Community//

This One Strategy Will Immediately Kickstart Your Emotional Growth

It all begins with self-reflection.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Image by 원규 이 from Pixabay

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a person’s ability to identify emotions, to recognize their powerful effect, and to use that information to inform and guide behavior. Skillfully using EI can help you reach your goals and make you more persuasive.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a person’s ability to identify emotions, to recognize their powerful effect, and to use that information to inform and guide behavior. Skillfully using EI can help you reach your goals and make you more persuasive.

So, how do we grow emotionally? You can begin by using questions to help you reflect.

For example, we may not realize that other people view you much differently than you view yourself, and vice versa. It’s not always about right and wrong; it’s simply understanding how perceptions differ, and the consequences those differences create.

By asking those close to us–like a significant other, close friend or colleague–about our interactions with them, we learn from their perspective.

For example, we can ask such trusted confidants questions like:

  • What is my reputation as a communicator?
  • How would you describe my decision-making process? How would you say my emotions affect that process?

Getting answers to these questions let’s you see yourself through the eyes of others–leading to a more well-rounded view. In addition, this practice will help you to better understand people whose viewpoints and opinions differ from your own.

You can also learn a lot by asking yourself the right questions.

Take the infamous recruiter question, for example: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Unfortunately, on most job interviews this question turns into a game of cat-and-mouse. But using this question for serious self-reflection can yield great benefits.

How so?

Properly assessing your strengths can lead to increased “emotional opportunity.”

Knowing what you’re good at helps you find work you truly enjoy; then, as you immerse yourself in tasks and projects that maximize your strengths, you sharpen your skills and increase your ability. You naturally seek out greater challenges, which puts you in prime position to regularly experience what Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes as flow–that completely engaging process in which you get lost in the moment and do your best work. (Interestingly, Csíkszentmihályi often refers to flow as a feeling of ecstasy, an emotional experience of great happiness or joyful excitement.)

But it’s just as important to identify your weaknesses. Knowing where you’re outmatched can help you avoid situations where you become overwhelmed by feelings such as fear or anxiety, or at least, be better prepared for them.

Looking for more? Here’s a list of 81 questions that will help you learn more about yourself and your emotional behavior.

Enjoy this post? Check out my book, EQ Applied, which uses fascinating research and compelling stories to illustrate what emotional intelligence looks like in everyday life.

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Why You Can Never Be Too Emotionally Intelligent

by Justin Bariso
Community//

Emotional Intelligence Isn’t Want You Think It Is. (Here’s What You’re Getting Wrong)

by Justin Bariso
Isaac Newton, Public Domain
Community//

23 Quotes That Capture the Essence of Emotional Intelligence

by Justin Bariso

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.