By: Jenkins Ebiware Jr
Emotional intelligence is a critical key to success in any business, relationship, and life in general. When it comes to finding success in everything you do, many people mistakenly believe that your IQ has a direct correlation to your success. We’ve spent a significant part of our lives in school, diligently studying, taking exams, and continually learning to become more intelligent people. However, over the last few years, researchers have determined that emotional intelligence (EQ) has a more significant impact on success than your IQ.
Emotional intelligence guides our ability to deal with others effectively. Not only does a high emotional intelligence help you understand your own emotions, but the feelings of others as well. EQ skills are incredibly essential in marketing, where the emotional reaction to an ad could mean the difference between the customer making a purchase, or walking away. However, emotional intelligence affects all aspects of your professional and personal life, from your ability to sell to your ability to form healthy relationships.
This continues to be an increasingly popular skill to have, especially when it comes to finding professional success. Many might wonder why it continues to increase in an evolving workplace. Simply put, emotional intelligence isn’t merely a trend. Many organizations have discovered that employees with a high level of emotional intelligence significantly impact the company’s bottom line. In fact, companies with strong EQ skills have seen significant increases in overall sales and productivity of their organization as a whole. If you’re looking to boost your emotional intelligence, and reasons why you should develop it- read on!
1. Boosting EQ Requires You To Stay Cool
The first way to boost your emotional intelligence is by learning to stay calm in stressful situations. It’s been discovered that body temperature changes, blood pressure, and an increased heart rate are good indicators of stress. Stress can dramatically affect how you deal with problematic situations and can lower your emotional intelligence. If you feel yourself getting stressed, you can combat this by taking a walk outside and getting some fresh air before losing your cool. While stress is a normal part of life, continuous stress will significantly weaken your emotions and hamper your ability to reason.
Stress is especially prevalent at work. Bad and broken lines of communication with team members and supervisors lead to poor working relationships. This makes it imperative for you to identify when your stress levels start to get too high, so you can learn how to manage your emotions in these situations before it can damage relationships.
2. Develop Empathy
The second way to boost your emotional intelligence is to develop empathy. Other people can be a big source of stress for just about anyone. The opinions, judgments, demands, and requests of the people in our lives are often the cause of stress that drives our emotional reactions. When a coworker, supervisor, partner, or even a family member gets under your skin, you need to take a step back and try seeing the situation from the other person’s perspective.
Examine it from all angles. It could be possible that you’re reading too much into the situation, or that the other person’s intent is different from how you perceive it. Learn to take a step back from frustrating problems with others and consider the other person's possible motivations before you react.
3. Have a Plan B
The third way to boost your emotional intelligence is always to have a backup plan. As I stated before, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you as well. However, how well can you manage your feelings when you aren’t prepared for what’s coming? Being reactive to the challenges that life will throw at you is a definite recipe for inappropriate emotional reactions. To keep this from happening, you can prepare yourself before you have to make a decision.
You can start by projecting potential outcomes every time you have to make a decision, even if that outcome seems a bit far fetched. Take the time to imagine how you’d react to each outcome so that you aren’t completely caught off guard when making your decision. With enough practice, you’ll eventually find that even if the outcome isn’t one that you predicted, you’ll still be able to handle each situation that you’re presented with and be able to think on your feet.
4. Be Definitive
The fourth way to boost your emotional intelligence is to be definitive in your actions. Challenging your bad habits is crucial if you want to develop your emotional intelligence. Many people tend to use passive words to protect themselves and hedge their bets. Unfortunately, being passive is inherently weak, whether you’re doing so in writing or spoken conversation. A passive voice means you’re telling the story of what has happened to you. Are you someone who has things happen to them? Or are you the person who makes things happen?
To boost your emotional intelligence, you need to focus on highlighting the actions that have already been taken. Learn how to take ownership of your own life, emotions, and show those around you, from customers to stakeholders, how high your emotional intelligence is.
