Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to be aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others, then use the information to manage yourself to build strong relationships. While you need to be technically proficient at what you do — whether you are an architect, attorney, engineer or business executive — it’s your emotional intelligence skills that will boost your ability to be successful. Oh, and it can help you improve relationships with family and others.
Here are 6 practical tips to improve your EQ:
1. Be “in the moment”
It’s so easy in our over-scheduled, high tech world to continually multi-task. Research is showing that we can become addicted to looking at our cell phones constantly. How often do you look at your phone when you are with others? Are you really “in the moment?” Ignore the urge to multi-task and stay tuned in with what you are doing NOW. Be there with others using all your senses and your brain. It might be surprising what you learn! You may find that conversations go more quickly when you are tuned in rather than distracted – thereby actually saving yourself time!
2. Recharge during the day
Find a way to take a break during your day and get away from the meetings and your office. This may mean going for a 10-minute walk outside. Maybe it’s just walking around the office and talking with people about non-work related topics. Or perhaps its closing your office door and closing your eyes to meditate and relax. Figure out what works for you and make it a daily habit. It can help calm and re-energize you for what you face the rest of the day.
Before speaking, particularly in an emotionally or frustrating situation at work, simply pause or count to ten. Allowing yourself some space may avoid an emotional outburst and instead give you a chance to craft a more productive response.
4. Do a 360 assessment
A 360 assessment allows you to receive feedback from your subordinates, your peers, and your boss. These ratings can be compared to your self-rating to identify areas of consistency as well as outliers. You can identify strengths and also areas for improvement. This will give you insight into how others perceive you in order to build your self- awareness, the foundation of EQ.
5. Be Grateful
This sounds corny yet when you are grateful it puts you in a positive mind-set. Try it… write down three things you are grateful for each morning, or prior to attending a meeting. It is nearly impossible to then be stressed out and on edge once you do this. This calming influence can help you control negative emotions thought the day and help you handle adversity.
6. Smile and Laugh More
Neurotransmitters called endorphins and the chemicals dopamine and serotonin are released when you smile. These are triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face, which is interpreted by your brain, which in turn releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy, and they also help lower stress levels. The release of endorphins reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol. So have fun and get benefits in return!
These tips seem simple, yet when used can be quite powerful. Incorporate some or all of these into your workday and you may find that you are calmer and better able to manage your emotions in a productive way!
About the Author:
Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, is a Principal and Career/Financial Coach at KHC Wealth Management. After 20+ years in corporate America, Joni transitioned to a career focused on helping others advance in their business, career and life. Through executive coaching, career coaching and financial planning; Joni assists corporate executives and their families in achieving their goals.