5 Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

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Our schools and education system often focus on how smart we are and where our intelligence stands. Intelligence broadly refers to the ability to learn and grasp new concepts and things.

However, as we move ahead in our lives, we realize that intelligence alone is not enough to succeed in various situations and workplaces. A more important skill that can get us going places is emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) as it is sometimes referred to.

Emotional intelligence broadly comprises one’s ability to understand and regulate one’s own emotions and also understand the emotions of those around. It acts upon a high level of emotional awareness that leads to more positive outcomes and a stress-free environment.

Here are some thoughts to improve your emotional intelligence:

Practice self-awareness

Sometimes when we have too many deadlines and too many things to do, we stop taking the time to reflect. A few minutes set aside each day to reflect upon our thoughts and feelings would help us go a long way in understanding from where our feelings are originating and how we are dealing with them. The higher the level of awareness, the more the ability to control one’s feelings.

Respond, not react

Very often, we react as per our emotions without taking the time to think. An important practice to adopt to improve your EI is to ‘pause’. A few moments taken to digest how you are feeling will give you time to settle down and put things into perspective. A response is well thought of and allows thoughts and reason to prevail over emotions. For example, if you are angry at someone, you might just lash out at the person in a moment of fury. If you take the time to respond, you might think of an appropriate way and time to convey your emotions.

A response is well thought of and allows thoughts and reason to prevail over emotions. For example, if you are angry at someone, you might just lash out at the person in a moment of fury. If you take the time to respond, you might think of an appropriate way and time to convey your emotions.

Practice empathy

The second facet of emotional intelligence focuses on understanding the emotions of people around you and managing relationships positively through such understanding.

Being empathetic is all about putting yourself in another person’s shoes. If you are able to relate to another’s pain or joy, you will enjoy more effective interpersonal relationships and people will automatically be drawn to share their concerns with you.

Show genuine interest in people

This is an important trait for a leader to be emotionally intelligent and develop a strong connect with his team. Take interest in people as people and not merely as performers in your organization. Know their family and personal details, understand what matters to them, what their hobbies and interests are etc.

There are certain personality traits that each individual possesses. An emotionally intelligent person learns to observe and interpret such traits.

Take responsibility for your behavior

People around us or situations often act as triggers for an outburst of our negative or positive emotions. However, as mature adults, we need to take responsibility for our own behavior. If something or someone angers us, how we behave in such a situation is our call.

We can either take the time to calm down and then approach the other person or we can vent out our anger in return and further complicate the situation.