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How to increase your emotional intelligence

EQ could be described as how smart you are in your relationships with people. Emotions have information. The better you are att reading this information the better your EQ will be.

A low EQ will give you poor decisions, problems in communication, conflicts and unsatisfying human relationships.

Every decision affecting e.g. customers, strategy, employees is affected by your emotional intelligence, therefor the importance on working on increasing your emotional intelligence. Be clear on the expectations you have on yourself, on your team, your organisation. Make sure that the organisation’s and your team’s expectations on you are also clear.

At the core of emotional intelligence is knowing yourself, everything else derives from this. Time for reflection is one of the most important leadership attributes and a valuable tool as a leader, as well as motivation to learn and grow, which you probably already have since you’re reading this!

How your are perceived by others is also important, which is not about making others happy. It is this perception that you mold in your communication, the words you use, your body language, what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, what you’re not saying. In reflecting upon how you’re being perceived by others and how you’re communicating you might learn more about yourself.

Emotional intelligence is not only about identifying the emotions you’re having but also giving yourself the time and space to actually feel these emotions. It’s not enough to say ”I feel disappointed”, it’s important to let yourself feel the disappointment In your whole body. We live very busy lives, many times we don’t have the time and space to feel and live our emotions. This brings us further away from our own emotions and from understanding others’ emotions.

Giving yourself time to live your emotions is a way of increasing your emotional intelligence. There are different ways to do it: some people like to practice mindfulness, others like to go out in the nature, others rather do physical exercise. How you do is not important but that you do it. This is something that busy leaders tend to forget.

We all struggle with self-control at times. Another cornerstone of emotional intelligence is self-control. There are certain situations when it will be handy to manage self-control, for instance situations of stress. You can also practice self-control in everyday life. You may do this by creating a mental window (a pause) between stimuli and your response, so that you don’t react to what others do/ don’t do or say/ don’t say, but instead take a proactive posture by not acting directly. The chances are that you will rather regret acting upon something hastily than having waited and pondered.

A strategy to improve your self-control is learning to know what your triggers are, understanding them and keeping an eye on them. When you know your triggers you won’t get surprised by them. Not knowing your triggers on the other hand will lead to impoverished decision making. Knowing what your triggers are and learning to manage them is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself.

Improving the EQ in the organisation helps your employees bring forward the best in themselves to work. Consider offering your employees workshops, group coaching sessions or why not individual coaching sessions.

A sign of leaders with high EQ is that they invest in themselves, becoming more resilient and adaptive. Book a meeting with Brighter Leaders to start your development.

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