Emotional intelligence is a much sought after commodity in the world. Those who can process their emotional information effectively, remain calm and in control – they project leadership, confidence and empathy.
Life is tough and having the strength and resilience necessary to cope is critical. Most people know to eat right, sleep enough to rest your mind and body-these are the basics. To have the right frame of mind for the day, more is needed to advance your goals and develop a leadership mindset.
EQ vs IQ
EQ or Emotional Quotient/Intelligence, tells the world how well you are able to control you.
IQ or Intelligence Quotient tells the world how smart you are.
“EQ is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).”
EQ is a more valued commodity than IQ. Employers are looking for those individuals who are calm and in control; they project leadership, confidence and empathy. They have a high EQ and are better able to navigate social and work environments – because of their ability to process emotional information effectively. Those who possess a high EQ, do better in their jobs, have better mental health, and better friendships.
How do you process your environment?
Do you hear yourself talking to you? What are you saying? How are you interpreting the environment around you?
We are the center of our own universe and we interpret our environment by the stories we tell ourselves. One of my favourite stories about interpreting your environment comes from Steven Covey in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” He was on a train early one Sunday morning when a father and his noisy children entered the subway train and disturbed the peace and quiet of the train. The father sat down and closed his eyes and seemed not to notice his noisy, rambunctious children who were out of control. Steven Covey turned to the father after a while and asked if the father could control his children. The father opened his eyes and realized what was happening and told Steven Covey that he and the children had come from the hospital where his wife has just died, and neither he nor the children were sure of how to deal with the situation.
This story really opened my eyes about how I interpret situations. When I started to read the story I became angry-why don’t people pay attention to their children I thought. As I read further about the tragedy, I changed my thoughts to poor man and kids, and I felt so much compassion for them.
What just happened? That story helped me become more aware of the stories I was making up about situations. I am learning to stop and ask myself if maybe there is something else going on in that person’s life. I find that when I am around those who are calm, I am calm. When I am around those who are emotional I find myself becoming emotional.
Less Drama More Control
That story taught me how important it is to hold back emotions and try to understand the situation better. I am getting better at asking more questions to understand a situation and listening to what is being said, before making a judgment or reacting. I will say things like:help me understand and tell more.
EQ is a skill that can be learned like any other. So what are the keys to improving your EQ? Not just for work, but for home, family and friends.
You can control your emotions. Think about a time you when you were upset or angry or fighting with someone, and along came a friend, your boss or someone you wanted to impress – chances are you would immediately change your emotions and reactions to try to impress that person.
Lack of emotional control can derail us from our purpose or goal,and it creates credibility issues – if you want to be taken seriously by others, don’t always react emotionally!
Not reacting in the moment is the hardest thing to do. That control is what separates leaders from non-leaders. So don’t react, take a moment or two to:
Breathe – take several deep breathes in through the nose (4-5). Breathe in to the count of four; hold your breath to the count of four; then let out your breath slowly through your mouth to the count of four and hold to the count of four before taking the next breath. Do this until you feel calmer.
Walk away – Say that you need to take some time and walk away.
Go for a walk or run or do something physical to get rid of the emotion.
Write down how you feel.
Get quiet and get calm. You can’t think rationally if you are angry, and you may be more likely to say something you will regret.
Listen to your inner voice to what it tells you to do: bite your tongue, don’t say that, be quiet, just listen, be calm.