Boost Your EQ: How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Lifestyle Jan 14, 2021

If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.


Emotional intelligence is a topic of great interest in the workforce. It has become increasingly important for people to understand how to interact with others, and make decisions based on their emotions.

Do you know what your EQ is? It's one of the most important factors for success in life, but many people don't even think about it.

If you are looking to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ), there are some steps that you can take:

We will go into more detail about these points below!


What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is defined as "the capacity to recognize and manage emotions in oneself and others."

Emotionally intelligent people are better able to handle their own as well as others' emotions which leads to more fulfilling relationships with family members, friends, or coworkers. They're also more adept at handling stress without being overcome by it.

If you're not working on improving your emotional intelligence, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity - both for yourself and for those around you.

Emotional Intelligence Is Important for Success in Life

If you're interested in improving your own EQ, there are several steps you can take to do so.

First, it's important to know what your EQ is! There are many different tests online that will help give you an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Emotional intelligence enables you to develop stronger relationships, excel academically and professionally, and accomplish your career and personal goals. Additionally, it can assist you in connecting with your emotions, translating intention into action, and making informed decisions about what is most important to you.

The term "emotional intelligence" was previously referenced in Issue #27 of David's newsletter
27: Lessons in emotional fortitude
Some recent life events made me rethink my approach to therapy, and why regular trips to the mental mechanic should be for everyone. Todayโ€™s issue is slightly different than usual, so forgive me. That said, my promise in starting this newsletter was to share everything Iโ€™m learning about navigatingโ€ฆ

How Emotional Intelligence Is Measured?

Several different assessments have emerged to measure levels of emotional intelligence. Such tests generally fall into one of two types: self-report tests and ability tests.

It's easy to administer and score self-report tests. In such tests, participants rate their own actions in response to questions. A test taker may disagree, somewhat disagree, agree, or strongly agree with a statement such as "I often feel that I understand how others feel."

Ability tests, on the other hand, assess people's skills after they respond to situations. People are often asked to demonstrate their skills, which are then evaluated by a third party.

Some examples of these tests are below:

  • The Mayer-Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is an ability test that was developed in 2002. It measures levels of emotional intelligence using a series of tasks designed to evaluate someone's perception and understanding of emotions as well as their abilities to use those feelings.
  • The EQ-i is a self-report test that was developed in 1998. It measures levels of emotional intelligence through the use of 132 questions designed to evaluate someone's ability to perceive and manage emotions as well as understand their feelings.

Although both types of tests may provide some valuable information, they do have limitations:

  • Ability-based tests such as the MSCEIT may produce inconsistent results due to factors such as mood or level of fatigue.
  • Self-report-based tests such as the EQ-i have been criticized for not being able to provide an accurate reflection of someone's emotional intelligence and that their scores could be influenced by other factors including social desirability, education level, and gender.

In reality, though, we measure emotional intelligence implicitly through people's ability to empathise with others, their self-awareness, and how they adapt our approach to the emotions of others.


How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Your Life:

Your school or work performance. Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel professionally. Many companies now consider emotional intelligence as important as technical ability when evaluating job candidates and conduct EQ tests before hiring.

Your physical health. If you can't control your emotions, you can't control your stress. This can cause major health issues. A lack of sleep raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and accelerates aging. The first step to better emotional intelligence is stress management.

Your mental health. Uncontrolled emotions and stress can lead to anxiety and depression. You'll struggle to form strong relationships if you can't understand, accept, or manage your emotions. This can make you feel lonely and isolated, exacerbating any mental health issues.

Your bonds. Understanding your emotions and controlling them helps you express yourself and understand others. This improves your ability to communicate and build relationships at work and home.

Your social intelligence. Emotional intelligence connects you to others and the world around you. Social intelligence allows you to distinguish between friends and foes, reduce stress, balance your nervous system through social interaction, and feel loved and happy.


Why is emotional intelligence so important?

Many people understand the value of emotional intelligence, but they may not always understand why. Because EQ is about understanding your own and others' emotions, it can help you enhance your relationships. It's tough to comprehend people' feelings when you have a poor EQ, and vice versa. It also helps us make decisions that account for the emotional impact of our actions rather than simply based on cold logic. Improving your EQ might better enable you to assess your feelings and options before acting (e.g., getting frustrated at someone for not following an instruction, and then realising that the issue resulted from your own failure to communicate effectively.


Building Emotional Intelligence

EQ encompasses four areas: self-awareness; managing emotions; motivating oneself; understanding others.

Self-awareness enables people to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and understand their moods so they can work on them.

People with high EQ know their triggers and what affects them. And they take responsibility for the way they feel, not blaming others or expecting things to be other than they are.

Managing emotions means controlling one's temper or anxieties so they don't overwhelm you and allow you to think about things more clearly.

People with high EQ don't keep their emotions bottled up; they know how to express themselves. They also have emotional "muscle memory" so that even when life throws them curveballs, it takes less effort for them to bounce back because they've done it before and are prepared.

Motivating oneself entails generating enthusiasm for activities that may not be inherently interesting but which will contribute to the achievement of goals.

People high in EQ are motivated to achieve their goals because they know the effort will pay off.

Understanding others refers both to empathy--putting yourself into another personโ€™s shoes--and reading nonverbal cues from people with whom youโ€™re communicating, both verbal and nonverbal.

Being able to understand others is a key component of EQ -- after all, if you don't know how someone else feels or what makes them tick, it's tough to get along with them. People high in EQ are good at reading other people's emotions, so they can find common ground and motivate each other to achieve shared goals.


Conclusion

The best way to improve any skill is through repeated practice, so you should look for daily opportunities to boost your EQ. Try new things with friends, or in work-related situations - you will start to notice a difference over time!

Mindfulness meditation can help increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence over time. Relationships with others also help us identify emotions like anger or anxiety that might otherwise go unnoticed.

If we can learn to deal with our emotions and those of others, we may be able to make better life choices. Employees with high EQ are more likely to be engaged, which leads to higher productivity. The key is to seize every opportunity for improvement because better understanding ourselves, others, and our emotions lead to happier and healthier lives.


Further Reading

27: Lessons in emotional fortitude
Some recent life events made me rethink my approach to therapy, and why regular trips to the mental mechanic should be for everyone. Todayโ€™s issue is slightly different than usual, so forgive me. That said, my promise in starting this newsletter was to share everything Iโ€™m learning about navigatingโ€ฆ

Tags

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.