The ways in which you can increase your emotional intelligence

You’ve all heard about a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ), but have you heard about the equally important emotional quotient (EQ)?

It’s probably lesser known, but as equally important.

Your EQ allows you to build and maintain relationships because you are able to understand and manage your emotions and those other other people. It’s quite a skill to have, especially if you are navigating your way through relationships with family, friends, your significant other, or even a boss or colleague.

To be successful you need to have three core skills, or be constantly developing them:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Motivation to look at a problem and find a solution
  3. Social skills
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The ways in which you can do this are quite simple.

By incorporating more social interactions into your day you can connect better with others. Dr Julie Gurner, a consultant and speaker based in New York, United States told Women’s Health Magazine that instead of listening to music, texting or checking your email you should seek out genuine interactions every day.

Another way you can boost your EQ is by writing down your thoughts and feelings, which will allow you to not only identify your emotions but assist in understanding them too. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, who authored the book Emotional Intelligence, says the practice of conscious writing and reflection relates strongly to emotional intelligence because it connects you to self-awareness, your awareness of others, the ability to develop empathy and an understanding of your needs and the needs of others, and it is a way of identifying patterns of behaviour.

Another benefit to journaling is the opportunity it affords you to clear your mind of clutter. In doing this you will keep your thoughts free of angst and negativity, which will allow you to make considered and well thought out decisions.

Gurner also says that helping others is a way of extending your EQ.

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“Doing something completely out of kindness and for a cause you believe in puts you in touch with others with similar perspectives, but likely others outside of your normal social sphere,” she told Women’s Health Magazine.

If you have ever written an e-mail or posted a Facebook comment in anger, this bit of information might help you increase your EQ. While everyone has emotions, it’s not always best to act on them. People who have a high level EQ are more likely to step back and consider their response first. Acknowledge that everyone has their own battle, and try not to make decisions or fire off a communication while you are angry, hurt or scared.

Finally, it is also important if you want to develop your EQ to be a good listener. You don’t always have to provide solutions where others might be struggling — sometimes it is more important that you are the one to lend an ear when another is wanting to work through their problems.

Don’t be afraid to ask a person ‘Are you okay?’ either because it’s not always easy to read how someone is feeling.

Are you interested in boosting your emotional intelligence? How do you rate your kindness, calmness and compassion?