Are you often stressed out at work? Do you find it difficult to establish emotional connections with friends and co-workers? Are you unable to find positive solutions to problems? If the answer of one or more questions among these is yes, then you may have low emotional intelligence.

No, it has nothing to do with Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Indeed, even a person with an exceptionally high IQ might have low EQ. If you have low EQ, then you might find it difficult to focus properly at work, resolve problems peacefully, and develop meaningful relationships. Fortunately, EQ is something you can learn, and develop, with someone to guide you.

Developing Emotional Intelligence – 5 Key Factors

There are 5 key factors, or skills, which you need to develop in order to gain high emotional intelligence. These are as follows:

1. Busting Stress on the Fly

Managing stress when you are going through a situation that triggers it is difficult, but not impossible. Start by determining your body’s response to a stressful situation. Do your ears feel warm, does your breathing becomes shallow, or do you get an awful feeling in your stomach? Once you notice where in your body you feel stress, you have found the starting point to change it. The next step is to find out what relaxes your mind quickly. Perhaps thinking about your spouse/loved ones, picturing your pet’s antics, or even humming your favourite tune can help. Keep trying different options until you find the perfect one. You need to find an emotional state changer. Efficient stress management will go a long way in helping you develop high emotional intelligence.

2. Developing Emotional Awareness

How important a factor do emotions play in your decision-making? Do you make decisions in a hurry, based on how you are feeling at that moment? Do that too often and you could get into trouble. You want to find a way to control your impulses, and let logic and impartiality take the front seat when making a decision. Emotional impulses should not distance you from reality, forcing you to make decisions that are neither practical nor beneficial for people directly involved with it. After all, as Daniel Goleman stated in his book Emotional Intelligence – “In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels”. You need to ensure that your thinking mind takes the lead in professional decision-making. Whenever you find emotions influencing your mind during decision making, stop and take a deep breath. Take a little time if you need, before you make the choice, but make sure your choice is impartial and targeted towards achieving greater good.

3. Noticing Body Language

How do you stand when you present to your team? Are your hands in your pockets, or do you use them to express your emotions? Do you look at people’s eyes when you talk to them, or do you avoid eye contact as much as possible? Take some time to carefully and honestly note down these actions; even better ask someone to give you feedback about these. Once you have spotted the areas where you have drawbacks, you can work towards eliminating them. Your body language, essentially a major part of nonverbal communication, will go a long way in helping you develop high emotional intelligence.

4. Using Humour to Overcome Hardships

Finding humour in stressful situations can help you deal with them with a more positive outlook. A good, hearty laugh can ease stress, clear your head and let you make better decisions. Also, playful banter with colleagues during breaks can relax your mind, and help you find alternative solutions for your problems, in a creative way. These suggestions will help change your emotional state.

5. Resolving Conflicts on a Positive Note

Conflict of ideals or beliefs is common in a work place and inevitable too. However, you can control how you deal with them. Raising your voice at the other person or criticising them might seem tempting, but won’t earn you any respect as a problem solver. Instead, try to find a solution that has a note of positivity around it, and benefits all parties involved in the conflict.

On a final note – don’t worry if you are unable to handle these issues on your own. This happens to many professionals. Instead, contact us.