How to Develop Emotional Intelligence: 4 Simple Steps

Joy, anger, anxiety and enthusiasm – the ability to understand your own and others emotions affect our life no less than the ability to think rationally. We’ll explain what emotional intelligence is, why it is so important to develop and how to do it right.

What is emotional intelligence?

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Success in your personal life, career and socializing with friends not only depends on how many higher educations we've received and how many foreign languages we’ve been able to master. The first attempts to scientifically prove that both knowledge and emotion play the big role in our lives belongs to Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud. But it was psychologist and journalist Daniel Golman who clearly laid out this theory and made it popular in the 90’s of the last century.

His book "Emotional intelligence: why it matters more than IQ" explained people this new and mysterious concept through using facts about brain, history and anthropology and became an absolute bestseller. Since then, it’s believed that general intelligence consists of two halves: one is responsible for our ability to process information and make informed decisions, and the second one is for recognition of emotions and ability to control them. The last is called emotional intelligence (EI), and it is not necessary that these parts are interchangeable.

You may determine your level of emotional intelligence, consulting a psychologist or after a few online tests: the most accurate methods are considered to be Hall, Holman and Lusin’s. If the result seems unsatisfactory, don’t worry - emotional intelligence can be developed. We’ll tell you how to better do it, what techniques to pay attention to and what is their use.

What emotional intelligence consists of?

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Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions, to distinguish them from each other, to control, to restrain and guide their own benefit. People with a developed consciousness always understand what feelings he's experiencing in the specific moment of anxiety or tiredness, anger or sadness, and can adjust them based on the situation. Power over your emotions helps you to anticipate conflict situations, to avoid them and plan for the long term without compromising their psychological health.

Self-regulation – people who have developed self-regulation, don’t blame mistakes of others and are very proud of their achievements. It not only becomes the basis for a healthy self-esteem, but also allows you to identify the quality that you would still like to work at: for example, impulsiveness, temper, or undue anxiety.

Motivation – this category refers to the ability of a man to respond adequately to changes, learning capability, work in a team and delegate. Emotional intelligence is also responsible for the desire to justify their own and others expectations and responsible attitude to affairs. These qualities are largely responsible for the rational distribution of power and productivity – skills that are very important for career growth.

Empathy is the ability to read emotions of others and react correctly, for example, not to laugh at a crying person, and try to cheer him up or walk away from the dispute when the opponent seems to be too aggressive. The perception of fairness and hierarchy depends on empathy, and it’s important to team work.

Social skills – all components of emotional intelligence affect the way we communicate with people: whether we can understand what they're feeling and what we feel ourselves. This helps to avoid conflict situations at work and in the family, not to succumb to the influence of others and develop our strengths.

What’s emotional intelligence supposed to do?

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Psychologists have concluded that emotional intelligence has an effect on absolutely all spheres of human life – friendship, family, relationships, physical health and career. This allows us to set clear goals and achieve them faster. To successfully communicate with people, regardless of their status and position, to understand the cycles of productivity and properly allocate power, to analyze their own and others ' actions and draw conclusions from them. We’ll tell how to learn to understand feelings – your own and others – and how to develop your emotional intelligence with these simple steps.

Step 1 – Concentrate on Your Emotions

In order to understand yourself and your emotions, you need to completely get away from external stimuli and concentrate on the current moment. Try to remember what good and bad things have happened to you lately, what you felt and why you wanted to cry or to escape to a desert island. At this stage, it is important to simply become aware of the emotions and not to judge yourself in any case – all we do has its own reasons, and excessive severity and restraint can only worsen the situation and lead to stress.

This exercise can be called a mini-meditation: to better prepare for it, get a "diary of experiences" and at the end of each day, write down what you felt and what you would want a change. For example: "I got mad at a coworker because my day started bad, but she was not to blame" or "I smiled at the kid, because I was happy the weather is nice"

Step 2 - Build Targeted Behavior

In other words, direct your emotions in the right direction. To get started, understand how you usually behave if you are angry: do you shout at everyone or prefer to spend some time alone or maybe talk with your best friend? It is almost impossible to fully control emotions, but you can adjust your behavior based on situation.

Step 3 - Develop Motivation

In order to achieve success in your work, you need to constantly remember what you are trying for. To get an increase in salary, start going on interesting business trips or get more responsible tasks. Don’t think about a global goal - it can scare. You should set small, but interesting tasks. Analyze how you feel in moments of success and failure, and remember that pushing for great accomplishments can be not only positive emotions, but also negative ones, for example, envy or dissatisfaction with oneself.

Step 4 - Develop Empathy

After you learn to understand your emotions, pay attention to others.  This will help to establish communication with people and better understand their actions and reaction to various situations, will positively affect relations not only with colleagues, but also with friends, family members and romantic partners. Empathy is not a constant empathy, as many people think, but only an attentive attitude to how your loved ones feel and why it is important to them.

 

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