A reader wrote in to ask how to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship and at work. It’s a good question. Emotional intelligence is important. Thankfully there are lots of ways how to be emotionally intelligence in a relationship and at work, and we’ll guide you through them.
Some people just have that charm to them where they make you feel like you can sit comfortably and chat with them, knowing they’re listening, understanding and not judging you. You know, the kind of people you can talk to for a few minutes and immediately feel better; people with personal skills and great listening skills.
Other people have fantastic emotional skills; never screaming or getting angry, always calmly facing any problem that might come their way. Accepting of criticism, not budging to pressure, not letting cross words get to them.
What both these people have in common is a high degree of emotional intelligence; they understand themselves and their own emotions as well as the emotions, thoughts, behaviour and needs of others. Wouldn’t life be better if we could all be like this?
Do you already have a high EQ? Take this test and see if you have a high emotional intelligence score.
Science shows that Emotional Intelligence is very important
Scientific research shows that a high EQ score is very important.
Travis Bradberry, the coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, tells us”
We’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim. Naturally, people with a high degree of emotional intelligence make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world. We haven’t yet been able to find a job in which performance and pay aren’t tied closely to emotional intelligence. CONTINUE READING ON FORBES.
In the workplace, emotional intelligence is particularly important
Whether you’re a divorce lawyer, mental health specialist,real estate agent meeting prospective buyers, a member of the police force (who of course must handle situations delicately), or a telephone salesman trying to make a trade, the better you are at handling other people, the further you will go in your career.
But what if you’re not a natural social person? How do you develop your social skills and your EQ?
Social skills are incredibly valuable but can be difficult to develop. After all, there are so many different types of people in the world, how are you supposed to get along with all of them?
The answer is in developing our Emotional Intelligence.
If there is one person who can help us develop our emotional intelligence it’s ME—oh wait, no, sorry, it’s not me, it’s Daniel Goleman, an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses.
Daneil Goleman describes Emotional Intelligence as having five key components:
How to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship / at work #1: Self-Awareness
People with a high degree of emotional intelligence understand themselves very well and are able to control their emotions. They know their strengths and weaknesses and accept both. They are honest with themselves but not hard on themselves.
So, they have a good relationship with themselves. Good for them. How do you get that for yourself? Read our guide to developing loving kindness, it will do wonders for your relationship with yourself.
How to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship / at work #2: Self Regulation
Self Regulation is an ability to control emotions and impulses. Self regulation keeps negatives like anger and temptations in check and also enables a person to think before acting, even in heated moments. and also people to think before they act.
Can’t control your emotions? Get angry at the slightest thing. Relax. Just just this guide to controlling your emotions.
How to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship / at work #3: Self-Motivation
Those with a high degree of emotional intelligence are better able to motivate themselves, to go for what they want long term (as opposed to what they want in the moment) and are productive and effective.
But what is motivation? And how do you get more of it.
Scientifically, motivation is all about managing the dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the reward chemical that motivates you to get things done. Manage that chemical effectively and you will naturally have high levels of motivation. You can learn to manage your dopamine here.
You can also use meditation to improve motivation levels. Take a look at that link.
How to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship / at work #4: Social Awareness
Social Awareness (which could also be called empathy) is the ability to recognise and understand how another is feeling. Empathy is immensely important in relationships as it allows a person to see things from the other person’s point of view.
The more you are able to understand other people’s emotions, the more you’ll get along with them.
Bit of a bugger, then, that people’s emotions are often confusing. How are you supposed to understand them?
Take a look at this meditation for compassion. It will really open your eyes.
How to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship / at work #5: Social Skills
When you talk to someone with good social skills, you know it. It’s always a pleasure to chat with people who have good social skills. They know what to say and they know when and how to listen. They make conversation a real pleasure. People with good social skills are generally able to put others first, can see past personal bias and are good at resolving disputes.
Those are the five skills you need in order to be an emotionally intelligent person. And if you want to learn more about developing those skills, take a look at Daniel Goleman’s exceptional book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
The Top 4 Ways to Improve Emotional Intelligence
Way to Improve Emotional Intelligence #1: Notice Stress and Relax
When you’re stressed your emotional intelligence drops. And you also make socially unwise decisions.
To get a grip on the situation, learn to relax.
At first, just begin to recognise when you are feeling stressed. Don’t try to change anything but just begin to notice your emotions and when you feel stressed acknowledge that you are feeling stressed.
Once this become habitual and you are more aware of your emotions, try to either focus on your breathing or allow your attention to focus on one of your senses.
Way To Improve Emotional Intelligence #2: Be Self Aware
Your own emotions get in the way of making the right social decisions.
We all know those people who just can’t help but get mad anytime something irks them. And most of us do not enjoy hanging out or doing business with people like that.
The good news is that if you’re one of those people you can train your mind to not react so quickly.
Way To Improve Emotional Intelligence #3: Social Awareness
Communication is a two-way street and so when it comes to social awareness you should be aware of two key things: how you react to other people and how other people react to you. Observe the following things:
- When you rush to judgment
- When you stereotype
- When you become angry all of a sudden
- Where you seek attention (at work / home / with friends etc.)
- When you become quiet
- Other times of marked changed in your emotions
- Use your new awareness of these points to develop your understanding of yourself and how and why others respond to you in the way they do (both positively and negatively).
Way To Improve Emotional Intelligence #4: Responsibility
Recognise that you yourself are entirely responsible both for the good and the bad and with this understanding and acceptance, begin to make little changes to the negative points you have observed thus far. The best way to do this is by using the meditation techniques above to calm yourself when you feel angry / low and use this new calmness to choose a new action.
Put it all together:
To give an example of all of the above. Think of a time when you acted poorly, when your emotional intelligence was zilch. Now imagine the following process:
-Recognise how you are feeling
Recognise how your feelings are shaping your actions
Recognise how those actions are shaping the responses you are receiving
Take responsibility for the situation
Focus either on your breath or one of your senses to calm yourself
Choose a different action
Observe the change in reaction from others around you.
Reward yourself with a quiet compliment (this final part is simply to provide motivation for you to continue to use this exercise in the future).
This is an excellent video about emotional intelligence and its importance. Leave this on and listen (you dont need to watch it, just listen) while you go about your work / day. I’m sure this will answer a lot of questions.
Do you know any other ways how to be emotionally intelligent in a relationship or at work ? Share them in a comment.