Today one of the key predictors of career success is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is your ability to understand and manage your emotions in a positive way. When you effectively manage your emotions, you can communicate more effectively, you will be more empathetic, you will easily overcome challenges, and quickly defuse conflict.
Leaders who lead with Emotional Intelligence have to ability to cooperate with others, they listen and hear what is being said, openly receive feedback, and are more empathetic.
Here are six things you can do to begin developing your Emotional Intelligence:
1. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Your thoughts will ignite a feeling. As you become more aware of your thoughts you will be better able to manage your reactions vs responses. A reaction can be filled with intense emotions whereas a response is more thought out and regulated. By taking a pause to acknowledge your thoughts it will allow your mind to clear.
2. Allow yourself to feel more positive
Leaders who demonstrate high levels of Emotional Intelligence are more positive and optimistic when it comes to dealing with challenges. Don’t allow yourself to think of worst-case scenarios or that a situation is permanent. Remember you are not powerless and can use your skills, resources, and expertise to resolve any problem. You will, however, need to remember to take a pause and reflect on your thoughts. Ask yourself are they true and accurate? Are they positive and solution-focused?
3. Remember you do have control.
When you get overly emotional you begin to feel a loss of control. Focus on what remains in your control. This will help you to put a challenge or obstacle back into perspective.
4. Take a pause.
When you are frustrated or upset take a step back to reflect. When you are filled with emotions you are more likely to say or do something you regret. You can only apologize so many times for bad behavior before followers stop trusting you. Taking a pause will ensure you are more careful with your words and make better decisions.
5. Be Kind.
Engage with those you encounter in your day with a positive attitude. Say good morning, stop what you are doing and look people in the eye, listen, and express empathy. It is just as easy to be kind as it is to be short and rude. Your positivity will have a ripple effect.
6. Be open to feedback.
Create opportunities to give and receive feedback daily. Ask people how they really feel about how things are going and be open and ready to hear what they have to say. Asking for feedback and then feeling resentful about what you heard is not practicing good emotional intelligence. You must be open to hearing how others are feeling.
As you continue your journey of leadership development, consider your level of Emotional Intelligence. It will have many positive effects on your business. You will build stronger relationships with your team, increase engagement, decrease turnover, and help you to maintain an effective organizational culture.
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