In both your professional and personal life, you need emotional intelligence to understand others, empathize, and form social connections. To go through life meaningfully, it’s important to refine your emotional skills so you can interpret others’ feelings and make sense of how they think.
A recent study found that emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the strongest predictor of performance, resulting in 58 percent of success across industries. More recruiters and employers are looking for those with a high EQ who can easily navigate the workforce.
When you surround yourself with emotionally intelligent people, you see better results. In a work environment especially, it’s easy to get frustrated with your peers, a piling workload, and pressure on your shoulders. But having people around you who understand how to handle a situation effectively creates a positive, productive environment.
If you want to develop your emotional intelligence, here are three ways to get started.
It’s easy to choose hate over love and to prioritize what’s easy over what’s right. If it were easy to do the right thing, then we’d have no problem choosing the right thing every time. Unfortunately, it’s part of the human experience to mess up and pick the easy choice from time to time. It’s how we grow, learn, and become better people.
Learn to practice empathy and compassion for others, even in situations you don’t fully understand. Imagine someone coming to you with personal information that they’re afraid to share with anyone else. Showing them you’re there for them and feel for them during a vulnerable moment will strengthen your bond and help you understand what they’re going through.
It’s especially important as a leader to practice active empathy for your team, peers, and clients. To successfully grow your business, you need to build a team based on good morale, character, honesty, and openness. Everyone must be on the same page if your brand is going to expand and reach new heights.
Manage your emotions
Everyone goes through difficulties and experiences negative emotions they rather wouldn’t. It’s part of the human experience. No matter what you’re going through, you need to learn how to navigate your emotions so they help you rather than hinder you. You can use even the most negative feelings to your advantage as fuel to become a stronger individual.
You can take up journaling or start a blog to turn your thoughts into readable content for online viewers. Consider starting a new hobby that explores your creative interests. Practice yoga or meditation to regulate your emotions even when they feel confusing and frustrating. Talk to a friend or loved one you trust. See a therapist for professional advice that can guide you on the right path and help you further understand yourself and others.
Seek to understand
There are those who listen to someone to reply and those who listen to understand. For the former group, it’s difficult to understand the other person’s point of view and appreciate how they feel about a situation. Coming from different walks of life means you’re bound to disagree with people, but that’s no reason your opinion is the only one that’s valid.
When speaking to others, seek to understand their thought patterns without judgment so you can freely explore their perspective. This widens your world view and allows you to continue learning new things without discomfort. In the business world, generating leads and making sales is all about understanding and connecting with the customer. The same principles apply.
If a conflict arises, an emotionally intelligent person doesn’t let it get to them. They know who they are and they don’t feel the need to respond to those who want a reaction out of them. Instead, they focus on the issue and look for ways to resolve it without causing a bigger argument.
Over to you
You can’t develop your emotional intelligence overnight, but with enough consistency and determination, you can sharpen your skills. In turn, you’ll be better able to communicate and empathize with others even when you don’t quite understand their point of view.