How to increase your emotional intelligence

Aug 19, 2020

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others and overcome challenges. An important aspect of effective leadership and interpersonal relationship building, EQ encompasses the ability of an individual to manage emotional situations in a way that enhances respect, builds relationships and achieves results.

To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect those around them. According to Travis Bradberry, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0,

“58% of an individual’s successful performance in all types of jobs is attributed to emotional intelligence.”

With more than half of potential success being tied to EQ, we can all benefit by familiarizing ourselves with ways to handle our emotions. Everyone has feelings. Sometimes our feelings get in our way when we need to work effectively with others. Learning to identify your emotions and what charges them will help you effectively solve the challenges and problems you are facing. The following tips from a recent SmartBrief article can you manage your emotions during a stressful situation or conflict:

  • Identify your emotions – notice when your feelings start to show up.
  • Surface your thinking – discover your thoughts associated with those emotions.
  • Identify your values – be familiar with your values to asses whether they are being violated.
  • Ask questions – logically ask yourself or others involved questions before becoming reactive.
  • Breathe deliberately – slowly breathe in order to stay calm and maintain rationality.
  • Change your movements – physically move to lessen your emotional intensity.
  • Change your words – deliberately use positive words to shift the intensity of your emotion.

Why should you care?

Learning to identify your emotions, the thinking behind them, and the values that they represent will help you understand yourself and others.