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How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) helps you recognize and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. Psychology Today says EQ starts with having the emotional awareness of what’s going on with those around you, and appropriately applying that energy to tasks. Emotionally intelligent people can regulate their emotions and help others to do the same. The key to this process is a sense of empathy to understand the needs, wants, and viewpoints of the people around you.

Emotionally intelligent individuals are aware of what’s going on inside themselves and in their environment, and can take a step back and make decisions without letting these emotions take control.

10 tips for improving EQ

Dr. David Caruso, a management psychologist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence says EQ is a skill that can be honed over time. To improve your EQ, practice these 10 skills:

  1. Observe your emotions as they occur and consider why they’re happening.
  2. Watch your behaviors and think about why you’re acting in a particular way.
  3. Question and explore your internalized ideas and feelings.
  4. Take ownership for your feelings and hold yourself accountable for them.
  5. Celebrate positivity in your life.
  6. Acknowledge the negative events in life and understand that they don’t define you.
  7. Commit to the continuous improvement of your emotional management.
  8. Start journaling as a way to begin to look at yourself objectively.
  9. Give yourself room for mistakes, learn from them, and pledge to improve.
  10. Identify triggers of your negative and positive emotions and try to avoid them.

Actively seeking to improve your EQ is a process that’s worth the work. Until the idea of emotional intelligence surfaced, most people assumed it was IQ that drove humans to be more successful. A decade of research now points to the reality: EQ is what sets apart the top performers in a business. TalentSmart calls EQ “The strongest predictor of workplace performance.”

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Why is EQ important for your personal and professional life?

Why should you care about EQ? The studies show that individuals with high EQ have better career success and happiness. Forbes says, “Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills — it impacts most everything you do and say each day.” They report 90% of top workplace performance also rank highly in emotional intelligence. High EQ correlates with:

  • Better communication
  • Improved collaboration
  • More productive and positive relationships
  • Higher income

You can increase your emotional intelligence by adopting new behavioral strategies to help control runaway emotions. Over time, these deliberate actions will become habits that yield true ROI in both your professional and personal life.

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