How to Improve Emotional Intelligence
Not many people are aware of the influence emotion can have on motivation and behavior. We can offer you a way to understand and develop your emotional intelligence and increase your understanding of others through personal development.
Improving emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is something that everyone should invest in. If you’re interested in learning how to build and improve your EQ or finding out more about what emotional intelligence is, then you have landed in the right place.
Emotional Intelligence is considered to be a key component in the development of healthy relationships. And developing and increasing it has just gotten easier for you.
Simply defined, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage, and successfully convey one's own feelings, as well as being able to engage successfully with the feelings of others.
Research suggests that the vast majority of high performers in the workplace possess high emotional intelligence, while low performers in the workplace often have a low EQ.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is not static. It is possible to improve your emotional intelligence over time by making a concentrated effort to do so. Every improvement is a step towards success.
Learn how to practice self awareness and build your emotional intelligence today by enrolling in the Certificate In Emotional Intelligence course.
The 5 components of emotional intelligence
Dr. Daniel Goleman, a behavioral psychologist and author, identified five components of emotional intelligence. These are:
- Self-awareness: The capacity to understand your own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Self-regulation: The ability to effectively manage your motives and to regulate your own behavior.
- Social skills: Having proficiency in relationship management and creating networks, finding common ground with others, and developing rapport.
- Empathy: The ability to put yourself in someone else's situation and treat people according to their emotional reactions.
- Motivation: Working consistently toward your goals, and maintaining high standards for the quality of your own work.
All five components are interrelated. Mastering these components will help you to manage relationships effectively. Learn how to improve your emotional intelligence in simple ways and become more emotionally aware of your own feelings and those of others.
Why is emotional intelligence important?
Of all the social skills, emotional intelligence may be the most important. While emotional intelligence is seen as an important ingredient for successful people managers, it also has practical applications in all aspects of life.
Improving your emotional intelligence and developing a sense of how emotions influence behavior can guide you through life’s challenges and obstacles. It is widely accepted that emotions play a very significant role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives.
In fact, our emotional quotient is becoming recognized as more important than our actual intelligence quotient (IQ). We should put the same effort into learning about and developing our emotional management as we do in learning and developing other skills.
By developing and improving your emotional intelligence, you can see improvements in the following elements of your life.
1. Physical health
Stress can have a significant impact on our overall wellness. Stress levels are intrinsically linked to our emotional intelligence. By being conscious of our emotional state and managing reactions to stress factors, we can take steps to manage stress and maintain good physical health.
Positive emotions can influence our attitude and outlook as well as assist in alleviating anxiety and avoiding depression. High levels of emotional intelligence can be directly correlated to more positive attitudes.
When we improve our understanding of our emotions, we are not only better positioned to constructively communicate our feelings but more able to appreciate and relate to those whom we have relationships with. This improved understanding will help to lead to stronger, more fulfilling relationships.
When we are able to empathize with other people’s perspectives, we can resolve conflicts better or even avoid them completely.
Negotiation skills are enhanced alongside our improved abilities to appreciate the needs and desires of others. It’s a lot easier to provide people with what they need if we understand fully what they are asking for.
Higher emotional intelligence leads to stronger internal motivational forces. These driving forces will help eliminate procrastination, improve self-confidence, and develop our capacity to focus on a goal. Higher emotional intelligence also enables us to build better networks of support, conquer obstacles, and develop greater resilience.
Being able to understand the motivating drivers of others, relate positively to others, and to strengthen bonds with other workers makes people with higher emotional intelligence superior leaders.
Effective leaders have the ability to recognize the needs of their teams and how to meet them, while encouraging better performance and improved workplace satisfaction.
Emotional intelligence and workplace leadership
You cannot underestimate the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. If you have ever had a bad manager or worked in a toxic environment, you know how fundamental emotional intelligence in leadership really is.
According to Dr. Daniel Goleman, there are six different emotional leadership styles:
The style of your workplace executives or your direct boss can have a massive impact on employee engagement, as well as affecting your work-life balance.
By utilizing different styles in tandem, based on the current workplace goals and business strategy, an effective leader can guide their team to success.
What Is the relationship between emotional intelligence and relationship conflicts?
Relationship conflicts are often rooted in miscommunication and a lack of awareness of the other’s point of view. Increasing your emotional intelligence will help you to avoid and mitigate any relationship conflicts that may arise.
Raising emotional intelligence will give you greater capacity to be aware of your own emotions and those of people you interact with, communicate effectively, and help you build stronger relationships.
How is emotional intelligence used?
Emotional intelligence can be used in just about all life situations. It can be applied in leadership roles, team settings, and in personal relationships. By applying emotional intelligence, people can create more cooperative environments and achieve more with less conflict and stress.
Why is emotional intelligence important to critical thinking?
Understanding how emotions can affect the thinking process can help you to guard against making decisions on a purely emotional level. Applying emotional intelligence to critical thinking situations will build your ability to identify biases and assist in exercising clear and sound judgment.
Emotional intelligence books
Below you will find some of the best emotional intelligence books available to you either online or at your local bookstore.
The key author in matters concerning emotional intelligence is Dr. Daniel Goleman whose books are widely read on the subject. His most popular books include Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence.
Goleman’s books, particularly Working with Emotional Intelligence, explore the fundamental concepts of emotional intelligence. He proposes that the secret of success is not what you learn in school, your IQ, or the number of degrees that you possess, but your emotional skills.
