Over the last several years, the topic of emotional intelligence has become increasingly popular. People with average IQs have been shown to outperform people with high IQs roughly 70% percent of the time because they have greater emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence? It’s the ability to evaluate, control, and express emotions and assess the feelings of others. A lack of emotional intelligence can be a barrier to success on every playing field — from personal to professional pursuits.
Are you ready to boost your emotional intelligence and improve how you function as a human being? There are three easy steps that you need to follow.
Step #1 – Notice
Imagine you have a frustrated client. That means you have a critical issue on your hands. If, as a leader, you find yourself clamming up, the rest of your team will feed off that energy, which bring progress to a screeching halt. Friction sucks, and these high stress emotions can cause you to make decisions purely to alleviate your anxiety, but that don’t actually address the challenge at hand.
It’s time to notice what’s going on. Take the time to check in with yourself. Consider how you are feeling at the moment. Noticing your “way of being” can increase your self-awareness, which is a key part of developing your emotional intelligence. Plus, you’re taking the first step towards approaching the situation with some level of zen instead of panic.
Step #2 – Choose
Now that you’re paying attention to you “way of being,” the next step is to decide how you want to be.
Consider this: Say that client is causing conflict, and now it’s escalated to an in-person meeting. Ostrich-head-in-the-sand-mode: Engage!
Just kidding. While feeling tense isn’t wrong, it’s probably not going to be helpful for the team. What might benefit them instead is a calm and balanced response. (You got this, zen master.) Your behavior will allow them to see all of the possibilities rather than becoming mired in negativity.
Always acknowledge that how you choose to be is just that — your choice. This will help you to manage your emotions and recognize the role your choice plays in boosting your own emotional intelligence, as well as the performance of your whole team.
Step #3 – Be
Ready to rock and roll? Channel that way of being into all that you do. If you’ve decided to be peaceful as you address your red-faced client, take the time to calm your mind, slow your breathing, and relax your muscles. This is the first step to implementing the decision you’ve made. Remember: the number one threat to communication is conflict, and you have the power to resolve it peacefully.
It’s Go Time
With these three steps, you can start to manage your emotions and be an effective leader, even during difficult times. Simple to implement, especially with repetition and intention, making a conscious effort to practice even one of these steps will boost your emotional intelligence and help you connect with your mission and your staff as a human being.
Channel your inner coach, and remember the value of practice, practice, practice. Seriously, practice these three steps until they become second nature. This process will empower you as a leader in a way that will benefit the entire team and truly kick ass. Proverbially, of course.