11 ways to develop emotional intelligence skill
In today’s world, emotional intelligence is one of the most useful soft skills anyone can have. It is needed in the workplace, in school, in our businesses and other areas of our lives.
Some people are naturally emotionally intelligent while others will have to learn it.
Regardless of the category you fall in, it is important you develop this skill.
Emotional intelligence skill is one of the characteristics that make a good leader.
Many employers specify for their HRs to hire candidates with high EQ (emotional quotient) or emotional intelligence knowing that such ones contribute significantly to their company’s bottom line.
No doubt you can imagine how important developing emotional intelligence is from this premise.
As a young person who wants to be become successful early in life and achieve your short and long term goals, you need to develop some level of emotional intelligence.
If you already possess this skill, you need to improve on it.
High EQ will help you initiate improved relationships with other people be it in school or among family members and colleagues and this will result in better outcomes for you.
But what exactly do we mean by emotional intelligence?
Definition of Emotional Intelligence skill
Emotional intelligence refers to the capability of a person to manage and control his or her emotions and possess the ability to control the emotions of others as well. In other words, they can influence the emotions of other people also. – Economictimes.Indiatimes
According to Ihhp.com emotional intelligence is means:
… Being aware that emotions can drive our behaviour and impact people (positively and especially when we are under pressure.
For you to develop emotional intelligence skill simply means that you possess these abilities described above.
How can you develop this all-important skill? This leads us to the core of our discussion.
How to Develop Emotional Intelligence Skill
- Practice self-awareness
Self-awareness helps you to be more conscious of your own emotions and how it rubs off on others.
Emotionally intelligent people pay attention to how they and the people around them behave.
To practice self-awareness, pay attention to how you react when you are experiencing certain emotions and how it affects others. Does it endear people to you? Does it hinder or enhance your communication with people? Does it increase your productivity? Etc.
- Observe people’s personalities
People’s personalities differ. Different people have different temperaments; backgrounds, experiences and even status.
When dealing with different people in your daily life, don’t expect them to exhibit the same characters.
If you want to become emotionally intelligent, you need to start observing people’s personalities.
When you understand different individual’s peculiar personalities, you are able to relate with them in an emotionally intelligent way.
- Become an active listener
Have you ever found yourself in this scenario: You pretend to listen to someone while he is speaking to you whereas you busy thinking of another thing. You only realise you’re long lost when the person asks a question.
Why did that happen? It is because you were not actively listening.
Passive listening does not only make us look insensitive to the speaker, but it also makes us come off as emotionally insensitive. To avoid this, always listen attentively and actively to people when they talk to you.
- Practise Empathy
The bible was absolutely right when it says tell us to laugh with those who laugh and cry with those who cry.
This principle summarises the whole essence of emotional intelligence – understanding people emotions being able to act rightly.
Empathy is one quality that will increase our emotional quotient. If you want to develop or increase your emotional intelligence, put in conscious effort to empathize with others.
- Manage your negative emotions
What do you do when you are angry; sad, disappointed, broke, bored or even betrayed?
What you do when those negative emotions pop up to go a long way in determining whether you have your emotions under your control or not.
When negative emotions come, calm down and pick your actions intentionally, don’t be rash. Before such time, decide how to respond to such situations best.
- Choose your words carefully
Emotionally intelligent people are able to make more friends as people are usually more comfortable around them.
They hardly use careless words or say things that will hurt the other person.
Choosing what you say to people carefully will help you improve your EQ tremendously.
One thing you can do is to always think about what you want to say and the effect it will have on your listeners before saying it.
- Know what stresses you
When you know your stressors, you are able to avoid what triggers them. As such, you tend to increase your emotional intelligence and attract people to yourself.
- Know what makes you happy – do more of it
To develop emotional intelligent skill, practice more of these things. On the other hand, identify what stresses you and avoid them as mentioned earlier
- Read personality books and understand people’s personalities
The book Why You Act the Way You Act by Tim Lahaye was one book that first exposed me to the four major temperaments people possess namely; Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and phlegmatic.
These four dominant temperaments could be further subcategorised to bring out different traits in people.
There are other great books on emotional intelligence and human behaviour that you can lay your hands on and read.
Don’t ask me where to find them; Google is your friend as I always say.
- Create a positive environment/ Get motivated
Always stay motivated. Stay around emotionally intelligent and positive people.
This will help you increase your emotional quotient; human beings are always influenced by the people we most associate with.
- Celebrate your wins
When you eventually notice that you have recorded some improvements in the way you relate with people, don’t take it for granted. Celebrate it.
You will notice that people hardly get hurt by how you act or react or what you say to them. You will attract more people as they will see you as someone who genuinely understands them and is interested in them.