Emotional Intelligence can be learnt and improved.
I’m sure you’ve already heard a great deal about Emotional Intelligence, mainly because even though it is not a new term, it has been the focus of a lot of scientific research in recent years, specifically looking into how it can be applied to areas such as business and sport.
The words Emotional Intelligence were coined by the researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, and were later popularised by Dr. Daniel Goleman in, his 1995 New York Times bestseller, Emotional Intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ.
Since then, the exploration of Emotional Intelligence has not stopped within the fields of psychology and neuroscience.
The result is that we now know that Emotional Intelligence can help boost any business and lead to its success. Any business.
You can learn how to improve and effectively apply your Emotional Intelligence whether you are the CEO of a big company or a small business owner, a freelancer or an employee, sell a product or provide a service.
Emotional intelligence leverages the game for you.
What is emotional intelligence?
Dr. Daniel Goldman defines Emotional Intelligence as
“the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions as well as others’“
By now, you might be thinking: ok, fair enough, I understand how this can help to improve my life and my relationships, but what does this have to do with my business?
Well, I would dare to say … everything.
Understanding your own emotions and learning how to train your brain to be able to manage them in the best way possible, is something that can help us all on a daily basis, as they touch all the spheres of our lives.
Research has proved that Emotional Intelligence plays a central role in the success and happiness of any person and is fundamental for any interpersonal exchange.
From growth in sales to gaining clients, happy workers and happy teams, improving rapport among co-workers and successfully achieving goals, from better engagement to better conversion, Emotional Intelligence can help at every step of the pipeline (sorry for the marketing reference; but it is pretty clear, right?)
Even though EI has been studied for decades, it was not until recently that research proved and tested its importance and efficacy.
In fact, the Geneva Emotional Competence test (GECo) is a new test created by Marcelo Mortillaro PhD — Head of the Applied Affective Sciences research unit at Université de Genève — which measures
- emotion recognition
- emotion understanding
- emotion regulation in oneself
- emotion management in others
Therefore, scientific research has proved and validated the importance of Emotional Intelligence so now, our homework is to get to know its benefits and learn the techniques to use in order to help it flourish.
Which are the four main areas of Emotional Intelligence?
Self Awareness: recognising our emotions is the first step. If we acknowledge them, we can choose how to control them.
Here’s a practical exercise: get a pen and paper (the old fashion way) and write down the answer to the following questions:
Is it easy for me to recognise my emotions?
If I am under stress, which emotion, feeling or sensation emerges first?
Is this emotion located in a specific part of my body?
Is it a good sensation or not?
Is it motivating or, on the contrary, impeding my work?
If it is not a positive sensation, do I know how to transform it into something positive or productive?
Self Management: this is the aspect that allows us to master our emotions, to be in control and give them better use when necessary.
Emotions can be manageable, and even the ones that we feel are negative can be a real asset depending on the situation and the use we make of them.
For instance, the questions that can help us here are:
Is this emotion strong or mild?
Is it a productive emotion?
Is this particular emotion present every time I encounter the same situation?
Can I control this emotion even if I am under pressure?
Do I know how to adapt this emotion?
Social Awareness: recognising emotions in others can help us relate to them better. Happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger and surprise are the 6 universal emotions that we can identify in any human being.
Some of the questions that can help us here are:
Can I easily recognise emotions in others?
Can I change my approach to better understand the other person’s feelings?
is there anything I can do to help modify a particularly negative experience that a co-worker or a client is going through? (And yes, you are right if the word that immediately comes to your mind is empathy).
Relationship Management: this area is the one that allows us to have an impact on our company, neighbourhood or community, our daily work with others and any social sphere.
It relates to the emotions and behaviours of others and how we can be of benefit.
Therefore, some of the questions we might ask ourselves here are connected to the emotions that others show in certain circumstances:
Are those emotions positive and constructive?
Am I able to respond appropriately to other people’s emotions?
How do they affect me?
Do I know how to collaborate to change a problematic situation?
And how to gain clarity and work towards a common objective?
Are respect and validation the two strong points in the interaction? What about communication?
By now, you might be wondering, how can I improve my own EIQ?
Developing Emotional Competences (like soft skills, for example) will certainly help to improve social and emotional intelligence quotients.
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This post originally appeared on Maiten Panella’s website at http://bit.ly/2RzfXjn