The term “emotional intelligence” has been circling around in the business world for quite some time. For those unsure of its meaning, emotional intelligence refers to one’s “ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.” As you can imagine, this trait is very critical to have in leadership roles, as it can help you uncover nonverbal cues, respond to situations appropriately, empathize with others and manage your emotions.
However, not everyone is born with a natural tendency towards emotional intelligence. Thankfully, for those individuals, there are a few ways to become more emotionally intelligent.
Accept Negative Feedback
Allowing others to give you feedback can be a scary prospect. It can be intimidating to allow others to critique you, especially if they have some negative things to say. However, it can be a very growing experience to receive constructive criticism. Rather than responding defensively, as you may feel inclined to do, instead accept the feedback and admit your faults.
You will mature in your leadership skills when you allow yourself to make improvements based on others’ suggestions. You may be preventing yourself from growing in your position if you do not make these changes. Ultimately, this practice will make you a more emotionally intelligent figure.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Emotional intelligent beings usually have effective communication skills. Whether communicating verbally or nonverbally, these individuals have been able to pick up on the intrapersonal skills needed to evolve as leaders. Not only should you make sure your own communication is forthcoming and encouraging, but you should also ensure you are an effective listener.
Listening is the less-discussed aspect of communicating. However, it takes two people to communicate, meaning one must be the active listener while the other is talking. Sharpening up your listening skills and actually being invested in what the other individual is saying will help you become more selfless, intuitive and emotionally intelligent.
Read, Read, Read
Indulging in some literature is a great way to become more emotionally intelligent as a leader. Whether you are studying books on that topic or doing some leisurely reading, you will undoubtedly gain something from the piece of literature you are soaking in. If you read a book with complex characters full of various emotions and background stories, you will find yourself empathizing with them. Becoming empathetic towards a fictional character will inspire you to be more compassionate towards actual humans you know and communicate with since you might have more insight into why they say or do certain things. Ultimately, this will help you become a more emotionally intelligent leader, as it might give you more grace for employees or prevent you from getting provoked as easily.
Read more from Dan Idhenga at danidhenga.com