By Amy Dee
Years ago, I worked as a nurse in a behavioral health hospital. One day we had an unfortunate incident. My co-workers took the adolescents to our gym. As always, the kids were warned to avoid hitting the celling. Above all, we were concerned they’d hit the sprinkler system.
Certainly, most kids followed the rules. Unfortunately, one day an angry teen intentionally smacked the sprinkler. Consequently, the sprinkler went off, and the gym was flooded.
The flooding caused considerable damage. Meanwhile, one of our managers stormed onto our unit. Unbelievably, she announced “The gym has $10,000 dollars of damage, so no raises this year!”
Subsequently, her outburst caused an adverse reaction from my co-workers. First, they didn’t want to lose their raise. Second, they thought this was unbelievably unfair. She immediately apologized for her comment, but it was too late. The damage was done. Chatter about her comment went on for weeks.
This manager allowed emotions to hijack her thinking. Understanding and strengthening her emotional intelligence may have helped.
Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that combine to establish how good you are at:
Explaining Emotional Intelligence
In short, EQ is how you blend your thinking with your feelings. It helps you make the right decisions, and build authentic relationships. Of course, many factors predict performance, development potential, and success in life. However, emotional intelligence is a critical factor in these areas.
You can developed, improved, and change your EQ over time. Studies estimate that EQ accounts for between 27% to 45% of job success.
Although EQ is often linked with management training and skills, everyone needs it.
Three tips to increase your emotional intelligence
1. Take Responsibility for Your Feelings and Behavior
No one can make you feel or act. You are responsible for your emotions and behavior. Accepting responsibility for how you feel and behave will positively impact other parts of your life.
2. Choose to respond rather than react
Reacting is an unconscious action. First, we experience an emotional trigger. Next, we act quickly without thinking to express or relieve the negative emotion we are feeling.
On the other hand, responding is a conscious process. To clarify, you take time to acknowledge the emotion, then choose how to behave.
3. Learn to empathize with yourself and others
Above all, empathy requires you to understand why someone feels or acts in a particular way. In addition, it requires you to explain your understanding. Certainly, we need self-empathy as much as everyone else. Strengthening your empathy comes with practice. It will also improve your EI.
First, begin by practicing on yourself. To clarify, notice your feelings and behavior, ask yourself, “Why do I feel or act this way?” Eventually, your self-awareness and self-control will increase.
Be patient with yourself.
EI isn’t one and done. Therefore, you must continue to practice. As a result, you keep improving over a lifetime. Every situation is different. You’ll need practice to hone this skill. It is worth it. You will reap a lifetime of benefits.
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