Knowing how to develop emotional intelligence is key to success and achieving career and relationship goals.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a crucial skill to have, whether in a professional environment or in one’s personal life.
In a competitive workplace, major companies are starting to prioritize hiring employees that have high levels of emotional intelligence over those who do not. Fortunately, unlike IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EI is something that can be learned and developed.
Emotional intelligence helps you recognize and understand your emotions and the emotions of others, effectively express your feelings, use them to guide your thinking, and adopt a positive attitude that will help you achieve success in your professional and personal life.
People who are academically brilliant and have a high IQ may not be guaranteed to succeed in social work environments or in all personal relationships. Being smart is great, but it is not enough on its own to achieve well-rounded success. A study by Johnson & Johnson found that the highest performers in the workplace were those that displayed higher emotional intelligence.
Being in control over your emotions and having more confidence, empathy, and optimism are all vital skills to accelerate your professional and personal success. These important tips will help you strengthen your emotional intelligence.
Observe how you feel
In a hectic world where we are busy staying productive, running from one task to the other, it is easy to detach from our own emotions. When this happens we are far less likely to understand how we feel, which can create conflict not just for us but for those around us, as well.
When you pay close attention to how you feel, you recognize and understand why you feel that way, helping you better understand and manage the situation.
When you have intense feelings that occur in certain situations, try to pause, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself these questions before you speak or act: Can you name how you feel? How can you respond to the situation? Doing so will help you avoid emotional outbursts and upsetting situations.
Being more in tune with what you are feeling and understanding how these emotions shape your thoughts and actions can help you gain a deeper understanding of who you are and give you better control over your behavior.
Manage your negative emotions
After becoming aware of how you feel, it is important to know how to manage these feelings. The first step is to avoid blaming yourself or others for how you are feeling—whatever you are feeling comes within you, and you have the ability to react to your emotions the way you want to.
Think about the best and healthiest ways to express your emotions, whether they be gently confronting someone, talking with someone you trust, going for a quick run, or even just writing your feelings down.
After expressing your feelings, it is important to make a change that will better your life and help you avoid similar situations in the future, or help you understand a better way to react next time you have these feelings.
Keep in mind that it is not healthy to dwell on negative feelings for a long time. After you identify how you feel, express it, and respond to it, it is important to shift from these emotions to positive ones. Indulge in activities that make you happy even when you are not in the mood for them, go on a walk, or watch a funny movie to get out of that negative space.
Practice good communication
Practicing good, honest, and open communication is vital for any relationship, whether it be in the workplace or in your personal life. Good communication enables you to express your ideas and opinions freely in a direct way while respecting other points of view.
Avoiding being honest and open in conversations will eventually lead to conflicts that are difficult to understand and solve. Using clear language and addressing your problems in an effective way can help you become more approachable to your colleagues, gain their trust, and nourish your relationships.
Good communication also requires good listening. Emotionally intelligent people listen well to whoever is talking, giving them all their attention and focus to understand clearly what is being said before responding to avoid any misunderstandings.
Empathy is about understanding other’s emotions, desires, triggers, fears, and behaviors, and being able to communicate that understanding to them. It is an important skill that allows you to communicate and navigate your own feelings in relationships.
Having a great sense of empathy is a sign of emotional strength. Empathy helps you relate to colleagues, clients, friends, and family, as it opens a door for mutual understanding and respect despite your differences.
You can practice empathy by putting yourself on someone else’s shoes for a moment and understanding where they stand, their situation, and their opinion. This way, you learn to value other’s existence and know how to treat them in appropriate manners.
Empathizing with others does not mean to completely understand them but to accept them and their differences as they are. It helps you realize that we are not alone in this world and that other people have problems and issues on their own.
Learn to motivate yourself
Self-motivation is the inner drive and optimistic attitude towards achieving goals despite the hurdles you face. People who are emotionally intelligent are self-motivated and like to motivate those around them to stay resilient when faced with challenges.
To learn how to become self-motivated, first, you will need to set long-term and short-term goals that will help you organize your thoughts, what you want to do, and how to get there. Base them on your strengths and make them exciting but achievable.
When you set your goals, make sure to keep them as realistic as possible, taking into consideration your abilities and time. Achieving your short-term goals will boost your confidence and improve your ability to achieve your long-term goals.
You can also maintain your positive and optimistic attitude by revising your goals from time to time and taking setbacks or failures as an opportunity to learn more about what to do and what to avoid doing in your journey.
Create a positive environment
Creating a positive environment can improve your quality of life, as dwelling on negative thoughts is toxic. Make sure to take the time to count your blessings, feel grateful for your surroundings, zone out any negativity.
Highly emotionally intelligent people avoid negative individuals and surround themselves with positive, well-motivated people because they know positivity can be contagious.
It is also important to avoid being overly selfish and consider other’s needs to keep from fracturing relationships and causing disharmony.
You can create a positive environment and stay optimistic by doing what you love and what makes you happy. This includes enjoying your hobbies, eating your favorite foods, engaging in prayers or meditation, or hanging out with friends and loved ones.