Become a Master Communicator Using Emotional Intelligence
Are your teams burned out or are you? Are you feeling like you are always fighting fires or dealing with team or client conflict? Constant conflict drains our energy and sabotages our efforts. In any relationship there is a big difference between being assertive to establish respect and trust and successful collaboration and being aggressive, defensive or hostile because of perceived threats or differences.
Even if you are one of the lucky ones that has a cohesive team, learning to tap into Emotional intelligence can make a dramatic difference to our success and positively impact every area of our lives for better success, more income and better relationships including:
– Your performance at work. Emotional Intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require EI testing before hiring.
– Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your stress levels, it can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
– Your mental health. Uncontrolled stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand and manage your emotions, you’ll also be open to mood swings, while an inability to form strong relationships can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
– Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.
But before I get ahead of myself, you might wonder:
what is Emotional Intelligence (EI) exactly?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.
Unlike IQ which focuses on hard skills and technical abilities, EI focuses on the soft skills which can be improved with conscious effort and practice.
So how can you improve Emotional Intelligence for more success in your work and life?
Below are 5 tips to give you a start. Remember it is easy to practice in neutral situations but stress can hijack our best intention so give yourself time to make real lasting progress.
1. Practice observing your emotions. Label your emotions and work to understand your triggers for “hot” emotions so you can teach yourself to better manage your emotions for better relationships.
2. Practice recognizing subtle cues on others. Remember that body language, gestures and other forms on non-verbal communication account for more than 55% of communication between people and the actual words account for a mere 7% . This will help you to better understand others emotions and intentions.
3. Work to reduce your stress so you can respond positively in tense situations instead of reacting negatively. When faced with adversity, optimistic people ask “what is good about this? Where is the lesson that is going to serve me well when I go after the next big opportunity?
4. Improve your listening skills. If you are planning what you’re going to say next, daydreaming, or thinking about something else, you are almost certain to miss nonverbal cues and other subtleties in the conversation. Try to practice empathizing with others when you speak to them and work to understand where they are coming from in any conversation so you can aim for a win-win in discussions and negotiations.
5. List the qualities you admire most in a mentor in your life. Notice how many are soft skills associated with EI. Now, work to improve these qualities in yourself. For example if you admire someone’s honesty, make a effort to be more honest both with yourself and others. Or if you admire someone’s sense of humor, practice being funnier and lighter with others!
Improving your Emotional Intelligence Skill is a powerful way to become a better leader, manager and build better relationships in all areas of your life. When you improve your EI, you improve your resilience, optimism and relationships in all areas of your life so it is worth the investment of time! Test it out for yourself!
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Dan Goleman
NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style.
Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.