How To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence for a Successful Career

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People often assume that in order for them to have a successful career, they need to be the best at what they do. While that may be partially true, you need to understand that a person is only as good if clients are willing to speak to him. That is to say that what your professional relationship looks like with the people you work for and work with, determines the longevity of your career.

Emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EI or EQ (Emotional Quotient), refers to the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and influence emotions—both your own and those of others. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist who popularized the concept, identifies five key components of emotional intelligence:

Self-Awareness:

Recognizing your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior.

Self-Regulation:

Managing your emotions in healthy ways, controlling impulsive feelings and behaviors.

Motivation:

Being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement, and maintaining a positive attitude even in the face of setbacks.

Empathy:

Understanding the emotions of others and treating them according to their emotional reactions.

Social Skills:

Managing relationships to move people in desired directions, building networks, and navigating social complexities.

Are you someone who struggles with this? Just can’t seem to break the ice with your fellow work buddies. Or can’t seem to hit it off with potential clients? Well, maybe it’s not the skills you lack to close a deal but the emotional intelligence required to start a deal in the first place.

Here are our tips on how to increase your emotional intelligence:

1. Develop Self-Awareness

Reflect on Your Emotions

Take time each day to reflect on your emotions and how they influence your actions. Journaling can be an effective tool for this. Note situations that triggered strong emotions and consider how you responded.

Seek Feedback

Ask trusted colleagues, friends, or mentors for feedback on your emotional reactions and behavior. Be open to their insights and use them to understand how others perceive you.

2. Practice Self-Regulation

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness practices can help you become more aware of your emotional state and improve your ability to manage it. Meditation can reduce stress and increase your capacity to stay calm under pressure.

Pause Before Reacting

When you feel a strong emotional response, take a moment to pause and breathe before reacting. This helps in preventing impulsive decisions that you might later regret.

3. Cultivate Motivation

Set Personal Goals

Identify what drives you and set personal and professional goals that align with your core values. Having a clear sense of purpose can sustain your motivation.

Celebrate Small Wins

Recognize and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. This reinforces a positive attitude and keeps you motivated.

4. Enhance Empathy

Active Listening

Practice active listening by fully concentrating on what the other person is saying, understanding their message, responding thoughtfully, and remembering what was said.

Put Yourself in Others’ Shoes

Try to see situations from others’ perspectives. This can help you understand their emotions and respond more empathetically.

5. Improve Social Skills

Build Strong Relationships

Invest time in building and maintaining relationships. Show genuine interest in others, offer help, and be supportive.

Develop Conflict Resolution Skills

Learn and practice conflict resolution techniques. Stay calm, listen to all sides, and work towards a solution that respects everyone’s feelings and needs.

1. “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman

Goleman’s seminal book explores the concept of emotional intelligence and its impact on personal and professional success. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to understand and improve their EI.

2. “The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success” by Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book

This book provides a comprehensive overview of how emotional intelligence affects various aspects of life and offers practical advice for enhancing your EI skills.

3. “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Bradberry and Greaves present a step-by-step program for increasing emotional intelligence, including strategies and tools to improve each of the four core EI skills.

4. “Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee

Focusing on the role of emotional intelligence in leadership, this book provides insights and strategies for leaders looking to harness the power of EI to inspire and guide their teams.

5. “The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book: Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

This concise guide offers practical tips and tools for applying emotional intelligence in the workplace, enhancing your career success.

6. “STEM Secrets for Interviewing: 4 Secret Mindsets Essentials to Conquer Interviews Including the Top 71 Interview Questions” by Jeffrey Harvey

This book is ideal for graduates who are ready to step into the professional world but need to ace their interviewing game. It includes the right strategies, insights, and question types tailored to STEM engineering interviews and how to answer them correctly. Grab your copy from Amazon today.

The Lone Wolf Mentality:

While independence and self-reliance are useful tools, we need to understand that workplaces do not function in an individualistic manner. We need teams to work together so that a problem can be tackled more efficiently. Emotional intelligence is a must for anyone trying to open themselves up to collaboration in the workplace to complete work or even make friends.

Conclusion:

Increasing your emotional intelligence is a powerful way to enhance your career and achieve long-term success. Remember, you can be the best at what you do, but you are only as good as the number of people who are actually willing to work with you. Higher management will only recognize you as a useful employee if you bring in good numbers, consistently score on clients, and have a good work relationship with your fellows. So, make sure to focus on how to increase your emotional intelligence at the workplace.

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