5 powerful ways to increase your emotional intelligence

5 powerful ways to increase your emotional intelligence

Living a great life isn’t just about happiness.

Happiness and positive emotions are important for life satisfaction; but there’s also much more we need to include in our happiness formula.

We’re not, for example, happy all the time; and nor are other people.

So living our best lives is enjoying happiness, managing other less pleasurable emotions, but also understanding and responding appropriately to other people depending on how they’re faring.

This, in other words, is emotional intelligence. And here’s how you can boost yours…

via Eric Barker

Emotional Intelligence. Another “it” theory of the moment. The media’s panacea of the week. Another great thing we all need — that nobody seems to be able to clearly define.

I swear I’m going to do a book of psychology buzzword mad libs (“My mindful grit is emotionally intelligent due to the oxytocin in my mirror neurons”). But I digress…

Here’s the thing: emotional intelligence is real — but that vague 2-sentence summary you read in an inflight magazine isn’t accurate and won’t give you what you need to improve this curious little skill set.

So what is it really? (I’m so glad you asked.) It’s a concept that John Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Yale professor Peter Salovey came up with in the early 90’s that was subsequently studied and popularized by Daniel Goleman. Here’s Mayer’s definition.

From Harvard Business Review Guide to Emotional Intelligence:

From a scientific standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions.

Now most of the work on emotional intelligence has been done around its effects in the workplace but it’ll quickly become obvious how it can improve most any area of your life. And, for the record, yeah, EI does work.

From HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence:

In a 1996 study of a global food and beverage company, McClelland found that when senior managers had a critical mass of emotional intelligence capabilities, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings goals by 20%. Meanwhile, division leaders without that critical mass underperformed by almost the same amount. McClelland’s findings, interestingly, held as true in the company’s U.S. divisions as in its divisions in Asia and Europe.

And what’s most interesting about EI is that as you move up the corporate ladder its importance increases dramatically.

From HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence:

When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.

Research has shown EI has 5 component parts. Let’s learn how to develop each one so that we can leverage its tremendous power to achieve global domination improve our lives at home and at work…

1) Self-Awareness

This one is first and that’s not random. Self-awareness is the most essential of emotional intelligence skills. Why?

Because without this guy you’ve got no way to evaluate what skills you have, what you lack and what you need to work on. You’re flying blind. So what’s the formal definition?

From HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence:

Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. People with strong self-awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they are honest with themselves and with others. People who have a high degree of self-awareness recognize how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance.

Want to know the best shortcut for identifying if someone is high in self-awareness or not?

From HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence:

One of the hallmarks of self-awareness is a self-deprecating sense of humor.

To make fun of yourself — and get a laugh — you have to know yourself and how you are perceived.

So how do you increase self-awareness? Get feedback. You don’t always see yourself accurately. And this friend or that friend doesn’t always see you accurately. But if you survey five or ten pals, you’re going see some very accurate trends.

From Insight:

…other people generally see us more objectively than we see ourselves. Psychologist Timothy Smith and his colleagues powerfully demonstrated this in a study with 300 married couples in which both partners were being tested for heart disease. They asked each participant to rate both their own and their partner’s levels of anger, hostility, and argumentativeness- all strong predictors of the illness- and found that people’s self-ratings were infinitely less accurate than those of their spouses. Another study asked more than 150 Navy officers and their subordinates to rate the officers’ leadership style, and found that only the subordinates could accurately assess their bosses’ performance and promotability.

(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)

So you see yourself more accurately. That’s great, but we all know someone who is aware they’re a jerk — and yet keeps acting like a jerk. So what do we need to complement our new self-knowledge?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE