4 Keys To Build Your Emotional Intelligence Toolkit

We’re always reacting emotionally. We’re designed that way. Our thoughts drive our feelings, and our feelings then drive how we respond. Managing emotion is a critical learned skill for leadership performance.

Emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of performance

Emotional intelligence (Emotional EQ) is our ability to manage our relationships and ourselves. It’s not about turning emotion down. It’s about understanding how our emotions can help us live our intentions and when our emotions might get in the way.

Daniel Goleman, who coined the “Emotional EQ” phrase said “My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership.”

Channelling your emotions resourcefully will make or break your relationships

“Anyone can become angry —that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way —this is not easy” ARISTOTLE

Learn to differentiate between what happened and what you made it mean.

This week a friend let me down – not badly, but enough. As a result, I created a drama in my head about how I’d been treated (badly) and the state of our friendship (not good enough). I made it “all about me” to be right, so I could put her down. While my ego loved the conversation, it wasn’t useful, and I didn’t feel better. Who knows what my friend was experiencing? So the question I then asked myself was “How can I respond to this in a way that serves us both?”

Emotional EQ grows with experience

Here are four key ways to build your Emotional EQ:

  1. Build self-awareness

Self-awareness is at the heart of emotional intelligence. People with a high degree of self-awareness have a solid understanding of their own emotions, their strengths, weaknesses, and what drives them. The signs of someone who is good at managing their emotional state are the quality of their self-reflection, thoughtfulness, being comfortable with ambiguity, change, and not having all the answers.

2. Tap into empathy

Your capacity to see something from someone else’s perspective and be able to see things through someone else’s value system and belief system, will enable you to show genuine empathy. Showing someone that you ‘get them’ matters.

3. Develop social expertness

This is about building genuine relationships and bonds with others and being able to read cues and signs between the lines of communication. It’s generally agreed that effective communication is 7% the words we say and 93% tone and body language. In other words, a lot of what is said, isn’t actually said. This skill is also about being able to work collaboratively, handle conflict and difficult conversations

4. Hone your communication skills

Misunderstandings and lack of communication are usually the basis of problems between most people. When everyone in the team knows the direction and how everyone’s contribution matters, it’s much easier than trying to get others onto the same page when things go wrong. Your ability to influence others in the desired direction and confront issues as they arise is key, especially when it comes from a place of authenticity.

Bringing it all together

How do you want others to experience you? To enable this, how does your thinking and behaviour need to change?

Developing your emotional EQ is worth the investment – it’s worth more than your IQ, potential or talent. It’s your power tool for exceeding goals, enabling relationships, and providing a high performing work environment.

How will growing your Emotional EQ toolkit help you play bigger and thrive? I’d love to know.

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