The art of emotional intelligence requires reflective thinking. You ask yourself “How am I coming off to the person in front of me?” Am I behaving in a way that is supportive of myself and that other? Think about behaving in a way that shows your sincerity and your humility. There’s simply not enough of that in the world today!
Let me give you some hints about how to practice the art of emotional intelligence.
- Self Awareness: Knowing what you feel and why and what are your strengths and areas you would like to improve on.
Again, this takes some reflective thinking. Pull back on the reigns of your self. Slow down and listen to the things that come out of your mouth. Are they kind? Do you exhibit patience?
- Self Management: Use self awareness to get better at handling your impulses and your disruptive emotions. Actually STOP before you blurt out the same old reaction habits you always do. It will surprise those around you. Give it a chance and see if others don’t also change. Yes, I know… they should change first. Get off that thought and be the bigger person. You can only control yourself, no one else! This is the heart of emotional intelligence.
- Empathy: Emotional intelligence is about sensing how other people feel and being able to read them accurately. Actually LISTEN to others without thinking about what you want to say next. Then pause and let them know you heard them. Show interest in what they say. The best gift you can give someone is the gift of your attention. Ask them questions about what they just said to you. BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER. Use your best intuition to feel the vibe and think what you or another person might need in this moment.
- Skillful Relationships: Pay attention and focus on your needs and then blend that with what someone else needs. Our relationships are our most valuable life experience. Treat them with fairness, respect and care.
Healthy and loving relationships develop with emotional intelligence when there is:
- Trust – When another person knows they are safe with you they can be themselves. Give another human being that gift. Be trustworthy with their secrets and guard them like they were family.
- A Feeling of Safety – Again, a person can heal when they feel safe. We all have emotional upsets that we need a friend to hear. Be that friend!
- Real Listening Skills – Listen with the intent to HEAR not reply. Sometimes a compassionate witness is just ‘what the doctor ordered.’
- Real Focus – Yes, this listening takes focus, concentration, and heart. You can do it!
- Fairness and Respect – Always treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Communication Skills Awareness:
- Verbal: What we say and how we say it.
Watch your tone with others. Sometimes we are not aware that our tone can be hurtful. Avoid sarcasm. You may think it’s funny but it’s rarely helpful or needed.
- Non-Verbal: What we communicate without words, through body language, tone of voice or our actions.
Yes, this is more difficult but try and become aware of how you carry yourself, your facial expressions, and your overall demeanor.
- Listening Skills: How we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.
Stay clear with others by asking questions immediately if you think you heard something that offended you. 99% of the time it was not what the other person wanted to relay. Upsets can be easily overcome by getting things straightened out immediately
Above all have a sense of humor! People with high emotional intelligence have an excellent sense of humor and use it frequently to dispel all kinds of difficult situations. You can do it!
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