As you socialise at work, at home or around school, you have probably come across individuals who are good listeners. Regardless of how tough the situation might seem for you, they always know how to approach it and what words to use to calm you down. Even if they don’t provide you with a solution to your problem, they always seem to know how to talk you down, leaving you feeling optimistic about your next steps.

You might have also met people who are experts in managing their emotions. They never seem to get fazed when in a stressful situation – instead, they settle down and calmly find a solution to any issue they face. Such individuals possess a high degree of emotional intelligence. But what exactly is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to be aware of and control one’s emotions. Emotionally intelligent individuals can remain calm in terrifying situations and handle their interpersonal relationships judiciously and emphatically. Would you like to be an emotionally intelligent person?

In the modern world, organisations increasingly use emotional intelligence as a criterion for hiring or promoting employees. According to a study by Gitnux, 71% of employers prefer employees with emotional intelligence over IQ. They believe high emotional intelligence is essential as it allows individuals to keep a straight head under pressure, respond to their fellow employees with empathy and find solutions to conflicts promptly.

So, if you want to succeed in your career and personal life, improving your emotional intelligence is essential.

Top 5 Ways to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Name Your Emotions
The first step towards improving your emotional intelligence is noticing and naming your emotions. For most of us, emotions can feel like a powerful force that takes us for a ride we cannot control. However, studies have shown that you can help calm yourself down by noticing and naming your emotions. But how does naming emotions enable you to improve your emotional intelligence?

When you perfect the art of noticing and naming your emotions, you give yourself a chance to take a step back and think about what to do with them. Think of emotions as a form of energy that seeks expression for you to calm down. So, suppose you can find a way to share your feelings in the simplest terms. In that case, you can better manage and contain your emotions, even in the most difficult of situations – which is essential in improving your emotional intelligence.

Emotional and Behavioural Assessment
Besides noticing and naming your emotions, emotional and behavioural assessment can also help enhance your emotional intelligence. It is essentially a self-evaluation process that allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and make the necessary adjustments. That also makes it easier to track your progress and determine areas you might want to work on.

Like IQ, emotional intelligence can be measured. There are various online tools such as DISC assessment that you can use to conduct a personal assessment to understand your behaviours further and enhance your emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Taking an emotional and behavioural assessment can also help provide you with insight into your personality and how you can practice self-awareness. These two characteristics are incredibly essential to your efforts toward improving emotional intelligence.

If you take these self-assessment tests every four months or quarterly, you should be able to see the improvement. It also makes it easier to identify your weaknesses, find ways to work on them and realise your emotional intelligence goals faster.

Sign Up for an Emotional Intelligence Course
Another step you can take to improve your emotional intelligence is investing in an emotional intelligence course. This type of intelligence training is especially essential for individuals who haven’t noticed any improvement after taking emotional intelligence and behavioural assessment. However, you can also take the course, even as a beginner, if you want to realise your emotional intelligence goals faster.

An emotional intelligence course focuses on improving self-awareness, self-control, confidence, communication skills and empathy. It enables you to model better behaviour, learns how to handle yourself around the workplace and educate those around you about the seriousness of the topic so that you can work together towards the same goals.

You don’t have to make any financial investment toward your emotional intelligence training since there are many free online courses. All you have to do is commit and dedicate your time and energy to a self-directed program.

Practice Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is arguably the most critical step toward improving your emotional intelligence. It is very likely to be side-tracked by your emotions if you aren’t aware of how they affect what you are doing. Since these skills are hierarchical and you build your emotional intelligence on noticing and owning your emotions, developing your sense of self-awareness is essential.

But how do you master your sense of self-awareness?

There are three crucial foundational skills for building a strong sense of self-awareness:

  • Emotional awareness – Recognising how your emotions affect performance and decision-making capacity.
  • Self-assessment – Identifying your strengths and weakness and clearly envision areas where you need work.
  • Self-confidence – Courage that comes with being certain of oneself’ s strengths and capabilities.

Keep a Journal
Journaling is an extension of naming your emotions – only that you do them in writing and not by word-of-mouth. It is a remarkable way to get in tune with your feelings and how they affect your day. As mentioned earlier, improving your emotional intelligence starts with being in synch with your emotions. So, keeping a journal and recording every little detail of how you felt across the day can significantly help your efforts toward becoming emotionally intelligent.

Besides helping you get in tune with your feelings, journaling provides a safe place to unravel your emotions. It gives you a safe space to ‘unburden’ without fearing judgement from others and, most importantly, helps you determine alternative ways to express feelings beyond reflective writing and journaling.

In a Nutshell
Emotional intelligence is critical to relating well to others, realising your goals and achieving general success in life. That’s why many companies today use emotional intelligence to ensure they hire individuals that can help take them to higher heights.

Unfortunately, only 36% of people in the world are emotionally intelligent to suit the levels required by HR consultants and modern organisations. If you want to be among these individuals, it is essential to follow these few steps, among others, and start cultivating your emotional intelligence today.