Have you ever met someone who displays incredible intelligence but has a difficult time connecting with others’ emotions? Or worse doesn’t acknowledge their own feelings? Unsuccessfully managing own behavior, communication and social skills? It’s probably that one person in your life who seems aloof and uninterested about how you feel. Demonstrating an inability to manage their impulses and has trouble with accountability.
Recently, I sat in a classroom to listen in on a training session about Emotional Intelligence (EQ). People show curiosity about IQ scores. We concern ourselves with how smart we are but not often enough think about levels of emotional intelligence. EQ is the capacity to recognize your own as well as other people’s emotions. It does not have a quotient as measure. Successful and high-achieving individuals are perceived to have higher levels of it. Men and women can lack in this department. It’s being able to differentiate emotions, translate the information to analyze and address how to move forward towards resolve.
Although, emotional intelligence was introduced years ago by researchers, John Mayer and Peter Salovey. In 1995, Daniel Goleman‘s “book Emotional Intelligence” hyped up the term. Since then all types of literature and training have been developed to educate society on social and emotional learning.
Everyone has come across and probably deals with someone who has low EQ. This is the person who might fly off the handle when things don’t go their way. The boss or mate who may hear you but not truly listen to what you’re saying. It could be the friend or parent who talks over you refusing to take responsibility for how their words or actions make you feel. Sound familiar? What do you do when you encounter this kind of conflict with someone? Complicated. Hopefully, the simplicity of my response might prove helpful for you.
Firstly, it’s essential to accept that we can’t change people. Trying to would be frustrating. You can only control your behavior. The upside is we can improve our own emotional intelligence. The brain’s plasticity allows us to train it to do new things. So, we can mold the brain to improve, changing behavior. Warning: Training the self takes great will and discipline but is doable.
In order to build emotional intelligence we must understand its components.
Being self-aware – We all have doubts but getting clear on how you feel is a huge part of self-awareness. Knowing who you are, what pushes your buttons and recognizing your emotions is truly important. If you can see it coming then you have a better chance of handling things appropriately. Take time to get to know yourself. We invest energy in getting familiar with others but it all starts with you. It’s crucial to learn what makes you tick. Spend time alone, keep a journal or explore new ways to get reacquainted with the inner self.
Self-Manage – Learning to get a hold of the fears, anxiety, anger or sadness is challenging. We all have the ability to do this, however, so acknowledge how you feel. Human emotion is normal, what we do when these feelings present themselves is key. Acting on the anger or fear is what gets us in trouble. Find ways for it to be manageable. Staying rational requires self-control. Many times we need a little assistance to get there, can happen through meditation, exercise, music or long walks. Whatever works for you.
Motivate – Negative Nelly’s tend to stay in the same place because they don’t allow themselves to see the bigger picture. They won’t look passed the bad stuff that happens. A positive attitude changes perspective. It pushes you to see the possibilities and helps get goal-oriented. If you have a knack for it, start removing any negative self-talk. Replace it with thoughts that encourage achievement and success. Be your own cheerleader because you are the best person to drive your vehicle to greatness. Believe that you are and you will.
Empathy – Reading other people’s emotions and connecting to how your words or actions make them feel is an important skill. The more empathetic you are, easier for people to trust you, like you in life and business – as long as it’s genuine. It is how we figure out what clients or partners need even when they don’t know themselves. It takes time and care to develop but so valuable in business and personal relationships. The one thing to remember – being empathetic doesn’t mean you should be an enabler. Sacrificing your physical or emotional well-being to “save” someone from negative behavior does not add value.
Play well with others – Strengthen your interpersonal skills by listening to others. Being flexible and communicating without exerting your opinions or beliefs. Using the “mute button” while hearing out what others have to say is well-recognized. It’s appreciated, tells other you acknowledge their needs.
We can have a significant impact on others by showing emotional intelligence. An individual that feels they are worthy will give you their time, business and ear if given the opportunity. Controlling a or boss or crappy partner isn’t realistic. Removing yourself from the situation or tweaking your own behavior will have the best chance at overpowering the effects of their shortcomings.
Seek ways to boost your own EQ. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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