How to increase your emotional intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity to effectively perceive, express, understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of others in an effective and appropriate manner. Research has shown that EI is a strong predictor of success in the workplace, more so than IQ, skill sets, personality, and experience.

Why is Emotional Intelligence so important?

Enhancing and developing a greater awareness and application of EI will have a significant impact on all aspects of your life, including more self-awareness and improved relationships with co-workers, friends, family, and others who are significant in your life.

People who improve their EI capabilities are able to decrease stress – personally and professionally, enhance interpersonal relationships, and demonstrate greater leadership and decision-making skills. Even more important, raising EI has a direct and positive effect on your level of consciousness.

What can you do to increase your Emotional Intelligence?

Here are a few tips on how to increase your Emotional Intelligence, taken from iPEC’s Energy Leadership Development SystemTM, a full coaching certification program that I undertook. They are so simple, yet so powerful!

  • Begin to take notice of how your thoughts affect your emotions, and as a result, how your emotions affect your actions. Self- awareness is the key to beginning to shift your energy and increase EI. As you go through your day, be aware of how you react to situations, and what thoughts are going through your head as you do so. If someone cuts you off on the road, and your thought is ‘What an idiot,’ your resulting emotion would be anger. If you think instead ‘Wow, he must really be in a rush to get somewhere,” your emotion would most likely be very different. As you become more self-aware, you’ll be able to identify your emotional triggers.
  • Journal about areas to improve your awareness and expression of your emotions. What’s working, and what’s not working for you? What relationships need improvement?
  • Journal about ways to manage and control your emotions. What has been effective for you, and what hasn’t? How do you want to respond, and how can you do so?
  • Practice meditation/centering to be able to build a stronger tolerance for anxiety.
  • Each day, set your intention to be more aware of your thoughts/feelings and how they might affect you and/or others.
  • When you’re very angry or upset, give yourself 5-10 minutes alone, prior to taking any action. Then ask yourself what would be the best way to address the situation. Think about how you’d like to respond. Taking a little break will help you better manage your response and avoid a “knee-jerk” reaction.
  • Seek out others who will assist you, objectively, in providing observations of how they experience you expressing and/or managing/controlling your emotions. You may be surprised at how others view you.
  • Tell others you want to increase your understanding of their thoughts and feelings and “check-in” with them periodically about this. You’ll soon become better at reading others.
  • After getting a buy-in, offer feedback to those around you about their emotional awareness, expression, and management.
  • Practice incorporating new skills and behaviours and being aware of how others respond to you.
  • Interview others who demonstrate high EI, to learn some of their strategies for responding to stressful situations.
  • Take an Energy Leadership IndexTM  Learn more about Energy Leadership here.

If you’d like to increase your Emotional Intelligence and improve your outcomes both at work and at home,  Get in touch!