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7 Ways To Transform Your Career by Developing Emotional Intelligence

By Leslie Hughes

Moms who work outside of the home, this one is especially for you! Likely you’ve helped your little one(s) begin to develop their emotional intelligence at home. Read on for 7 tips to apply emotional intelligence to your career success as well.

As more studies show emotional intelligence (E.I.) improves employee productivity and job performance, it becomes a more coveted skill in the office. E.I. is when you can understand the emotions of yourself and others and manage your feelings well. It shows a balance between intelligence and self-awareness. E.I. is an asset, especially for leaders. That may be because E.I. reflects an ability to make better decisions, employ problem-solving skills, and communicate with impact.

Bradberry & Graves (2009) rate E.I. into four categories:

1. Self-management: You can think clearly in situations where you feel stressed, anxious, or angry. Self-management indicates being able to separate yourself and how you should act from your emotions.

2. Self-awareness: Helps your ability to change negative habits, thoughts, or behavior. When you have a high level of self-awareness, you can recognize how your beliefs and emotions affect your thoughts and behavior.

3. Social awareness: Your ability to “read the room.” You can understand what others need to feel comfortable, as well as see social dynamics at play. Social awareness indicates how well you pick up on social cues or needs.

4. Relationship management: You manage conflict well, work well with others, and develop positive relationships overall. Relational management indicates good interpersonal skills.

7 tips for building E.I.:

1. Practice self-awareness. Self-awareness reflects your ability to look at yourself objectively. Notice when you react to something on autopilot, think about the feedback you receive, and practice seeing things from other people’s points of view and not just your own.

2. Receive criticism with grace. Think before you react to criticism. Use criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow.

3. See conflict as an opportunity to learn and understand more about others. Conflict can be frustrating, but it’s inevitable. Instead of avoiding it, take conflict as an opportunity to understand where another person is coming from.

4. Learn to “read the room.” How well do you pick up on the feelings of people around you? Do you know who to go to when you need a solution? What “unwritten rules” do people follow at your workplace? Being able to read the room can position you as a superstar or changemaker at your organization.

5. Listen to others. People with high E.I. are great listeners. Are you doing all the talking, or are you making space to listen as well? Try to listen in meetings and make an effort to ask people what they think.

6. Speak up and express yourself. In addition to great listening skills, emotionally intelligent people are great at speaking up when it matters, too. Don’t be afraid to pitch your out-of-the-box ideas, or make sure your opinions get heard!

7. Work to people’s strengths. People work differently and have different strengths. Be flexible to the different types of people who make up your team. Create an environment for each person to thrive and be engaged and innovative.

People with higher E.I. have an easier time managing their stress levels, building better relationships, and reading the room. Prowess managing your stress levels means you can calmly lead a team through high-stress situations. Building better relationships can help keep your team members engaged and motivated. Being able to read the room can help you know the right person to approach when you’re tackling a problem or take action when you notice a colleague feeling stressed

Developing higher levels of E.I. will benefit you at work and home as well!

Want more quick tips to increase your success in the workplace? Follow along on Instagram @drlesliehughes and check out!

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