5. Practice Your EQ Skills on Others
The last way to boost your emotional intelligence is to practice with those in your life. A critical aspect of high EQ is your ability to influence the emotions of others. When someone in your life comes to you, stressed out and panicked, are you calm and collected? Or do they leave more upset after speaking with you? Whether it’s in close relationships, interactions with strangers, or in our relationships, how you deal with and influence others says a lot about you. Your emotional intelligence. You need to strive to leave each person that you interact with, in a better state than when they first approached you.
Why You Need To Develop Your EQ
We’ve spent a great deal of time talking about what emotional intelligence is, and what you can do to improve it. It’s an essential skill that you should continually develop if you want to find happiness and success in all aspects of your professional life. But, for this learning to take hold in your life, it’s good to understand why you should do it. So, here are five reasons why developing your emotional intelligence is essential.
#1 You Learn Self-Management
The best way to self-improve and manage yourself is to stop and question your emotions before you act or speak. This action is also sometimes referred to as being self-aware. By taking a moment to stop and think before you act, you'll understand your emotions more accurately, and make better decisions. It’s a valuable skill to have when managing professional relationships every day.
#2 You Get To Know Yourself with High EQ
In order to have a strong EQ, you need to be more self-aware. With self-awareness, comes a better understanding of 'you'. This allows you to understand your likes, dislikes, and manage your life better. Having this skill can help you choose the right relationships, the right jobs, and lead to incredible motivation.
Without a high level of self-understanding or awareness, you won’t be able to achieve your potential. To step out of your comfort zone, tackle big projects, or go into uncharted territories. Whatever your goals are, your EQ would give you the strength you need to accomplish them—leading to a boost in confidence and overall happiness.
#3 You Learn to Be More Adaptable
Having a high level of emotional intelligence isn’t just about becoming more self-aware, but also understanding the emotions of those around you. Identifying the moods, behaviors, and feelings of others gives you the ability to understand what type of communication works best when dealing with a particular person. This allows you to apply different strategies to different personal and professional relationships based on the situation you’re in.
#4 You Build More Effective Professional Relationships
Emotional intelligence helps you become better at communication with many different people in a lot of different situations. When you’ve discovered the right way to communicate with others; your business prowess will grow. You become better at negotiation, while quickly becoming a trusted partner for your clients and customers. If you’re dealing with an unsatisfied individual in your business, you’ll be armed with the skills to properly assess the reasons behind their satisfaction before you make a harmful assumption.
This can significantly increase your credibility with your employees and coworkers and your business partners, clients, and vendors. Your ability to cultivate relationships will ultimately determine whether people feel drawn to you or pushed away. This is the social component of emotional intelligence, and it’s an often overlooked aspect of the human experience.
#5 You Can Effectively Manage A Crisis
With increased emotional intelligence, you won’t just perform well during a crisis; you’ll be exceptional. As a leader, people will look to and depend on you for guidance and your expertise in times of uncertainty. Having high emotional intelligence and thoroughly understanding how your emotions affect your thinking and behavior is essential for dealing with the crisis. It’ll also influence how well you’re able to navigate any other challenges that might arise.
The right decisions that you can make in a crisis are critical. However, you’ll never be able to make that right decision if it isn’t well-informed. Well-informed decisions are directly linked to the core components of having strong emotional intelligence. Just as you’d take the time to think in a normal situation- you should do the same in a crisis.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of developing your emotional intelligence are by no means limited to these five. It takes a wide range of skills to achieve success in both your personal and professional life. Research continues to show how important a high EQ is for finding success in everything that you do. While some are naturals at it, anyone can develop their emotional intelligence with a little time and practice.
To those who are less empathetic, you’ll need to spend more time practicing being self-aware and conscious about how you interact with those around you. By following these five ways to boost your emotional intelligence, you’ll be well on your way to a high EQ and live a life of happiness and success.