What is your EQ? Learning the basics of Emotional Intelligence

PSOW Staff - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Anyone in today’s stressful and hectic world can be prone to flying off the handle from time to time. With work, family, finances and all the pressures of a modern world, even the most level-headed of people can lose control of their emotions. But how do we become better at identifying the emotions that cause us to lose control?

One way to gain control of your behavior is to be mindful of your own Emotional Intelligence, or EQ. By learning what drives your thinking and behavior as well as the behavior of others, you can increase your EQ to alter your actions and reactions to life and create more successful relationships in both your personal and professional lives.

Identify your feelings and those of others: This is simply being mindful about your emotional reactions to events or watching how others respond to certain events. Remember, emotions are a very important source of information and major decisions tend to incorporate emotions to be effective. So, when you become aware of how you respond in certain situations, you start the process of building control. Also know that if you don’t pay attention to your emotions, you may act them out haphazardly, often with negative results.

Observe your behavior through the eyes of someone else: In most cases, the way we view ourselves is totally different than how someone else may view us—and vice versa. This isn’t a case of being right or wrong, it’s simply understanding that everyone has their own perspective. To get an objective view on your own behavior, ask someone you are close to how you dealt with them in the past. You can also ask if you were sensitive to the other person’s feelings and emotions. The answers may surprise you and help you to see yourself—and others—in a more empathetic manner.

Hit the pause button: Taking a brief pause before you say or do something in the heat of the moment has saved jobs, friendships, marriages and probably lives! We know that stress and busy schedules can inhibit our ability to manage emotions, but being mindful of your thoughts, words and actions before you share them can create a habit of being mindful of potentially negative consequences.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: Showing empathy is one of the hardest things to actively remember because of the self-centered nature of most humans. But when we put ourselves into someone else’s shoes, we purposely attempt to understand what it is our fellow humans are going through in life. To become more empathetic, ask yourself why someone feels the way they do? What is it that he or she is dealing with that I am unaware of? Why do I feel differently than they do? Getting the answers to these questions allows us to better understand the perspective of others, helping create better relationships with colleagues, family members and loved ones.

Learning from criticism:Whether you’re the boss or the intern, criticism can be hard to take. Instead of taking offense at negative comments or reactions, ask yourself what you can learn from the feedback? If you look at criticism with an objective and non-emotional stance, you open your mind to new ways of thinking, potential collaboration and a different perspective on your work. You may not always agree with the criticism, but differing viewpoints can offer very valuable intel.

Go Back