How to Develop Emotional Intelligence

 Emotional Intelligence is…

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions; and influence the emotions of others.

There are many models and definitions existing today for Emotional Intelligence. IHHP has conducted extensive research that spans across several years, and based on this knowledge, created one simplified, day-to-day working definition for Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence starts with self-awareness.

While many of us believe we are not emotional beings, a closer look makes us realize that we live in a constant emotional state – sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, and sometimes disappointed – but always operating in an emotional state on some level.

That’s where self-awareness comes in. Leading people isn’t about how smart your are or whether you have the most knowledge or best ideas. It is about how you handle pressure and how well connected to the emotions that drive people’s behavior.

Insight into self-awareness starts here:

  • Ask your leader, a friend, peer mentor or even a direct report to give you honest and candid feedback about your leadership
  • Take an EI360 assessment – there is no better way to gain awareness of the impact you are having on people then getting feedback from them anonymously
  • Reach out to people and spent time with them to ask them how they felt I was showing up as a leader. They key is to listen and not get defensive when they give you less than glowing feedback
  • Attend an Emotional Intelligence training program to gain further awareness about how your brain responds under pressure (like when if you get tough feedback), strategies to manage those emotions, and tools to connect and coach others
  • Get a coach.   Good EQ coaches have an amazing way of asking questions that help you realize your own impact and help you find ways to improve

If that all sounds like too much, one simple step you can take is to do a free on-line self-assessment. The key is to think about the questions from other people’s perspective and answer them honestly.

The first step toward greater self-awareness is a tough one to take, but one of the most important and most beneficial steps you will take in your life!