Growing Emotional Intelligence
Q: I know that my IQ is fixed, but is there a way to grow my emotional intelligence (EQ)?
Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, the authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, provide multiple strategies for each step on the way to increasing emotional intelligence
• Avoid judging your emotions. Rather than labeling a feeling you are having as good or bad, simply recognize that feeling and try to make sense of where it is coming from.
• Don’t shy away from unpleasant emotions. Instead, let yourself feel them, and attempt to understand why you are feeling them. This way, you will be able to identify them in the future.
• Make an emotion vs. reason list. See if your emotions are in conflict with your logic. If so, decide which should get the upper hand.
• Speak to yourself more nicely. Learn to change the way you speak to yourself in order to motivate and encourage rather than shame and blame.
• Pay attention to body language. Learn to read the body language of other people. Paying attention to non-verbal cues will help you gain awareness of the emotions of those around you.
• If you are unsure, ask. When appropriate, if you are worried that you are misreading a situation, you can say, “You seem upset about something” or “Do you want to talk about something?” This way you can ensure that you have properly interpreted the situation.
• Small acts of kindness. If you care about your relationship with someone else, show it in small ways.
• Learn how to give and accept feedback. Giving and getting feedback is hard, but learning how to give and receive in a positive and constructive manner is a great way to develop your EQ.