Emotional intelligence is something that you naturally have. It may not seem that you have it, but it will be there somewhere deep down inside of you.
You may not be aware of what emotional intelligence is, but don’t you worry. Sit yourself down with a snack and some pop (or whatever you prefer) as I am about to tell you all about emotional intelligence.
The dictionary defines emotional intelligence as:
is the ability of individuals to recognise their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
If we look at Goleman’s model, there are five main components:
- Self awareness of one’s own emotions. People with high self-awareness are able to speak accurately and openly about their emotions and their impact.
- Self-regulation of knowing one’s emotions, weaknesses, strengths, values and goals and how they impact others. Self-regulation is like an ongoing inner conversation.
- Social skill. This competency is about managing relationships or being in rapport with others. It is friendliness with a purpose; moving people in the direction you desire.
- Empathy is taking other feelings into account when making decisions. Empathy in leadership matters for at least three reasons: increasing use of teams, the rapid pace of globalisation, and the growing need to retain talent.
- Motivation – Achieving for the sake of achievement, or a passion for the work itself.
Now we have an understanding of what emotional intelligence is, you need to take it by both horns, and hold on for life. The more you focus on integrating emotional intelligence into your day-to-day life, the better you will become.
I think it is time to go over some points of how you can hone in on your emotional intelligence.
- Notice and name the five primary emotions in your body and get familiar with them. Joy, fear, anger, sadness and hurt. Pause and take an hour and name an emotion that you feel in your body. If you can’t feel anything, or feel more than one emotion, name all of them.
- You are flexing your mental muscles by naming emotions as you experience them in your body. Over time these will become more familiar and easier to spot.
- What emotions come easily? Which ones are absent or hard to feel? Each of us have some emotions that come easier than others, and everyone is different. For any emotions that you have trouble experiencing, try to spot them in other people or situations around you.
- You are noticing what is easiest for you to express, and where you can express more. Imagine a continuum with pain on one side and pleasure on the other.
- Use your influencing skills on purpose. Help others understand the thinking behind your words by sharing openly and honestly with others.
- By being vulnerable and sharing honestly with others, you build trust and rapport with others.
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes as they share a story or an experience. Get inside the head of someone you are speaking to. Ask yourself, “If I were the one speaking, what would I want to hear right now?”
- The speaker will feel seen and understood by you, which leads to a deeper mutual understanding of each other. As a listener you can deepen your connection with someone through making eye contact and being fully present with someone.
Now that we have gone over how emotional intelligence works and how to hone it, I’m going to set you a challenge, which I will also be taking part in.
It is the five day emotional intelligence challenge.
Try one technique a day, and then another, for five consecutive days. Once you have done this, keep everyone up to date with commenting below or on social media with #5daysEI.
I want to know what you have learnt and what results you got.