Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, control and understand your emotions and the emotions of those around you. It is a vital trait in all aspects of life and one many of us will take for granted.
According to the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 sought-after skills at work.
So, what exactly is it, do you have it and how do you get more of it?
Top tips to boost your emotional intelligence:
- Identify and eliminate stress - If you're stressed, then it's harder to read a situation accurately and respond to emotional cues in your team.
- Use all your senses to reduce your stress levels - This includes:
- Visual - for instance, by looking at an uplifting view, a piece of artwork or treasured photograph
- Sound - such as, listening to music or natural sounds from nature (birdsong or the sea)
- Smell - for example, using scented candles or strong citrus smells to reinvigorate you
- Touch - like, a stress ball, stroking a pet, and so on
- Taste - such as, chewing gum, getting a coffee, eating crunchy snacks, and so on
- Movement - for instance, using mindfulness meditation or exercise
- Slow down and get in touch with your feelings - Rate your feelings every day and pinpoint the underlying reasons behind any extreme emotions. This will increase your self-awareness.
- Share any difficult emotions with trusted people - Stress can build up if you don't take time to process difficult emotions.
- Practise active listening - Stay focused, listen carefully, and maintain eye contact to improve your communication skills; learn to accurately interpret others' body language.
- Get creative - Use humour and play to make a genuine connection with others.
- Don't mask your emotions - If you conceal your emotions from others, you won't be seen as 'authentic' and others may perceive you as 'aloof'
- Seek a win-win outcome from any conflict - Show a mature approach to conflict by avoiding blame, punishment and revenge, and agreeing to disagree.
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