Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as:
the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success, however it’s a tricky skill to master. I, myself still grapple with this – 11 years in the world of corporate.
Experts say, the key requirement to building EQ is self-awareness: having conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings. Self-awareness includes paying attention to:
- What you are thinking (your thoughts)
- What you are speaking
- How you are acting
- How you are feeling
- How you’re reacting etc.
When you pay attention, you are making the conscious decision to tune in to your emotions.
Justin Bariso shares some insights on Emotional Intelligence, he’s identified 13 actions that illustrate how emotional intelligence appears in the real world, I’ll share 7 of them:
- You think about feelings
Emotional intelligence begins with what is called self- and social awareness: The ability to recognise emotions (and their impact) in both yourself and others. The awareness begins with reflection. You ask questions like: What are my emotional strengths? What are my weaknesses? How does my current mood affect my thoughts and decision making? What’s going on under the surface that influences what others say or do? Pondering questions kike these yield valuable insights that can be used to your advantage.
- You strive to control your thoughts
You don’t have much control over the emotion you experience in a given moment. But you can control your reaction to those emotions–by focusing on your thoughts. (As it’s been said: You can’t prevent a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest.)
By striving to control your thoughts, you resist becoming a slave to your emotions, allowing yourself to live in a way that’s in harmony with your goals and values.
3. You benefit from criticism.
Nobody enjoys negative feedback. But you know that criticism is a chance to learn, even if it’s not delivered in the best way. And even when it’s unfounded, it gives you a window into how others think.
When you receive negative feedback, you keep your emotions in check and ask yourself: How can this make me better?
- You show authenticity.
Authenticity doesn’t mean sharing everything about yourself, to everyone, all of the time. It does mean saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and sticking to your values and principles above all else.
You know not everyone will appreciate your sharing your thoughts and feelings. But the ones who matter will.
- You give helpful feedback and you apologise
Negative feedback has great potential to hurt the feelings of others. Realizing this, you reframe criticism as constructive feedback, so the recipient sees it as helpful instead of harmful.
It takes strength and courage to be able to say you’re sorry. But doing so demonstrates humility, a quality that will naturally draw others to you.
Emotional intelligence helps you realize that apologizing doesn’t always mean you’re wrong. It does mean valuing your relationship more than your ego.
- You keep your commitments.
It’s common nowadays for people to break an agreement or commitment when they feel like it. Of course, bailing on an evening of Netflix with a friend will cause less harm than breaking a promise to your child or missing a major business deadline.
But when you make a habit of keeping your word – in things big and small–you develop a strong reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.
- You protect yourself from emotional sabotage.
You realize that emotional intelligence also has a dark side–such as when individuals attempt to manipulate others’ emotions to promote a personal agenda or for some other selfish cause.
And that’s why you continue to sharpen your own emotional intelligence–to protect yourself when they do.
EQ is a skill required for good leadership, and therefore very necessary for the development the skills that can help you achieve business success.
Remember, it starts with you. 🙂
Until next time, love and light.