4 Ways to Grow Your Emotional Intelligence Starting Today

leadership development | Speak Genesis | Seattle

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Why is growing your Emotional intelligence (EQ) necessary? Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a more significant indicator of success than cognitive intelligence (IQ).

What is Emotional Intelligence? In its simplest form, it’s a heightened awareness of your and others’ emotions. Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that define emotional intelligence:

  • Self Awareness– this is fundamental to growing EQ. 
  • Self Regulation-the ability to control emotions and impulses
  • Motivation– highly productive, likes challenges and can defer gratification for a long-term gain.
  • Empathy– is the ability to understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of others.
  • Social skills– help others to develop and thrive, excellent communicator, manage disputes.

Here are 4 exercises to grow you EQ beginning today.

All growth begins with self-awareness, as without an understanding of who you are and what drives you, EQ is unattainable.

Tasha Eurich embarked on a large scale scientific study on self-awareness, which revealed an enormous perception gap. While 95% of over 5,000 participants believed they were highly self-aware, the data showed only 10-15% to meet the criteria. 

The disconnect is often in how we think others view us; This is particularly true of managers and leaders. You can gain self-awareness and insight by doing the following four activities.

1. Identify your core values.

Your core values and fundamental beliefs are ethical guiding principles that dictate your behavior. Here’s a list of 22 potential core values; the list is endless. Choose ten and write these down in order, beginning with the most important to identify your core values.

  • Self-Improvement
  • Results
  • Collaborating
  • Courage
  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Treating everyone with dignity and respect
  • Inclusion
  • Positivity
  • Innovation
  • Open Mindedness
  • Self-Discipline
  • Accountability
  • Loyalty
  • Compassion
  • Be your own customer
  • Efficiency
  • Creativity
  • Empowering individuals
  • Continuous improvement
  • Optimize towards ideals
  • Simplify

2. Ask for feedback

Is your behavior in alignment with your core values?

Ask for feedback from various stakeholder groups with whom you have interactions. These include colleges, peers, managers, vendors, and customers. You can do this informally and will receive genuine feedback only if the participants feel ‘safe,’ and you’re receptive to the answers.

Often, feedback utilizes a more structured system, such as the ‘360-degree feedback‘ platform. Here, all participants and anonymous and asked questions such as, “Please rank Kris in the following areas: How well does she keep control of her emotions in high-pressure situations?” The participants then provide a ranking of 1-5. 

Feedback allows for understanding, more accurate self-assessment, and growth opportunities.

3. Observe your emotions

Check-in with yourself; what emotion are you feeling right now? Identify the feeling and your physical response. If the emotion is anger, and you realize that your jaw is tightening, try taking time to respond. How would you like to react? Naming the emotion, understanding your physical reaction, and allowing for time and space, is an opportunity to temper your response; This is fundamental in EQ growth.

4. Grow empathy

The ‘Golden Rule’ states, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ The ‘Platinum Rule‘ is ‘ Do unto others as they would want to be done unto them.’ The Golden Rule projects your wants and needs onto others, while the Platinum Rule seeks to understand others’ viewpoints and emotional needs. 

Also, Reading literature from different perspectives increases understanding and empathy.

Kim VanBorkulo is a leadership development coach for individuals and teams, non-profits, and for-profits.  She is CEO of Speak Genesis [ speakgenesis.com ]

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