How To Develop And Improve Your Emotional Intelligence: Skills And Examples

Want to know how to control your emotions and stay calm in stressful situations? How would you like to learn to control your feelings of anger and frustration so that you don’t criticize your friends and colleagues when things don’t go your way?

The ability to understand and control your emotions is called emotional intelligence or EQ. And the higher your EQ, the more likely you are to be successful in your career, communicate more effectively at work, have better relationships, and live happy and healthy lives.

You will also earn more. Talent Smart, one of the leading emotional intelligence testing companies, found that professionals with high EQs earn an average of $ 29,000 more per year than those with lower scores.

Let’s take a look at what emotional intelligence is and what you can do to strengthen your own emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (also known as IE or EQ) is your ability to control and manage your emotions, as well as to understand and influence the emotions of others.

People with high emotional intelligence do not let their emotions guide their actions or decisions. They recognize when their emotions are about to sink and, more importantly, they know how to bring those emotions under control so they don’t negatively affect others.

Emotional intelligence is a combination of personality traits. Daniel Goleman, the pioneering psychologist and author in the field of emotional intelligence, has identified five key elements that define emotional intelligence:

Self-awareness
Self-regulation
Motivation
Empathy
Social skills
Emotional intelligence is something that comes with being human, at least to some extent. Some people are born with a high degree of emotional intelligence, while others find it difficult to understand why they are feeling what they are feeling and can’t seem to understand when someone else is having a bad day.

The good news is that while emotional intelligence is a collection of personality traits, they are all traits that can be strengthened with practice and discipline. This means that we can all work to improve our QE.

The many benefits of emotional intelligence

Daniel Goleman thinks emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. The reason is that most of the time, intelligence alone cannot get you that far. Having a high IQ won’t help you achieve your goals, work successfully with a team, have healthy relationships, or thrive in difficult situations.

Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, can help you be successful in all areas of your life.

1. Greater job satisfaction and performance

A study published in The Leadership Quarterly found that professionals with high EQs experienced greater job satisfaction and had higher productivity than those with lower EQ scores. Another study, published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, came to similar conclusions: the higher your EQ, the better your performance at work.

Greater job satisfaction can positively affect your overall happiness, especially since you spend most of your waking hours at work. Plus, better job performance can lead to more raises and promotions throughout your career.

Talent Smart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other skills in the workplace and found that emotional intelligence was the best predictor of performance, accounting for 58% of success in all types of jobs. Additionally, they claim that 90% of all top performing students have high emotional intelligence.

2. Better relationships

Emotional intelligence can lead to better relationships with your friends, spouses, partners, and children. It can also help you build better business relationships with your boss, coworkers, and clients.

A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that people with higher EQs reported greater satisfaction with personal relationships and fewer negative interactions with close friends.

Emotional intelligence empowers you to connect more deeply with others through empathy, compassion, and active listening.

3. Better self-control

“Anyone can get angry, it’s easy. But being angry with the right person, in the right degree, at the right time, with the right purpose and in the right way, is not easy. “- Aristotle

If you forge ahead at the slightest bit of trouble, tease your coworkers or kids when things aren’t going the way you want them to, or if you find yourself storming down the road while sitting in traffic, you’re not alone. . Everyone has a hard time controlling their emotions and staying calm in difficult or stressful situations.

The problem is, anger can do a lot of harm, both to you and to others, when it’s misdirected and out of control. But it doesn’t have to be like that. As Aristotle’s quote suggests, understanding and self-control are essential for dealing with anger and directing it to where it can do the most good.

Developing emotional intelligence will help you strengthen your self-control and allow you to better understand strong emotions like anger so that you can manage or direct it appropriately.

4. Less stress at work

A study published in The International Journal of Organizational Analysis found that people with higher emotional intelligence experience less stress at work than those with lower EQ scores. People with higher EQ scores also had a greater commitment to their organization.

Because? It can be a combination of factors. Usually, those with higher EQ scores have deeper relationships with their colleagues. They also don’t allow toxic coworkers to affect their own happiness and productivity. These two factors alone can significantly reduce stress at work.

5. More happiness

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what makes them happy, and most importantly, they don’t allow others to limit their personal happiness. They understand that they and they alone are in control of their emotions.

This empowering awareness not only leads to greater inner strength, but can also contribute to greater happiness and a greater sense of well-being, and research supports it. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences indicates that emotional intelligence is associated with positive life outcomes and increased subjective well-being.

How to boost your emotional intelligence

There are several things you can do to strengthen your emotional intelligence.

1. Know yourself

There are many ways to increase your emotional intelligence, but developing greater self-awareness is probably the most critical.

Self-awareness is knowing yourself: what drives you, what you believe in, what your values ​​are, what your emotions are, and above all, the “why” behind each of these factors. For example, why do you have certain goals? Why do you believe what you believe? Why are some values ​​so expensive? Why do you feel like this?

Self-knowledge is the foundation of emotional intelligence.

One way to develop greater self-awareness is to spend time at the end of the day to reflect on what you did and why you did it. Journaling can help you explore your thoughts and feelings further, and it will allow you to spot patterns in your thoughts and behavior.

As you think or write, pay close attention to the thoughts, people, or situations that have caused you anger, stress, or frustration during the day. What triggered these strong emotions? How did you react ? Why did you react this way?

It is important to realize that emotions, in and of themselves, are not bad, and labeling them as such can limit your personal growth. Instead, acknowledge and validate how you have felt throughout the day, and take the time to explore the reasons for those emotions.

Another way to raise your awareness is to seek the advice of your friends, family, and coworkers who are not afraid to tell you the truth. Ask them to honestly describe how they see it. It may be confusing to some, but your comments may highlight some major blind spots that you have about yourself. Matching the way you see yourself with the way others see you can lead to transformative change.

