Emotional intelligence (also known as Emotional Quotient or EQ) is a key component of your success in career and life. The ability to interact with people, understand their needs and stimulate fruitful collaboration stems from the strength of your EQ.
According to Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, EQ competency accounts for 67% of highly desired abilities in new employees.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage, and use your emotions and the emotions of others for effective communication, empathy, and conflict mitigation.
- Allows you to build strong relationships in school, at home, in the workplace, and beyond.
- Helps achieve career and personal goals.
- Allows you to understand yourself, connect with others, and lead a fulfilling life.
- Helps guide your thoughts and actions while influencing that of others.
Strengthening your EQ can help you achieve your goals while improving the quality of life. Let’s look at a few ways to start increasing your emotional quotient today.
1. Work on your Empathy
Strengthening your EQ starts with the assessment of your abilities. How well do you empathize with people? Take the time to observe your behavior at school, work, or home.
- Do you make rushed judgments?
- Do you ignore your opponent’s opinion?
- Do you stereotype?
Take a step back and put yourself into other people’s shoes. Would you change your behavior?
This type of insight can help you adjust your actions and improve your relationship with the people around you.
2. Ask for Feedback
While evaluating your behavior is an integral part of improving your EQ, it’s often tough to get a full picture without assistance.
Ask your managers, co-workers, family members, and friends to evaluate your emotional intelligence. For example, ask them to rate from 1 to 10:
- Your ability to respond to tough situations
- Your empathetic capabilities
- Your ability to handle conflict
- Your ability to adapt to difficult situations
You may be surprised (even unpleasantly) with what you hear, but it can help you take the first steps toward changing yourself.
3. Respond Instead of Reacting
When something unexpected happens, your first urge is to react emotionally. More often than not, such a reaction leads to conflicts and regrets. In a tough and conflicting situation, raw emotions don’t help. You need to come up with a way to solve the problem instead of stirring it up.
Take the time to assess the situation before speaking. A short break can help you quench the initial emotional reaction and gain time to come up with a qualitative response. With time, you’ll learn how to respond instead of reacting without taking a break.
4. Listen to Others
While being 100% sure of yourself can help you achieve many goals, ignoring others can lead to a downfall. Be it a friendly conversation near the water cooler or a heated discussion during a meeting, you must learn how to listen to others.
Instead of simply waiting for the other person to finish their thought before you can start talking, listen. The information you collect while listening can help you understand your opponent better while gaining power for your next argument.
5. Improve your Attitude
Emotional intelligence can’t survive without a positive attitude, especially if achieving your goals involves working with people. Positively wired individuals create a special atmosphere around them, which stimulates positive reactions.
Turn improving your mood into a habit to maintain a positive attitude. You can also explore motivational techniques. Giving off a positive presence makes you more approachable, thus improving your chances of better communication and honing your leadership skills.
6. Take Advantage of Critique
A person’s natural reaction to critique tends to be negative. Emotionally intelligent people understand the power and value of critique, since it helps them evaluate their actions and adjust strategies.
To strengthen your EQ, you need to learn how to take critique calmly and respond (not react) to it properly. Change your perception of critique. Embrace it as a tool to help achieve your goals.
7. Take a Class
Strengthening your emotional intelligence is an ongoing process. While it’s possible to improve EQ on your own, it’s always better to get professional advice.
An EQ improvement workshop can help you evaluate your skills, find your weak points, acquire valuable feedback, and put you on the right track toward self-improvement.
Conclusion: Taking Full Advantage of Emotional Intelligence
Without strong emotional intelligence, it can be nearly impossible to achieve career and personal goals. By strengthening your EQ regularly, you can stay one step ahead of the competition and improve the quality of your life.
Improving emotional intelligence can be easier than you think. The hardest part is taking the first step. Thankfully, you’ve already made it by getting to the end of this article.