Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realize and control how your emotions affect the people around you. So how can Emotional Intelligence be developed?
Focus on your feelings. When you feel your emotions taking over, pause, note your feelings and reconsider them. This process lowers stress levels and puts you in better control of the situation.
Raise your relationship awareness. Deliberately, note and choose how you come across to others. For example, if you had a tough phone call with person A, recognize it and, intentionally, be sure not to take it out on person B.
See criticism as beneficial. Choose not to take offense if you are criticized or questioned. Choose to view the criticism as helpful, valuable and a motivation to do even better. If you take criticism in an open unemotional way, others will see you as someone who can listen and act, rather than someone who simply reacts.
Really Listen. Rather than just sitting and nodding when hearing someone’s story, work to remember the details and then reflect back what you heard. The speaker will appreciate your attentiveness!
Be empathetic and compassionate. Let others know that you care about them and that you are there for them. In turn, people may do the same for you.
Be adaptable and flexible. Instead of rejecting people’s requests immediately, listen and consider what they are saying and try to make them work.
Send detailed invoices. When you bill your clients/customers, take the opportunity to explain exactly the effort you put in. They will appreciate seeing the extent of work that you and your team did on their behalf.
Here is the bonus! If you practice emotional intelligence by tuning into feelings, showing empathy, practicing adaptability and flexibility as well as accepting criticism, you will feel better about yourself and you will be more profitable and productive.
Dr. Mimi Hull, president of Hull & Associates (www.hullonline.com), is a fully licensed psychologist who focuses on the workplace. Hull & Associates is a workforce development, training, and consulting firm that improves both organizational and personal effectiveness. Through various successful resources, assessments, and programs, Dr. Mimi is able to achieve bottom-line results for organizations by developing their employees, building cohesive and inclusive teams and strengthening positive leadership. She’s also a familiar voice in the Central Florida area from her long-running radio program on workplace issues and television appearances.