Like many things in life, some people are simply born with a high level of emotional intelligence. For the rest of us, it needs building upon. Whether it’s innate or learnt, we all need to nurture our ‘EQ’ if we want it to blossom and in fact, it can be one of the best ways to deal cope with stress – timely given that National Stress Awareness Day was this week.
Emotional intelligence can be strengthened over time with commitment and discipline, but those who most need to develop it often realise this too late. Here are some tell-tale signs that you need to work on your emotional intelligence:
You’re impatient and frustrated when, (from your point of view), others just aren’t getting to the point.
You’re surprised when others react sensitively to your comments or jokes, and you think they’re overreacting.
You think being liked at work is overrated.
You weigh in early with your opinions and simply won’t budge, even if you know you should.
You hold others to the same high expectations you hold for yourself.
You find others are to blame for most of the issues on your team.
You find it annoying when others expect you to know how they feel.
What it means to be an emotionally intelligent person
Emotional intelligence has to do with a person’s ability to recognise, understand, and manage his or her own emotions and, therefore, the same of others. Emotions can help us solve problems and guide our relationships, both at home and at work. Emotionally intelligent people tend to:
Successfully manage difficult situations
Express themselves clearly
Gain respect from others
Influence other people
Entice other people to help them out
Be highly resilient
Recognise their emotional reactions to people or situations
Know how to say the ‘right’ thing to get the right result
Manage themselves effectively when negotiating
Manage other people effectively when negotiating
Motivate themselves to get things done
Know how to be positive, even during difficult situations
How to feed your emotional intelligence
1. Look inside and become more self-aware
Some people think that they’re good at everything. Others constantly underestimate their strengths. It’s difficult to know yourself, and it’s not a small job by any means.
At The Colour Works we use the Insights Discovery® colour model and profiles as a starting point to give our people an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into themselves and others. The results are incredible.
2. Discover your inner passions
Some of us are lucky enough to say that we truly love what we do. A large majority, however, may feel stuck in a rut or dissatisfied in some aspect of their working life. Few people strive to do the kind of work that really excites them. With the right amount of planning, you can do it.
3. Express yourself – thoughts, feelings and beliefs
Knowing how to express your emotions can often help you in managing them. Bottling up makes for a very lonely life; the beauty of this existence lies in the relationships we uncover and build upon with those around us – without revealing your true nature and becoming vulnerable, how will anyone know who you really are?
There is a middle ground of course – not everyone wants to your innermost everything – aim for assertiveness. You need to practice letting the right people, at the right time, know where you stand.
4. Having looked inside, reach out
Increasing your ability to empathise can help you get closer to others, win their support when you need it, and defuse potentially high-charged situations. By showing another person that you really understand where he’s coming from, you gain a certain level of respect. You demonstrate, for example, that you’re not self-centred.
Start by paying more attention to others. Listen carefully to both what they’re saying and what they want you to hear.
Actively being more socially responsible – demonstrating that your care for others extends far and wide – can also build on the empathy you’re trying to develop
5. Practice flexibility
Everyone has routines and set ways of doing things, some far more than others. For a society to run efficiently, it needs a certain amount of rules and regulations. However, individuals, societies and businesses, too, can experience problems when you get stuck in a rut and become inflexible to change. By being too rigid you miss out on opportunities for growth and success, fall behind in learning new techniques and approaches, and tend to deal with personal and work problems in the same, sometimes unproductive, ways.
The Colour Works
This article was brought to you by The Colour Works, a team of personal, team and leadership development specialists who have been transforming performance globally for over a decade. We are delighted to announce they they are behind our next event in Southampton – Six Stages to Team Transformation – at St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday 13th November.
Claire has over 20 years Recruitment experience. A specialist in the regional recruitment marketplace, Claire has extensive local knowledge and holds a reputation for quality, integrity, honesty and excellent matching. Heading up the HR and Office & Commercial Divisions of Bond Williams. Claire is responsible for the overall growth and …