You may have been hearing a lot about emotional intelligence recently. Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, has been defined as a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions. We’re finding that great leaders need to have EQ, employees need to have EQ, parents and romantic partners as well. If you want to connect with people, it’s essential that you have EQ. So take these steps to develop your emotional intelligence.
Pay attention to people
Yes it’s so simple but in this fast paced, non stop cell phone use society it’s so easy to be distracted. And if you’re distracted you likely miss subtle cues from the person you’re communicating with. So it’s essential that you give people your undivided attention.
So, put down your phone or your book or whatever can distract you and look directly at people when they’re speaking. Pay attention to their words, their facial expressions, their body language and their emotions. And connect all of these ways of expressing content to each other. If someone’s saying one thing but their emotions show another, then follow up with them about it. You wouldn’t have caught this if you weren’t paying attention.
Never assume. Learn about people and try to understand them. Let them talk. Ask them about themselves. Pay attention to their responses and pick up on their emotions. There’s so much you can get from people if you simply ask. And once you get this information you’ll better understand them and better understand how to interact with them.
Assess how you have interacted with people after the fact. Were you able to communicate how you felt and thought clearly? Did you express your emotions in ways that were not helpful? Did you feel you managed your emotions well? Were you unhappy with anything that you said or did? Consistently reflect on how you interact with people and make changes to better communicate. People will understand you better and you’ll understand them better.
The road to developing emotional intelligence involves commitment to personal growth. You’ll make mistakes, but what’s important is that you learn from them. Get support if you find that you need help on your journey to personal growth. I hope as you implement these steps, you’ll begin to see changes in your relationships.