How to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

We often hear about boosting our IQ, but what about emotional intelligence? Is it important to our wellbeing? What will it do for you in your life?

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence speaks to the way that you handle your emotional self and are able to understand the emotional stance of others in your relationships. This can be an important skill to have in business and your personal life.

Emotional intelligence works something like this. Let’s say that you are in a conference room with department heads, giving a report on progress in your department. By looking at each of them, you will be able to discern certain facts about their emotional position. If the lady next to you is fidgeting, she is not paying attention to your speech but has her mind elsewhere. If the boss is frowning, then something you are saying is not to his liking.

Emotional cues are important to know. Much of what people say to us is said without words. Being able to gauge emotional wellbeing in others can help you make the sale where others have failed. It can also help in dealing with your children, parents and co-workers to make an untenable situation bearable for all involved.

Others will think you are a genius. But what you know they can, too – with a little practice and the following tips to boost your emotional intelligence.

Study yourself – Stand in the mirror for a while each morning and watch how certain words or situations make you respond. This is the benefit of talking to yourself at times. How does your face look? How does your body change? If you are upset, how can you calm the fire within?

Sympathize with others – When you speak to people, take a good look at them. Read their emotional cues in their body language, facial expressions and the timbre of their voice as they speak. Knowing what those cues mean can help you dispel their emotions. Even in the mildest way, like offering coffee to a person you invite to your office can put them at ease.

Set an example – We all make mistakes. When you own up to yours, you show that there is nothing wrong with admitting mistakes. It is a sign of character to live and learn. Other people will not be afraid to do the same.

Know your personality type – You may already know but if not, many companies employ personality tests like Myers-Briggs to help their employees embrace their strengths and learn about their weaknesses. You can also use this test to investigate the personality traits of others around you. This insight can help you know if you can work with them effectively or what changes will have to be made to accommodate their personality to get the job done.

Emotional intelligence is hard to measure in numbers. But it can be measured in increased productivity, a sort of “sixth” sense when it comes to extinguishing emotionally charged situations and learning to read people for better relationship skills.

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