I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve spent the past couple of days at a conference learning about Emotional Intelligence. Apparently this has been the rage in the business world for the past few years. The church is talking about it now, too, helping pastors and other church workers know themselves better so that they can help others better.
Emotional Intelligence is measured by four things:
- Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand my moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others.
- Self-Management: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses or moods, to suspend judgment — to think before acting.
- Social Awareness: The ability to “read” the emotional realities of others; skill in responding to people based upon their emotional “map.”
- Relationship Management: Proficiency in managing conflict, building networks, and energizing appropriate behavior in others.
You can read all about it here. When you are more self-aware and more aware of the feelings and emotions with others all of your relationships will improve. It will even help the way you perform in your work, whatever your work may be.
There are specific ways you can sharpen your Emotional Intelligence. Each of the four categories can be enhanced by doing a few specific things:
- Sharpening Self-Awareness: When you feel something, make yourself more aware of it by naming the emotion you’re feeling. Write down the “what,” “when,” and “why” of the things that trigger unhappy feelings or strong emotions. Note how your emotions impact others. Become aware of whom and what “pushes your buttons” so that you can prevent emotional outbursts.
- Sharpening Self-Management: Create an emotion vs. reason list. In other words, write down: “When _________ happens, then __________ happens.” Smile and laugh more. Control your self-talk, the things you say to yourself inside your head. Becoming more aware of your self-talk can go a long way toward improving moods and relationships. Avoid “victim” thinking. It’s detrimental to your own emotional well-being and your relationships with others.
- Sharpening Social Awareness: Try to figure out how accurate you are in deciphering the feelings and emotions of others. Live in the moment by not always rehashing the past or being fearful of the future. Improve your listening skills. Speak honestly, with love.
- Sharpening Relationship Management: Be transparent and respectfully curious. Practice “invitational” talk; in other words, say to people: “Tell me more about that.” Build trust by greeting others by name whenever you can. Do your best to bring out the best in others.
Try these things and watch your work and relationships improve. Don’t we all want better relationships both at home and at work?
How have you seen emotional intelligence improve your work or relationships?