Emotional intelligence, a recently coined term, is a skillset that many companies seek from their new employees. Emotional intelligence demands that you pause to explore and contemplate the real needs of people from a human-centric angle, before hastily plunging yourself into technological problem-solving.
According to Harvey Deutschendorf, an emotional intelligence expert, "the realisation that emotional intelligence has become an important predictor of job success, even surpassing technical ability, has been growing over the past number of years."
Today, companies are placing a high value on emotional intelligence as it leads to a competitive advantage. Individuals with high emotional intelligence understand and cooperate with others, they are open to feedback, they are exceptional listeners and are also known to have more empathy than their contemporaries.
Here are five easy ways in which you can practise emotional intelligence every day.
Take deep breaths
When you feel pressured, breathe deeply to relax your muscles. When you take deep breaths, your shoulders unwind and loosen. As you fill yourself with air, the physiological expansion influences your mind and emotions. This, in turn, leads to reduced stress levels, which helps you make more powerful and positive choices.
Take back control
When you come across a stumbling block, evaluate the situation and separate the parts of the situation which you can influence and control from the parts you cannot. If you start focusing on the things you can influence, you'll feel an increase in confidence about overcoming your setbacks.
Apply consequential thinking
If you feel frustrated or upset about something, take a deep breath before you say something harsh. Give yourself ten seconds to consider the consequences of your actions and words. When you successfully apply consequential thinking, you will make more careful choices that will ultimately work to your advantage. Call this your '10 second rule' and practise it every time you feel like your emotions are getting the better of you.
Practise being a good human
Start treating everyone around you with compassion. If someone is being mean to you without a cause, give them the benefit of the doubt. Try to engage in positive and caring dialogue with your taxi driver, laundry man, maid etc. Ask meaningful questions to people and listen closely to what they have to say.
Share your feelings with others
If you're feeling down and out, confide in a friend about your problems. When you start talking freely with your inner circle of people, you'll be more comfortable when the time comes to share your thoughts and feelings with your co-workers and clients. Remember, bottling up your feelings will only fester negativity in a relationship.
Developing emotional intelligence isn't rocket science, but it isn't a cakewalk either. Use the above-mentioned five techniques to practise emotional intelligence every day.