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.
The World Economic Forum, cites emotional intelligence as 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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