3 Easy Steps for Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

3 Easy Steps for Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

Over the last several years, the topic of emotional intelligence has become increasingly popular, especially in regards to leadership.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is your ability to evaluate, control, and express your emotions and assess the feelings of others. This is an important trait for leaders to have so they are more effective in their role; being able to regulate one’s emotions is the best way to relating to one’s employees, which then enhances relationships and engagement in an organization.

Having EI is not easy, especially in relationships to fully understanding one’s self and the inner feelings of their thoughts and resulting emotions. But with practice, is it fully possible.

If you want to increase your emotional intelligence and become successful in both your personal and professional life, there are three easy steps that you need to follow.

Step #1:  Notice

If as a leader you find yourself anxious or tense when you are trying to solve critical issues, the energy you are expending can end up permeating the rest of your team and stall the progress that you are trying to create. These emotions can also end up causing you to make decisions that alleviate your anxiety, but that might not be the best decisions to address the challenges you are facing.

To increase your emotional intelligence, you need to take the time to notice how you are being. Take stock of how you are feeling at the moment. Noticing your ‘way of being’ can help to increase your self-awareness, which is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence.

Step #2: Choose

After you’ve successfully noticed how you are being, the next step is to decide how you want to be. Consider when you are stuck in a contentious meeting that is causing tension. While being tense isn’t wrong, it might not be helpful for the team. They might benefit more from a calming presence, which will allow them to see all of the possibilities rather than becoming mired with negativity that is associated with the current conflict.

However you choose to be, you need to acknowledge that it is your choice. This will help you to manage your emotions and recognize the role your choice plays in boosting your EI. As a leader, keeping the mood calmer will reflect in your team.

Step #3: Be Present in the Moment

Channel the way of being that you have chosen and become it. If you’ve decided to be peaceful, take the time to calm your mind, slow your breathing, and relax your muscles. This is the step where you effectively implement the decision you’ve made.

Being present in the moment is a mindfulness practice where you are aware of not just the thoughts you have, but also in the sensations you feel from them; this may include feeling tense, pain in the neck, back, or chest, butterflies in the stomach, etc. Paying attention to them will help you to get calmer and feel grounded.

These steps are a way for you to start to manage your emotions and be an effective leader, especially during difficult times.  To improve your emotional intelligence, practice these steps over and over again until it becomes second nature. This process can help to empower you as a leader in a way that will benefit the entire team, as well as creating a more engaging culture.

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