Career

How Intelligent Are You Emotionally? – 4 Steps to Self-Improvement

Today’s fast paste environment, competitive workplaces and quickly changing economic conditions we need to search for tools that can help us stand out, manage and adapt ahead of the pack. We can develop our professional skills, we can dig in the industry we are working in or we can work on our soft skills. The big name in the last group is Emotional Intelligence. Everyone heard of it, but some have it developed more than the others. If you ask yourself now: How come? What is Emotional Intelligence exactly and how to improve it? – this article is just right for you!

Emotional Intelligence is the art of identifying and managing your emotions in challenging situations by still thinking rationally and making fact-based decisions. Studies shows that only 36% of people are able to accurately recognize their emotions as they happen. This means that two thirds of us are controlled by our emotions and they are lacking the ability to spot them and use them to our benefit.

Purely physically explanation for Emotional Intelligence starts in the brain. Your primary senses enter your spiral cord and travel to the front of your brain (the rational area of your brain). But first they need to pass through the limbic system, the place where emotions are experienced. So to achieve high Emotional Intelligence your rational and emotional centres of your brain need to communicate effectively with each other.

The good news: it’s possible to work on your Emotional Intelligence and improve it. And it will pay off as emotional intelligence is so critical to success that it accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs.

How to improve it?
The authors of the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 divide Emotional Intelligence in four skills that you should work on:

1. Self-Awareness

The ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in particular moments and understand your tendency across situations. To achieve emotional self-awareness you need to spend time thinking through your emotions to figure out why they are there and where they come from. Crucial it’s to understand why something gets reaction out of you and acknowledge it. Self-reflection often keeps you from doing something that you’ll regret.

How other people describe people with high self-awareness score:

  • “He manages his emotions, they don’t manage him.”
  • “She remains calm, cool and collected.”
  • “She doesn’t get angry, even if she must have been very frustrated.”
  • “He is aware of the tone of his voice and makes an effort to keep the conversation appropriate.”

2. Self-Management

This is the ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively. This means managing your emotional reactions to situations and people. One of the ways to achieve self-management is to try to put your momentary needs on hold to pursue larger, more important goals.

How other people describe people with high self-management

  • “He dealt with frustrating situations politely and professionally. He was able to explain the procedure again in order to achieve the best possible solution, even though he was upset.”
  • “Her reaction to crises is great. She manages to separate emotion from logic which makes her a good tactical manager.”

3. Social Awareness

It is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people. This means trying to understand what other people are feeling in a situation. Listening and observing are critical to achieve social  awareness. It takes practice to really watch people and get the sense of what’s happening inside of them while being in the middle of the same situation.

How other people describe people with high social-awareness:

  • “He has the ability to put himself in the rep’s shoes, and ask himself what is wrong with the situations.”
  • “She reflects how others are feeling and adapts her communication style to help reach a resolution.”

4. Relationship Management

The ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully. This ensures clear communication and effective handling of conflict. It is also a bond you build with others over time. The better relationship you have with other the easier it will be to get your point across. Working on relationship management requires time, quality and depth in interaction with other person but it will pay off. The worst thing to do in managing conflicts is to passively avoid problems, so try to understand and talk to people openly.

How other people describe people with high relationship management score:

  • “People know that they can count on her and what they say to her in confidence will be respected and not repeated.”
  • “Even during tough conversations, she is concerned about maintaining good, comfortable relationships with all parties involved.”
  • “I’d describe him as direct, yet free from confrontation or sounding out of control.”

If you look for a guide to work on your Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 would be a great choice as it contains also a code for an online test which helps you identify your strengths and areas to improve. It gives you also 66 techniques that can help you work on your Emotional Intelligence score.

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