understand how others are feeling. It goes beyond recognizing the emotional states of others, but also involves your responses to such people. .

Understanding the feeling of others allows you handle workplace situations more effectively.

5. Social skills

The ability to interact well with others is a very important aspect of emotional intelligence. Having strong social skills allows people to build meaningful relationships with other people and develop a stronger understanding of themselves as well as for others.

Having strong social skills allows you to listen, speak and resolve conflicts more effectively. To improve on this, you need to do the following:

  • Have good eye contact.
  • Practice your social skills.
  • Show interest in others.
  • Watch your body language.
  • Listen actively.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

While it can take time and practice, soft skills like emotional intelligence can be improved. Here are three steps you can take to improve these skills:

  1. Look inward: While trying to understand others and their interactions, monitoring your emotions and how you respond can also increase your emotional awareness. Consider how your emotions influence your decisions and behaviors.
  2. Listen: If you want to understand what other people are feeling, the first step is to pay attention. Take the time to listen to what people are trying to tell you, both verbally and non-verbally. Observe and study body languages because they can mean a lot. When you sense that someone is feeling a certain way, consider the different factors that might be contributing to that emotion.
  3. React and respond to others regularly: Practice makes perfect. Addressing and working with others based on the way you observe what they are feeling. is to consider how you would like to be treated under the same circumstances, however, know that others do not always have the same reactions. 

CONCLUSION

Emotional Intelligence is very important but a lot of people do not realize this due to the much emphasis and attention on intelligence quotients. It’s high time we started paying a lot of attention to emotional intelligence because if one must go far in all areas of life, coexisting and relating with fellow humans is inevitable.

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Sadly, a lot of people fail at this. I would rather push for people to develop and pay more attention to having a high EQ over a high IQ because our ability to understand and control our emotions and that of others certainly helps us prevent a lot of issues.

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