Build and improve your emotional intelligence in two ways:
- If you have the opportunity in your workplace, take a 360 assessment instrument to gain others’ feedback.
- Take an EQ assessment. There are many to choose from. To find the best one for you, contact Take Charge Inc for our recommendations.
- Do an informal assessment by asking those around you to discuss how well you deal with and exhibit emotions. Be sincere and accepting of the feedback (don’t question or debate it)
- Start keeping a journal. Many successful CEOs report that they keep a journal. Write ten minutes each day at the same time. Write about your feelings for that day. Name your feelings (sad, anger, fear, joy, disgust, anticipation, surprise or the hundreds of variations or these core feelings). Start identifying patterns and triggers. When we are young we developed methods of coping that do not serve us well as adults. To change these coping methods, we first have to identify them.
After identifying our feelings we need to recognize our feelings as information.
- Choose to feel our feelings instead of suppressing them or avoiding them. If we suppress them they will resurface again, remain with us and we can become stuck. It is easy for all of us to fall into society’s trap of giving emotions a bad rap.
- Have a daily program to reduce stress. Exercising, meditation, quiet time and breathing exercises are just a few ways to you can manage stress. Since stress is a daily factor in our lives, it’s important to find perspective about your emotions and life situations.
- Recognize when emotions are managing you or you are overwhelmed by certain emotions. Acknowledge that there is an interaction in our brain between our thoughts and feelings. We need to reflect on these emotions as providing information not controlling or dictating our life.
- Respond rather than react. Think of the emotion as one piece of the puzzle. We can shape our behaviors to be influenced by our emotions and respond thoughtfully to a situation versus being reactive to our emotions.
- Consider short-term therapy. Short-term therapy can be effective as it is a training ground on how to sense, label feelings and know how and when to use our emotions.
What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
The term emotional intelligence was first coined by Peter Solvoy and John Mayer in 1990. Though the concept was introduced in 1990, it became popular in 1995 with the New York Times best seller, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, by Daniel Goleman, PhD. As a result of Goleman’s book, people began to look at how traditional tests of cognitive intelligence told little about how to be successful in life.
An example is the Sommerville study, a 40-year longitudinal investigation of 450 boys who grew up in Sommerville, MA. Two-thirds of the boys were from welfare families and one-third had IQ’s below 90. However, IQ had little relation to how well they did at work or for the rest of their lives. Surprisingly, what made the biggest difference was the child’ ability to handle frustration, control emotions, and get along with other people (Snarey & Vaillant, 1985).