November 2

Thinking Your Way To Success With Emotional Intelligence: Here’s How To Do It

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In a world where success is often associated with career goals, intelligence in the academic sense is often highly valued. 

While it’s true that hitting the books and furthering your education will undoubtedly improve your chances of succeeding on your chosen career path, there’s another type of intelligence that is, unfortunately, often forgotten about: emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence (see also ‘Building Leadership Skills Using Emotional Intelligence‘), also known as EQ, is essential for success outside of the workplace since emotional skills such as empathy and effective communication will lead to healthier relationships and higher levels of personal happiness and fulfillment.

However, you may be surprised by how much emotional intelligence can help you progress in your career, too. 

Read on to find out how developing emotional intelligence can allow you to achieve success in all areas of your life. 

The Link Between Success And Emotional Intelligence 

There’s a lot of research to demonstrate the link between emotional intelligence and success.

Having a high level of emotional intelligence helps to manage the different dynamics that arise in educational settings and in the workplace, which is one way in which EQ can benefit you career-wise.

In fact, many companies now carry out EQ testing before hiring potential applicants because it’s so important. 

Emotional regulation is also a part of emotional intelligence, and this is crucial if you want to achieve your goals in any area of life.

Whether you want to strengthen your relationships or be better able to focus on your studies, being able to manage your behavior and emotional responses will be useful. 

Your general happiness, mental health, and even your physical health will improve if you’re able to develop the skills necessary to manage your stress levels and emotional experiences.

This is also a form of success. 

How To Build Emotional Intelligence For Success 

Thinking Your Way To Success With Emotional Intelligence: Here's How To Do It

We now know why emotional intelligence is related to success, but how can you improve your EQ to become more successful?

Here are some tried and tested methods to boost your emotional intelligence and succeed in all your endeavors: 

1. Work on Self-Awareness

The goal of building your emotional intelligence for success is to reach a point where you are keenly aware of your own emotional experience to the point where you can regulate your emotions and use this regulated state to make more effective life choices and communicate effectively in personal and professional relationships (see also ‘Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Professional Success‘). 

This all starts with self-awareness, and luckily, there are many techniques you can use to become more self-aware, including: 

Create A Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness is simply the practice of being present in the moment, observing your thoughts and emotions without judging or trying to interpret them.

Meditation and yoga can help you to get in touch with your body, which will help you to view your emotions more as physical sensations than overwhelming feelings.

Mindfulness exercises will help you to feel calm and centered, which means you’ll be better able to cope with stress. 

Ask Yourself Questions

This is something you can do at any point during the course of the day when challenging emotions arise.

Asking yourself questions about your emotional experiences such as ‘what emotion am I feeling right now?’, ‘where do I feel this emotion in my body?’ and ‘have I been paying attention to my emotional responses today?’ will help you to better understand your current relationship with your feelings and where you might want to improve in terms of EQ. 

2. Practice Emotional Regulation 

Once you have become more aware of your emotions, you can start implementing skills that come under the heading of ‘emotional regulation.’

This is basically the ability to respond to your emotions in a healthy and constructive way – being reflective rather than reactive. 

The key to emotional regulation is understanding that no emotion is inherently bad, but some responses to certain emotions are inappropriate and unhealthy.

For example, it’s the ability to feel frustrated when a colleague’s mistake at work impacts you without lashing out in an unprofessional manner. 

You can use mindfulness techniques such as breathwork and focusing on bodily sensations to help you manage stress responses.

Self-awareness questions can also help you here because you’ll be able to manage difficult emotions better if you are able to break them down and understand them. 

Knowing when to take a step back from a heated situation and return when you feel able to communicate effectively is essential.

3. Build Healthy Relationships 

Emotional regulation is something that takes practice, and you’ll need to keep working at it until your self-awareness and mindfulness practices become your instinctive response in stressful situations. 

Now that you know how to regulate your emotions, you can start applying this regulated mindset to your relationships.

It’s often easier to start this work at home with the relationships in your personal life before moving on to address the social awareness required in the workplace. 

The key skill you’ll need for successful relationships is empathy (see also ‘How to Lead Empathically by Seeking First to Understand‘).

Once you’re able to understand and empathize with others’ perspectives, healthy communication and conflict management will become second nature. 

Next time you find yourself feeling irritated by something a loved one has said or done, challenge yourself to see the situation from their point of view.

You don’t necessarily have to agree with it, but try to put yourself in their shoes before you take the situation any further. 

Now is the time to start practicing healthy communication. Communication can be verbal or non-verbal. So pay attention to your body language and facial expressions when you talk.

Effective communication should be calm, rational, and motivated by a desire for resolution and mutual understanding rather than a desire to blame or shame. 

When communicating, use ‘I’ statements such as ‘after our disagreement, I felt X’ instead of ‘you made me feel X’.

Maintain a calm tone of voice and involve humor if the situation is appropriate since this will help to ease stress. 

Ask the other person for their point of view and try to validate their feelings even if you don’t see eye to eye.

You can acknowledge and express empathy for the fact that someone is feeling stressed without necessarily condoning them taking their stress out on you, for example. 

4. Develop Social Awareness

Having built the foundations for empathy and effective communication in your personal life, you can use these skills to further your professional relationships and perform better at work. Improving EQ through increased social awareness should prove to benefit your career immensely. 

In any social interaction, including professional ones, you can maintain awareness by staying present (putting your phone away) and giving the other person your full attention.

Be mindful of the other party’s emotional cues (verbal and non-verbal) to gain a better understanding of their perspective. 

All interactions should be seen as an opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s about someone else or yourself. Insight is everything when it comes to EQ. 

Final Thoughts 

Emotional intelligence (see also ‘How To Communicate Better With Emotional Intelligence‘) is the key to success in your personal life as well as in your professional endeavors. 

To become more emotionally intelligent, you should build self-awareness through mindfulness and introspection. 

Having achieved higher levels of self-awareness, you must become aware and improve stress management and emotional regulation. You can then progress to practice healthy communication and interpersonal effectiveness in your personal and professional relationships moving forward.

Improving your EQ is a daily journey that is highly personal. As your mindfulness and emotional regulation improve, you can feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in your improving EQ while also knowing that the journey continues. Begin your journey to improved EQ, and better relationships will follow closely providing the foundation for a more fulfilling and successful life.


Tags

#grit, #mindfulness, #resilience, EQ and your positive communication skills work together as you lead your organization. Look to enhance your EQ as you learn to become a more effective leader


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