Tips for Developing your Emotional Intelligence

Appraising and expressing emotion accurately is part of Emotional Intelligence (EI). The more accurate we are at perceiving and responding to our own emotions we can better express these to others.

We all differ in our capacity to understand and express emotions. But, the good news is we can all improve our EI competencies. Increasing your repertoire of EI strengths increases your effectiveness as you respond to a wider range of demands and challenges.

Tune into your feelings. If a feeling is uncomfortable, don’t suppress it. Try to understand the emotion underlying it. If you can understand this, you won’t let the feeling rule you. Then do something about it.

Tune into others, their emotions their needs and concerns.

Learn to be more empathetic, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand how they are feeling, be more open to their perspective and needs.

Notice how you react to others. Do you make assumptions or rush to judge without checking the facts? Do you interpret information improperly or prematurely? If a person’s response to you feels inappropriate don’t assume you have done wrong and let it fester. Check out how they are feeling, seek to understand and ask clarifying questions.

Expend your energy on the things you can do something about, the things within your circle of influence.

Acknowledge your strengths and play to them.

Take control of your inner voice. Listen to the positive enabling voice and turn off the critic.

Acknowledge your weaknesses, accept them and work on those that will enable you to be more confident.

Know when to ask for help, and be prepared to do. See it as a sign of strength not weakness.

Admit to your mistakes. To err is human and after all, you can’t be perfect all the time!

If something has really upset you express your negative feelings about the situation appropriately. Don’t let it fester. That is bad for your physical and mental health.

Notice when you take offence. Is it trivial, could you park it and move on? Try to put a more enabling explanation on their unhelpful comment or behavior. “They must be really stressed….”

If you have got stuck in an unhelpful communication pattern change the communication and you will change the dynamic! Change what you do, what you say and how you say it. This will create changes in the dynamic between you and other person. You may not always get what you want, but you will certainly be in charge of what happens between the two of you.