Taking a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is also helpful. A comprehensive personality test like Myers-Briggs will help you uncover specific parts of your personality that you might be hard pressed to discover on your own. This information can be incredibly illuminating. A personality test can also reveal weaknesses that you may not be aware of.

2. Focus on others

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence spend more time paying attention to others and less time thinking about themselves. They listen, empathize, and act with compassion.

Turning your attention outward also gives you the opportunity to notice how others are feeling. When you notice that a friend or coworker is having a bad day, you can reach out and offer a listening ear. Often times, just giving others the gift of your time and attention can make a huge difference.

To focus more on others, start by developing more empathy. It means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to try and feel what you are going through. However, it is not enough to see things from their point of view. You also need to dig deeper and identify the “why” behind your experience. Why does this person feel this way? What events might have led you to think so?

Then be curious about others. People with high EQ are more interested in others than in themselves. Make an effort to talk to other people, especially people you don’t know or who are different from you. Be curious and polite, and make it an exercise to really try to see things from their perspective.

You also need to challenge your own preconceptions, and even your stereotypes, about others. Be aware of how these ideas can influence the way you interact with others.

3. Strengthen your listening skills

“Most people don’t listen with the intention of understanding; they listen with the intention of responding. “-Stephen Covey

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence use active listening skills. This means that they are giving others their full attention while talking.

To strengthen your own active listening skills, offer your attention to others. Put down your phone, try not to be distracted by your own thoughts or feelings, and don’t waste time “planning” what to say. Listen.

As you listen, keep an open mind and try to understand where the other person is coming from. Don’t judge or jump to conclusions. And don’t interrupt. Interrupting others means that what you have to say is more important than what they say. Over time, this can be incredibly damaging to your relationships.

Pay special attention to the speaker’s body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. This will give you important clues about what the person is really feeling.

It’s also important to ask questions so that the other person can clarify anything they don’t understand. Not only does this help you understand the full meaning of what you are trying to say, but the questions let the other person know that you are paying attention.

Active listening takes practice, but you’ll likely see an immediate positive response from others when they feel like they have your undivided attention.

4. Admit your mistakes

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence aren’t afraid to admit they made a mistake and quickly apologize if necessary.

Admitting a mistake is not easy if you are not used to doing it. To get started, take a look at how you’ve handled mistakes in the past. What happened in these situations? Did you blame someone else, hide it under the rug, or take responsibility for what happened? How did you feel about his behavior after the situation was over?

It is important to recognize to yourself and to others that you are not perfect. Taking responsibility for all your actions, including your mistakes, strengthens your integrity and builds trust. People respect those who are willing to be vulnerable and are committed to doing the right thing.

Another aspect of this is accepting criticism as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Try to put your personal feelings aside and look for the truth in what the other person is saying (even if you don’t provide that feedback in the best way). What can you learn from this review?

5. Take a deep breath and think

No matter who you are or what you do, there will be times when you find yourself in a tense or busy situation and your first instinct is to react without thinking.

Instead of saying something you’ll regret later, stop. Take a few deep breaths and name the emotion you are feeling. Decir simplye “Me siento enojado” o “Me siento celoso” es una manera simple pero poderosa de presionar el botón de “pausa”, aceptar cómo te sientes y, lo más important, darte un Momento muy necesario para pensar en cómo quieres responder a the situation.

6. Stop judging

Judge tenderly, if necessary. Usually, there is a side you haven’t heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle you don’t have to fight. “-Traci Lea Larussa

People with a high EQ do their best not to judge. Judgment of others usually happens in a microsecond, when thoughts like “Wow, that was a stupid gesture!” They instantly appear in our mind. Subconsciously, these thoughts make you feel superior to the other person.

The truth is, most of the time, we don’t know what’s going on with other people. Instead of judging or giving a negative comment, take a deep breath and try to empathize. Remember, you rarely know the whole story. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. It feels better and costs nothing more.

7. Analyze your friendships

You are the company you keep. If you have friends and family who constantly complain, take on the role of victim, and blame others for their luck in life, try to limit your exposure to these people and instead spend time with people who are demonstrative. a high degree of emotional intelligence. Learn from their habits and imitate the behaviors that suit you.

When you surround yourself with people who make you feel empowered and uplifted, you have the energy and passion to do the same for someone else.

8. Identify your goals

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they want to accomplish most in life because they know each other inside and out.

Start by writing down everything you would like to accomplish in life. It could turn into a long list, so pick a dream or two that you are passionate about and apply the SMART goal setting approach. Set a goal for this dream that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

To stay motivated, create a vision board. Simply put, a vision board is a collage of pictures and words that keep your goal within your daily sight line. For example, if your goal is to pay off your mortgage, you can create a vision board with photos of your home, smiling people living without debt, and words that communicate how you would feel about owning your home.

Break down your most important goals into practical steps and create a plan to get started.

It is important to recognize the role that others play in helping you reach each step. Acknowledge their support and help, and thank them for everything they do.

9. Perform an equalization test

You may find it helpful to take an emotional intelligence assessment, such as the one offered by TalentSmart. An EQ assessment can give you a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can quickly identify areas that you need to work on.

An EQ assessment should not replace daily reflection; Think of it as a start to building your emotional intelligence skills.

Last word

The goal of boosting your emotional intelligence isn’t to change who you are. You simply need to identify the behaviors that limit your ability to understand your emotions and connect with others, and replace them with behaviors that lead to increased awareness and empathy.

As you can imagine, this takes a lot of practice and won’t happen overnight. Focus on developing one skill at a time and take it slow. Usual thoughts and behaviors take time to change.

Do you know someone who has a high degree of emotional intelligence? How is this person?

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