People build companies and not the other way around. Therefore, feelings rule our personal and professional lives. If you can understand your emotions and those of others, you can successfully walk the tightrope of work-life balance. Importantly, you would score high on Emotional Intelligence (EI). But first things first. Don’t confuse EI with Emotional Quotient (EQ). Both are quite different. EQ only tells you what you are good at but doesn’t tell you how you actually use it in life, which EI does. Therefore, Emotional Intelligence is a more practical application than EQ. Without further ado, here are ways to enhance your EI, so you become more employable, because that’s the crucial requirement for business today and tomorrow. EI is one characteristic that will not only fetch you a job but also make you grow in your organisation.
Watch your emotions
This might sound like some kind of self-help advice, but that is how EI works. You have to watch over how you feel about things. The next time you get angry over something, just detach yourself from it and observe how you feel. Has your heart rate gone up? Are you feeling breathless? Is your forehead all stretched out? Has your throat gone hoarse? Just observe, don’t react or respond. When you do this, the emotion goes out the window and you see the situation for what it is, from a logical standpoint. It’s almost like observing yourself objectively. This is critical to cultivating emotional intelligence, because if you can’t understand yourself, how can you step into other’s shoes and feel what they feel. If this is a tough act to follow, the simplest way to know how you react to different situations is to ask someone close to you like your best friend, spouse, colleague or associate. You would be surprised by what they have to say about you. Once you have their feedback, you can take steps on correcting that perception by behaving in a more mature way.
Feel for the others
The next time you don’t like something about a person, don’t immediately come to conclusions. Instead, try to view the situation from that person’s point of view. Take their experience, age and intelligence into consideration before giving your response. For example, not everyone can do the same job as quick as you can, because you have experience and practice. The moment you step into the other person’s shoes, you will not only empathise, your response to any of their failures will be more constructive than reprimanding. That is how you become a good team member. And that is how you can grow a team as this simple technique teaches you much about relationship management. It showcases your social competence in any situation because you are self-aware and know how to manage emotions of both yourself and the others. It is your compassion that will shine a light on all the others around you and make you accepted and wanted. When you do this, you become a good listener who has an open mind. Once you really listen to what the person has to say, you will gain newer insight and also make the person feel that their opinions matter. And sometimes, there is no need to win an argument with logic when emotions are involved. Only a person who is emotionally intelligent will understand this and decide to lose the argument to avoid upsetting anyone.
Be responsible and responsive
Passing the buck comes easily to humans. We do it as a defensive tactic but don’t realise that the guilt will continue to gnaw at your soul and also upset the people around you who wonder why you are not accepting our responsibility. To develop your emotional intelligence, learn to accept responsibility. Pause to think before giving your response. For example, if you are angry about someone at work or campus, blame yourself for getting into that state. Your past relationship or bias towards that person could have caused your outburst and not that person. The moment you realise that your emotions are in your control, you will be able to control them and thereby, control the emotions of others. For example, if you don’t react to your subordinate with anger, the other person will immediately own up to their mistakes or feel humbled by your humility. When you stop reacting and start responding to any given situation, much of your emotions and those of others are easily controllable. Similarly, if your partner has failed you in business, don’t blame them. Instead ask yourself what you can learn from this experience and move on in life.
It’s easy to take offence for the minutest things. But it’s best to keep your ego at rest in such situations. Let the human in you step up and look at the positive side of it. When you make this a habit, it will make everyone around feel elated, chirpy and full of life. Positivity is infectious, so cultivate it.
A work in progress
There is no such thing as the perfect soul with the highest emotional intelligence. There are newer situations always putting you in a corner. However, if you keep the above things in mind, you should be able to come out unscathed, most of the time. Remember, cultivating EI requires practice and that can go on all your life. Remain a student and you will never regret it. Good luck!
Also published on Medium.