6 Tips on How to Grow your Emotional Intelligence

“If we liken the mind to a high performance engine, then Emotional Intelligence would be the oil that enables us to manage ourselves to our full potential” (JCA Global)

Do you worry that you come across as cold and disinterested in your people? Do you feel that your people don’t confide in you because of this? If you want to do better, here are 6 tips that will help, but first a bit of background

Business is now global, fast paced and technology driven; and people are working in constant change with distraction, less time, budget and resources. On top of this, there is an expectation to work with integrity, autonomy, creativity and resilience. This calls for employees, and especially leaders, to be acutely aware of how they and others tick in order get the best engagement and results. In other words, they need to apply their Emotional Intelligence (EI).

Science has shown over the past 15 plus years that feelings precede our thoughts and behaviours, so the more adept we are at managing our own and other people’s feelings, the more effective we will be in work and in all facets of our lives. In addition to the science, research shows that organisations high in Emotional Intelligence benefit from more engaged employees and leaders, staff who are more able to adapt to and cope with change, better team working, collaboration and innovation.

Did you know?

  • 75% of people’s careers derail for EI related reasons
  • managers trained in EI deliver twice the profit than those who are not
  • leaders with high EI are more than twice as likely to be more emotionally resilient
  • executives with high levels of EI are 32% more effective at building and maintaining relationships

(from JCA Global, A Decade of Emotional Intelligence)

Is your organisation thriving or surviving?

Emotional Intelligence is a skill that we can learn and develop so wherever you and your organisation are right now, there is scope for growth if you choose it. The more emotionally intelligent we are, the more we and others thrive and the less likely we are to default to unhelpful survival behaviours that block us and the business. If we are emotionally intelligent, we are mindful and choiceful and commit to bite-size chucks of change, create new habits and make them stick.

Essentially, Emotional Intelligence is how someone manages their personality to be both personally and interpersonally effective.

Personal intelligence includes aspects such as knowing what you want, motivating yourself to achieve goals, dealing with challenges and setbacks, maintaining physical and emotional well-being, improving your work-life balance, feeling confident in your decisions and actions, having clarity of thinking and adapting to new situations.

Interpersonal intelligence development requires you to understand and be in control of your personal intelligence first. Interpersonal intelligence includes knowing what others want, leading and influencing others, helping motivate others, building trusting relationships, team working, coaching people and managing confrontation constructively.

We can begin to grow our own Emotional Intelligence whenever we choose – so why not start right now? Here are a few tips for you to consider:

1  Be self aware

Accept that emotions exist and, not only that, they drive our thoughts, behaviours and performance every day.

Your Action Plan: Notice and label your feelings by keeping a diary which will help you to track how you feel, think and behave on a daily basis. Reflect on common triggers and patterns and habits you may want to change. 

2  Be Authentic

Be clear on your inner guiding principles and values, by reflecting on what has influenced you to be the person you are. These attitudes are important as they underpin our emotions.

Your Action Plan: Write down your top three values and rate how well you are working in line with those values on a scale of 1-10. Is there something you need to change?

3  Be Vulnerable

Manage your emotions so that they support and don’t block your effectiveness, it’s important not to BE the emotion, but to express it.

Your Action Plan: If you feel overwhelmed by an emotion, notice it early and take time out (even 10 seconds of thinking) to express how you feel authentically.

4  Be Compassionate

Be aware of the emotions that others experience by tuning into how they are feeling.

Your Action Plan: Really look for clues in their visual appearance, body language and tone as well as what they say, and ask yourself, “What are they not saying?”. Have the courage to share your observations and insights and talk it through. 

5  Have grit

Continually grow your resilience and grit so you can bounce back during the tough times at work and in our VUCA environment.

Your Action Plan: Commit on a regular basis to whatever activity helps you renew and re-energise. This might be physical activity, hanging out with loved ones, stretching your brain or getting a change of scene.

6  Smile more

Emotions are contagious so smiling really makes a difference to how we and others feel, behave and perform - try it!

This thought leadership piece has been authored by one of our specialists, Alison Hood.  Alison is one of a unique group of Australasian qualified practitioners in the JCA Global Emotional Intelligence profile (EIP) and has access to a specialised suite of tools that enable people to learn about and grow their EI.

If you want some help with Emotional Intelligence, Talk To Us; we have the specialist and the expertise to help you.