Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence. To raise your level of emotional intelligence, these are the behaviours that need to be eliminated from your repertoire.

You have difficulty asserting yourself

People with high EQs balance good manners, empathy and kindness with the ability to assert themselves and establish boundaries. When most people are crossed, they default to passive or aggressive behaviour. Emotionally intelligent people remain balanced and assertive and can neutralise difficult and toxic people without creating enemies.

You have a limited emotional vocabulary

People with high EQs understand and identify their emotions and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.

You make assumptions quickly and defend them vehemently

People who lack EQ form an opinion quickly and then gather evidence that supports their opinion and ignore any evidence to the contrary. Emotionally intelligent people let their thoughts marinate, because they know that initial reactions are driven by emotions. They give their thoughts time to develop and consider the possible consequences and counter-arguments.

You hold grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding on to a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode. Holding on to that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time.

You often feel misunderstood

You may feel misunderstood because you don’t deliver your message in a way that people can understand. Even with practice, emotionally intelligent people know that they don’t communicate every idea perfectly. They catch on when people don’t understand what they are saying, adjust their approach and re-communicate their idea in a way that can be understood.

You’re easily offended

If you have a firm grasp of who you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin.

As you train your brain by repeatedly practicing new emotionally intelligent behaviours, it builds the pathways needed to make them into habits. As your brain reinforces the use of these new behaviours, the connections supporting old, destructive behaviours die off. Before long, you begin responding to your surroundings with emotional intelligence without even having to think about it. (Unconscious competence.)

Are you in control and unconsciously competent at engaging with emotional competence?

Adapted from an article by Travis Bradberry,

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