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Emotional Intelligence for Managers: How to Develop Emotional Intelligence

admin March 22, 2024
Many of you might have already heard about Emotional Intelligence (EQ), it is ‘all the rage’ these days, especially as the world moves to remote working where we need to be even more in tune with ourselves and those around us.

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. It’s the title given to a group of emotional capacities that make human relationships work effectively. Essentially EQ is made up of three components:

  • Self-Reflection
  • Self-Regulation
  • Empathy

Someone who has strong self-reflection for example, would be able to stop themselves in a heated conversation, from saying something they’d regret later. They’d be able to stop mid conversation, name the emotion and acknowledge how they’re feeling and course correct, either by removing themselves from the conversation, or taking a deep breath and changing tone. Of course this is much easier said than done.

Why Emotional Intelligence is important?

Emotional Intelligence is important because it allows the ability to work with others in a highly effective manner resulting in individual, team and organizational success. It’s said today, that emotional competencies are twice as important in contributing to excellence than pure intellect and experience.

Can Emotional Intelligence be taught?

Something else that’s important to note before we dive into ‘How To Increase (or Develop) Emotional Intelligence‘, is that EQ can be learned. A common misconception is that if you’re not born with it, you’ll never have it and that’s completely not true. If it were, companies would’t be spending millions of dollars on enhancing the EQ of their employees.

How to Develop (Increase) Emotional Intelligence: 7 Easy Steps

#1 to increase your Emotional Intelligence: Name Your Feelings Daily

Knowing what you’re feeling is the most important part of having a strong EQ. For example, stop five times a day and ask yourself: What are you feeling right now? Name the emotion and move on. When we’re able to name our emotion we are taking charge of it, rather than letting it take charge of us. When we don’t know what we’re feeling we can’t control it. When we do know what we’re feeling we’re AT CHOICE. The goal is to be at choice so we control how we act and our emotions don’t control us.

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#2 to develop your EQ: Increase your ‘joy’

Joy means a lot more than happiness, in fact it’s one of the emotions associated with self-reflection and understanding and above all it gives us confidence and energy, which we need in order to thrive. When our joy is low everything else is low, meaning that it impacts your relationship with yourself and those around you. So make sure your joy is up in order to develop your Emotional Intelligence. How? Carve out time and do things that bring you peace of mind and make you feel fulfilled.

#3 to increase EQ: Choose positive self-regulation strategies

When we’re stressed we turn to coping mechanisms, the difference between someone with a strong emotional intelligence is that they turn to positive coping mechanisms such as exercise, breathing or self-expression such as music or writing. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol for example. Be intentional about how you choose to cope with stress and regulate your emotions.

#4 to develop your Emotional Intelligence: Manage yourself-talk

It never feels good when someone else puts you down, so why do it to yourself? Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Are you nurturing yourself and telling yourself that you can do something and that you’re ‘enough’ and ‘sufficient’ or are you constantly beating yourself up? The kinder you are to yourself, the more confident you are and the better the relationships you’ll create.

#5 to increase Emotional Intelligence: Learn to Listen

This is probably THE most important piece to developing EQ. The ability to listen with the intention to understand, and not with the intent to respond. How often do we listen while thinking about what we want to say back? When we do this we miss things and the other person ends up not feeling heard or seen. Listening is the key to having a strong emotional intelligence. Listen to things that are being said as much as things that are not being said. The more time you take to truly listen, the better you’ll understand people and their motivations, which leads to creating stronger relationships.

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#6 to increase EQ: Move towards the relationship

When things get tough we tend to move away from the issue rather than towards it. Next time the ‘fight or flight’ feeling kicks in, try learning through mutual inquiry, in order to strengthen the relationship instead of looking at it as a problem. Ask questions of the other person and try to resolve it through constructive communication.

#7 to develop your Emotional Intelligence: Focus on the other

While emotionally intelligent people make time for self-care, they also understand the importance of getting outside of their heads and focusing on other people. Giving, showing gratitude and helping others, is important to develop your own emotional capacities and it will also allow you to learn how to read, relate to and empathize with other people better.

Here are three key professional relationships where EQ can help:

#1: Emotional intelligence with stakeholders

With stakeholders, the better you can read, relate to and connect with people who have a vested interest in your company, the more inclined they’ll be to continue supporting it and feel a connection with you and the product.

#2: Emotional intelligence with customers

When you have strong relationships with your and when you are more in tune with your emotions and can control yourself better, you’ll be better able to manage the emotions and feelings of your clients.

#3: Emotional intelligence with colleagues

When you are able to relate to and understand your colleagues, it creates a more seamless work environment. By taking the time to listen and hear what your colleagues are saying and not saying, it’ll enhance relationships and also lead to greater productivity at work and success.

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