CAREER ADVANCEMENT / NOV. 24, 2014
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How to Develop Emotional Intelligence

People have varying needs and wants, different personalities and different ways of expressing themselves. Handling all these kinds of people requires tact, especially when it comes to the workplace. This is why emotional intelligence is vital for success.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions. People with high EI know how their emotions impact others around them. In addition, they are able to empathize with others, thus building relationships more effectively. As a result, many companies are now assessing EI when making promotion or hiring decisions.

According to Daniel Goldman, an American psychologist, emotional intelligence is defined by five components:

Self-awareness

This is another characteristic of people with high EI. They are familiar with their emotions and don’t allow them to get out of control. They understand their strengths and weaknesses, and are willing to make the necessary changes.

Self-regulation

This refers to the ability to manage impulses and emotions. Self-regulated individuals don’t make careless decisions, and are able to control emotions such as jealousy and anger. They are able to say no and take time to think before they act.

Motivation

People with high EI love challenges and are very productive in whatever they undertake. They are able to focus on long-term success instead of instant results.

Social skills

Individuals with a high degree of EI are easy to get along with. As a result, they make good team players. They are great communicators and have conflict resolution skills.

Empathy

This is the ability to recognize the needs, wants and opinions of other people. Empathetic individuals are usually good at listening to others and understanding their feelings. In addition, they are less likely to judge and stereotype people too fast.

Here are some strategies which can help you improve your emotional intelligence:

  • Carry out a self-evaluation. Are you willing to accept your weaknesses and take steps to improve areas of your life? The first step to changing your life is being honest with yourself.
  • Do you seek to direct attention to yourself? If so, you need to learn how to be humble. Instead of seeking recognition for your achievements, focus on others. Give them a chance to shine and receive praise.
  • When interacting with people, do you make conclusions before you have all the details? Are you quick to judge or stereotype? In this case, you need to learn how to accommodate the needs and viewpoints of others.
  • Think about how you act under pressure. Do you find yourself being angry at others or blaming them? Do you always get worked up when things don’t go as planned? Learn how to keep calm in stressful situations.
  • Learn how to take responsibility. When you offend someone, be sure to apologize to them directly. If you made a mistake that affected your team or organization, come clean and admit it.

Emotional intelligence is as important for success as technical skills. Applying the above tips will help you develop your EI, thus enhancing your chances of career growth.

 

Image: iStock

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