How to Improve Your EQ
I’ve written and talked about what emotional intelligence is and why it’s important in leadership. Now that I’ve started that discussion, I think the next critical question to ask is, “can I improve it?”
According to thousands of scholarly and scientific articles, the answer is yes.
So, what does it take?
1. Find a Way to Get Accurate Feedback.
The Harvard Business Review stipulates that you can only improve your EQ (your emotional quotient) if you get accurate feedback. I also agree that feedback is enormously important. After all, we all know how difficult it is to identify our own blind spots, but without the knowledge of where you need to grow, you won’t grow. This is why at RedRock Leadership we incorporate EQ and behavioral assessments into our training process. These assessments are super helpful in helping you explore your strengths and weaknesses, and then learn how to manage them so that you can collaborate effectively with every member of your team.
2. Practice Consistently
No one expects to transform their body with only one visit to the gym or become a concert pianist after only one or two piano lessons. In the same way, don’t expect your EQ to hit an all-time high with only a few minutes of thought. Your EQ has been forming and developing your entire life. The only way to introduce new patterns into your way of thinking and acting is by making it a daily practice. This includes:
- Working to reduce negative emotions about yourself and about others so they do not cloud your judgement;
- Managing stress effectively to build confidence and to deal with events assertively vs. reactively; and,
- Asking constructive questions in the face of adversity to enable problem resolution, and not perceived failure. This means asking questions like “how can I learn from this?” “What are other solutions?” “What happened here and how can it be avoided in the future?”
3. Learn About Others
Having a higher EQ means being able to manage not only your own emotions, but those of the people around you. The best way to learn to think and feel from another’s perspective is by asking lots of questions and listening. How well do you know the people you work with? You don’t need to be everyone’s best friend, but you should know at least a little about them in order to develop empathy and get better at understanding situations.
Check in on your employees and ask how their lives are going; and, when they experience successes and challenges at work, ask them specific questions about what they did, thought, and felt throughout the experience. These questions reveal if someone is aware of their own emotions, a sign of a high EQ, and help you better understand their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this will help you both in future interactions with each other.
If you’re willing to get after it every day, you can improve your EQ. By doing so, you can improve your career and your personal life. Contact us to learn more today.
Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership