21 ways to improve your emotional intelligence

21 ways to improve your emotional intelligence

There are many ways to define and understand happiness.

Happiness is partially about recognising and focusing on what’s good; and appreciating these things.

Happiness is also about recognising what’s not so good; and effectively responding to these things.

These descriptions could be used just as easily to define emotional intelligence; which is why happiness and EI are very closely related…

via Inc.com by Justin Bariso

Emotional intelligence is experiencing a resurgence. The concept–that we can develop the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions–has been around for a while. But it’s gained steam in recent years, partially due to the polarizing climate in which we currently live. In addition, many in younger generations are discovering the basic tenets of “EQ” (and their benefits) for the first time.

So, if you’re looking to build your emotional intelligence, where do you start?

In my new book, EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence, I outline a number of clear, practical tips that you can implement in your daily routine, most of which take only a few minutes a day.

Here are 21 of my favorites:

1. Ask and reflect.

Carve out some time this week to answer a few of the following questions. Then, ask them of someone you trust.

  • How do my moods affect my thoughts and decision-making?
  • How would I (or you) describe my communication style, and its effect on others?
  • What traits in others bother me? Why?
  • Do I find it difficult to admit when I’m wrong? Why or why not?
  • What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses?

Think deeply about the answers, using them to better understand yourself and your emotions.

2. Use your emotional vocabulary.

When a doctor tries to diagnose a problem, he or she will ask you to describe the pain you’re feeling. They might ask you to use words like sharp, dull, burning, shooting, aching, cramping, gnawing, heavy, splitting, stabbing, nauseating, throbbing, and tender. The more specific you get, the easier for your doctor to diagnose the problem and prescribe proper treatment.

It works similarly with your emotions: By using specific words to describe your feelings, it’s easier to get to their root cause, enabling you to better deal with them. So, the next time you experience a strong emotional reaction, take time afterward to process not only what you’re feeling, but also why. Try to put your feelings into words; then, determine what you want to do about the situation.

3. Pause.

If you feel yourself beginning to respond emotionally to a situation, take a pause. If possible, go for a short walk. Once you’ve had the chance to calm down, come back and decide how you want to move forward.

4. Use the 3-second trick.

If you tend to put your foot in your mouth, agree too quickly to commitments, or otherwise say something you later regret, ask yourself three quick questions (which I learned from Craig Ferguson) before speaking:

  • Does this need to be said?
  • Does this need to be said by me?
  • Does this need to be said by me, now?

In contrast, if you’re more introverted and often find that later you wish you had expressed yourself in a specific moment or situation, ask yourself:

Will I regret not speaking up later?

The right question(s) can help you manage your emotional reactions and avoid regrets.

5. Adjust your volume.

When you communicate, your conversation partner will often react in the same style or tone you choose. If you speak in a calm, rational voice, they’ll respond similarly. Yell or scream, and they start yelling and screaming, too.

If a discussion begins to escalate, focus your efforts on “dialing it back” by softening your tone or even lowering your voice. You’ll be surprised at how your partner follows your lead…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE