The Craft of Leadership: Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is one of the constructs that has gained greater popularity in recent decades in psychology since it is key in work, educational, and sports performance, and it is essential for people’s well-being, happiness, and personal development.
Fundamentally, it is about the set of our mental abilities aimed at identifying and regulating our emotions and feelings and recognizing them in other people to empathize better.
Engage in Exercises and activities to develop your Emotional Intelligence
If you already know what Emotional Intelligence is and its benefits, the next step is to put it into practice. Here is a list of activities and tips that will allow you to develop your Emotional Intelligence.
1. Have your journal of emotions
To start practicing Emotional Intelligence daily, there is nothing better than having an emotional journal. This activity is simple, as it is similar to the classic teen diary.
To carry out the emotion’s diary, you only have to take 10 or 20 minutes a day, preferably before bed, to review how your day has gone emotionally. If, for example, you feel that you have been experiencing stress and feel sad, write it down. Review how you felt during the week and compare it to the week before.
You must add strategies to feel better: tasks that you can do to avoid excess negative emotions. With the emotion’s diary, it is possible to work on emotional self-knowledge and emotional regulation as you use it. This strategy is useful to understand your emotions and to give you feedback on how you feel.
2. Active listening: observe non-verbal language
Active listening is one of the social skills that we all should have but rarely put into practice. And there is a great difference between listening and hearing. Active listening focuses not only on words; that is, it considers non-verbal language and the communication of emotions.
To carry it out in your day-to-day, you need to take a few minutes of your conversations to listen actively voluntarily. You may think that it is simple, but it is common that instead of paying full attention to the other person’s communication, our thoughts and beliefs contaminate our interpersonal communication. So, the next time you are in front of someone, take a few minutes to observe their body language, gestures, looks, expressions, and emotions that the other interlocutor conveys.
3. The wheel of life
The wheel of life is one of the most effective techniques to know ourselves and correct those areas of our life we are not happy with. Performing this exercise takes no more than 20 minutes, and its operation is very simple. Its effectiveness is such that even experts in personal development use this technique.
This technique helps us know our wants and needs, which are often hidden by social demands. Therefore, it is a way of empowering ourselves in front of life, putting down on paper what we want and what is important to us. This way, we can have a clearer vision of where we want to go, from outside our heads.
To do this exercise, we need a sheet of paper that contains a circle to list which areas of our life are important to us, and we want to work. For example, work, friends, partner, family, leisure. Then, it is necessary to evaluate each variable with a score that shows our preference. For example, if work is the most important thing, we will put the number “1”. Once we are clear about the order of preference, it is necessary to write down different actions to improve our lives.
4. Vipassana meditation
There are different types of meditation, and although many people think that this technique only serves to calm us down, some of these meditative practices are useful to improve Emotional Intelligence. One of the best known is vipassana meditation. Vipassana is a term from the Pali language that means “observation” or “clear vision.”
Vipassana meditation emphasizes awareness and attention on breathing, focusing the mind on the air that enters and leaves the nose. When the mind begins to ruminate, it is necessary to label the thoughts and emotions, observe them and let them go, accepting them.
5. Stop a minute
Emotional regulation is also one of the keys to Emotional Intelligence and interpersonal relationships. But it is not always possible to stop a minute of our life to analyze the present moment. Imagine that you are in collective bargaining at work, and things get out of hand. The atmosphere has become tense, and you are not reaching an agreement because there is a certain tone of tension. You may want to stop for a moment, clear your mind, and respond and negotiate with your head rather than your heart.
You can learn to relax and control your emotions with a one-minute meditation. Once you’ve perfected it, you can use it anytime, anywhere. In the previous example (that of collective bargaining), if things get out of hand, it is always better to take 5 minutes off so that the waters return to their channel, and the negotiation can resume with serenity. In that situation, you could take advantage of that rest to practice this exercise.
6. Read a book
Emotional Intelligence skills can be worked on and improved over time. If you want to enjoy its benefits, it is a good option to read a book on this subject out of the many on the market. These texts are a good way to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge, and you will surely notice the difference. The variety of books is such that you can even help your children develop Emotional Intelligence.
7. Sign up for a workshop
If reading a book on Emotional Intelligence is a great option to improve your emotional and relationship skills, it is even better to sign up for a personal growth course on this subject. The truth is that this is a good way to carry out group practices of an experiential and experiential type.
Also, you can choose, for example, any of the Emotional Intelligence courses offered by specialized centers, which allow you to receive quality training in an online format and from anywhere with an Internet connection. Thus, people interested in perfecting mental skills linked to Emotional Intelligence can get involved in a very accessible and quality training program.
8. Attend coaching sessions
In addition to these last two options, it is possible to attend coaching sessions to develop your Emotional Intelligence. A coach is an expert in personal development that will help you get to know yourself better and develop your emotional skills and accompany you in the change process so that you improve your well-being and overcome your limiting beliefs. The coach will provide you with tools that will help you improve your Emotional Intelligence and also achieve your goals and objectives if the coach has university training as a psychologist, much better.
9. Observe and analyze your behavior
Be aware of your reaction to the situations you experience. Analyze your attitude and try to understand how it affected your day and your relationships. Change your attitude every time you feel the result was negative.
10. Master your emotions
Impulsiveness is not a good ally for most situations. So, try to master your impulses and emotions before making decisions or saying something. Try to remain calm and reason above all else. Breathing exercises can help at this time.
11. Learn how to deal with negative emotions
We don’t just have good times and good feelings, and when negative emotions (anger, fear, insecurity, sadness) occur, we have to dominate them and not allow them to control us.
12. Increase self-confidence
Believe in your potential and capabilities. Believe that you can overcome obstacles and that you can overcome difficulties and moments of crisis. Do this for yourself by emphasizing your qualities and talents.
13. Learn to manage pressure
The charges come from everywhere and constantly; that’s why we need to develop emotional Intelligence and learn to manage the pressure of day to day without letting emotion take over. Try to remain calm in all situations and think rationally. Breathe and control anxiety so as not to be overcome by emotion.
14. Don’t be afraid to express yourself
Not letting emotions dominate is not the same as not showing them. You must explain what you feel and express your opinion; however, you must present your thinking in a rational and balanced way. The same goes for the most intimate emotions. Talk about your feelings in the relationship and express affection, love, and even lack it.
15. Develop a sense of empathy
Nothing better to understand the other than put yourself in their shoes. Always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes when experiencing a situation to understand their attitudes. Reversing the roles can help you be more tolerant and understanding.
16. Exercise respect for others
We all have needs, restrictions, rights, and obligations, so we must recognize that we have defects and qualities to respect and recognize others’ qualities and defects. Emotional Intelligence is also characterized by respect for others, solidarity, and appreciation of others’ talents.
In addition to working on your emotional Intelligence on your own, you can seek a psychology professional who will help you understand and deal with your emotions. This will allow you to develop your potential and face the people around you, maintaining healthier relationships. To further ensure harmony in your day to day, see how to identify signs of stress and slow down!