The key concepts discussed within Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence books are extensively covered in online courses like the certificate in emotional intelligence online course.
Courses to improve emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a key skill that can be improved with diligence and by practicing techniques for emotional regulation.
A great way to embark on becoming a more emotionally intelligent person is to complete an online course that delivers all the key concepts in an easy to follow manner while allowing you to do so at the times that best suit you.
A course like the certificate in emotional intelligence online course will assist people to learn how to cultivate their social intelligence.
The course shows students how to look at their own emotional intelligence. It demonstrates how the student can identify the common components of their own emotional reactions. Students also learn how to use thought processes like mindfulness to manage emotion, as well as the emotional triggers that cause problems in life and relationships.
The course delves into the ways that empathy and interpersonal intelligence can be developed and how these qualities can be used to empower and increase effective communication.
The five common traits used to describe and understand personality are covered, as well as the strategies on how to deal with difficult people.
In addition to the use of emotional intelligence on a personal level, the course also looks at the wider applications of EQ skills, including how society utilizes emotional intelligence in all aspects of business and social interactions, as well as the deeper characteristics of our way of life.
How to measure emotional intelligence?
We’ve probably all tested ourselves and completed online IQ tests, but perhaps you didn’t realise that there tests for IQ and EQ.
There are actually several ways to measure your emotional quotient or EQ. The best known emotional intelligence tests are the competency-based approach, the ability based approach, and the trait/mixed model approach.
The competency-based approach measures behaviors linked to emotional intelligence in the workplace. This approach works best for internal assessment and talent development, and is not particularly suitable for external recruitment.
The ability-based approach is designed to measure an individual’s emotional abilities. This approach works very well for external recruitment hiring processes or the determination of the core reasons for a problematic behavior, however it does not work well for internal talent assessment.
The trait/mixed model approach is essentially a self-assessment process and measures a set of self-perceptions related to personality preferences linking emotional and social functioning. The approach is well suited to identifying underlying problematic behavior and talent development. However, it is not considered to be suitable for the selection of external recruits.
Gaining insight on your emotional intelligence is important for understanding your own motivation and behavior. Discovery through self-awareness can give you the emotional mastery, knowledge, and understanding to cope with challenging aspects of your everyday life.
Emotional intelligence scale
The Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale or the Assessing Emotions Scale is widely used to measure emotional intelligence.
The scale measures emotional responses to 33 statements and then allocates a 5 point score to each response.
The average score for this scale is 124, with a standard deviation of 13, meaning that normal scores range between 111 and 137.
8 strategies to improve emotional intelligence
Improving emotional intelligence can have significant benefits on all aspects of your professional and personal life and make you more socially aware of the behavior and feelings of others.
The key to improving emotional intelligence is to commit to making an improvement. That said, here are 8 key strategies that can be used to increase your emotional intelligence and awareness.
1. Reduce negative emotions
Negative emotions can easily overwhelm us and affect our emotions and judgment. It is important to recognize them and treat them appropriately. This can be done by reducing negative personalization and the fear of rejection.
2. Stress management
We all deal with stress in our lives but how we manage it will go a long way to determine our emotional well-being. Try different tools and find strategies that work for you to reduce negative emotions you feel during stressful situations.
3. Be assertive in expressing your emotions
We can learn to say how we feel without being rude or accusatory. Being confident in setting boundaries can help manage the expectations of others and ourselves.
4. Be proactive when confronted by difficult people
Difficult people can hijack and drain our emotions. The key to remaining in control of your emotions is to recognize the situation for what it is and to proactively take charge. Increase your awareness about the importance of emotions and the influence of your emotional state on your behavior.
5. Bounce back
Failing is never the issue. How we choose to respond to failure is the key driver when it comes to dealing with adverse situations. This choice can determine the difference between hope and despair, frustration and optimism. Treat every situation as a lesson to be learned from. Always seek to do better next time.
6. Work on responding instead of reacting
It takes a conscious effort to respond appropriately, whereas reacting often involves knee jerk subconscious responses to situations. Emotional management involves adopting a mental process of examining your feelings and choosing an appropriate response.
7. Take responsibility
Your emotions and behavior belong to you—no-one else—therefore, you own them and need to take responsibility for them. Have the emotional intelligence to own your own actions at the end of the day.
8. Observe how you feel
In this modern age, it is very easy to get swept up in the rush and urgency of our day to day lives. It is easy to lose track of our emotions and start acting unconsciously on autopilot. When we take the time to acknowledge the importance of our emotions, we are better placed to trust and manage them.
Enrol in an emotional intelligence course today and develop knowledge and skills to deal with the world around you.
How to overcome low emotional intelligence?
While we are all born with a certain level of emotional intelligence, the good news is that low intelligence levels can be worked on and improved.
The first step is to want to improve your emotional intelligence and to commit to it. In addition to the strategies outlined above, low emotional intelligence people may find the following tips useful.
Actively listening to and paying attention to nonverbal cues of others will help you identify the emotions behind their behavior. This will help you make an appropriate and empathetic response and avoid negative reactions.
When you find yourself getting angry, make an effort to remove yourself from the immediate situation and give yourself time to cool off.
When you feel that your pride has been hurt, accept that you can’t be perfect at everything and recognize others for being better or having better ideas. Humility in the right circumstances can be a great relationship building tool.
Recognize that anxiety is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Practice simple relaxation techniques to overcome feelings of anxiety in normal situations. If, however, you find that anxiety is becoming an issue it may be necessary to seek help from a medical health professional.
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