How to boost your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence has become a hot topic in recent years with good reason! There is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that emotional intelligence has a significant impact on work performance. Employees who have a higher level of emotional intelligence tend to perform better, have better relationships, have better physical health and have better psychological well-being.

Emotional Intelligence Can Be Improved
Mayer & Salovey’s model of emotional intelligence has four parts.

  1. Recognise emotions in yourself and others correctly.
  2. Use emotions to facilitate thinking.
  3. Have an understanding of emotions, the signals communicated by emotion and, emotional language.
  4. Manage emotions to reach specific goals.

Studies have shown that emotional intelligence can actually be learned. Training programmes have been designed and have proven to be effective in helping boost a person’s emotional intelligence and allow them to perform at their best. However, you don’t need to take part in a formal training program in order to improve your emotional intelligence. Amy Morin has outlined 7 ways you can start improving your EI.

1.Limit screen time. Spending a lot of time on your devices is one way your relationships could be impaired. A number of studies have also found that spending a lot of time on devices interferes with people’s ability to read emotions. An idea may be to set screen time limits. Designate some time throughout the day where you won’t use your phone such as meal times or before bed.

2. Label your emotions. People very rarely talk about their feelings even though every choice we make is affected by our emotions. We should label our emotions with words such as anxious or disappointed. You don’t have to talk about how you feel each time out loud, but it is important that you take a couple of minutes throughout the day to take note of how you are feeling.

3.Think about how your emotions affect your judgement. Once you have a grip on how you’re feeling, think about the effect those emotions have on your thoughts and how you behave. Understanding how the emotions you experience are affecting you can help you make more positive decisions.  Once you understand how your emotions affect your judgement you will be better equipped to make balanced decisions.

4. Determine if your feelings are a help or hindrance. Feelings aren’t either good or bad. Each emotion has the ability to be a help or a hindrance in a given situation. Being angry could be a hindrance when having a conversation with a superior at work or it could be helpful when you need to stand against injustice. When you recognise that a certain emotion is going to be unhelpful in a situation, you can take the necessary steps to control your emotions.

5. Take responsibility for how you feel. Blaming other people for putting you in a certain mood implies that other people control your emotions. You need to be able to accept full responsibility for your emotions and how to respond to those emotions in the appropriate way.

6. Take time to notice other people’s feelings. A central part of increasing a person’s emotional intelligence involves being better able to understand how other people are feeling. Start paying closer attention to the emotional state of people around you. See if you can notice how a person is feeling and think about how that emotion may influence that person’s behaviour.

7.Keep improving your skills. There is always room to improve this skill. If you feel you may benefit from some additional help you could enroll in a training program or work with a coach to help improve your emotional intelligence.

Morin, A. (2018) Seven Ways To Boost Your Emotional Intelligence So You Can Develop Deeper Relationships [Online] https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2018/10/31/seven-ways-to-boost-your-emotional-intelligence-so-you-can-develop-deeper-relationships/

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