The idea of emotional intelligence has been around for a while now. Its importance in business cannot be denied. It can have quite an impact, helping you feel less overwhelmed and more successful at work. Much of what has been written about EI makes it seem like it takes a huge amount of effort and a lifetime commitment to learn, so it’s easy to see why someone would be a bit overwhelmed. But there are a few things we can do everyday to boost our EI!
Becoming more aware of your feelings is an important first step. Take a minute to use words to describe your emotional state. This will give you a sense of awareness and control. Share one positive emotion with another person. Something that they said or did that made you feel good.
Try to avoid monologues. When talking to someone ask yourself if the topic you are excited about would be of any interest to them. We’ve all been in a situation when someone goes on and on talking about something that we have no interest in. We try to get away as soon as possible. Instead ask them about their life. Most people love to talk about themselves. This will help you forge deeper connections as they will understand that they are important to you.
Try and listen more. Often when others are speaking, we are thinking of what our response will be. Next time focus on what they are saying. Ask questions. People are so used to not being listened to you will receive their respect.
Sometimes you just need a time out. We all feel powerful emotions and it’s good when they are positive, like when your team wins, but many times we can experience anger and it is not a good idea to express it immediately. Give yourself a time out. Count to 10 or hum a tune in your head. Find something that works for you. It may save you from saying something you may regret.
At the end of the day do a review. Consider what went well in your interactions with others and what did not. Give yourself congratulations for those that worked out and celebrate that you are in charge of your emotions and feelings. If something didn’t go well, think of different ways you could have handled it better and resolve to do it. Remember that any progress is a win and will keep you moving in the right direction!
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago