Emotional Intelligence, and How You Can Increase Yours

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Emotional intelligence has a lot to do with feelings. How well do you manage your own as well as other people’s emotions? Most people are never aware of how undeveloped their emotional intelligence is until they find the lack of it hampering their ability to have and enjoy a fulfilling life. Are there emotional intelligence exercises that you can do to strengthen this vital life skill? Yes, there are.

Emotional intelligence endows you with the ability to reason out emotional information and use this information to enhance your thought process. Emotional intelligence rotates around four main skills;

  • Self-management
  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

Emotional intelligence exercises that strengthen your self-awareness

Self-awareness in this context implies an in-depth knowledge of your emotions. How in touch or out of touch are you with your feelings?

  • How to be self-aware of your actions and their motivation
    Start monitoring every 30 minutes the things that you are doing and ask yourself why you are doing them. Is the activity you are on right now for you, or for another person, and how does it enhance your goals? As you monitor your actions, write them down. Compile these actions at the end of your day and identify what is most important to you, and take the step to spend more time doing it. This is one exercise that will assist you to focus and get a better insight of yourself. Are you expending your time doing things that matter to you and if not, its time to change things up.
  • How to stay aware of your beliefs and values
    List your deepest feelings and values. If your list shows you that you are spending your time on things that do not matter, then you are also doing things outside of your belief system. This exercise should help you be more self-aware of your beliefs and focus on following them.
  • How to stay in touch with your emotions
    Name the emotion you are feeling and write it down. Take time to reflect on it and understand it. Compare and analyze the feelings you have written down. What’s the negative vs. positive emotion ratio? Which emotion dominates the rest and what do you think causes it? This exercise will help you find out the source of your feelings and help you to eliminate the negative emotions triggers.

Emotional intelligence exercises for self-management

  • Breathing exercise
    Learn how to breathe, especially when stressed out. You can do this by taking a step back from the problem, closing your eyes and breathing in and out gently. This will relay the need to react right away to the source of your distress. Once calm, you can think straight and tackle the problem better.
  • Reframing exercise
    These will help you change your point of view when under stress, to help you manage your emotions. If you do not like a situation or behavior from another person, try reason out how that issue could be useful in another situation. What eventual positive outcome could arise out of a position that seems stressful to you at the moment?
  • Problem-solving exercise
    Take 15 minutes of your day and dedicate them to thinking an problem-solving.

 Emotional intelligence exercises that enhance your social awareness

  • Endeavor to be fully present in the moment or action you are doing. Observe the people you are speaking to, listen to them, experience entirely what is happening at the moment. You will get to know and understand others, and have a better fuller life.

Emotional intelligence exercises that enhance relationship management

  • Small gestures and words like please, I’m sorry or thank you matter and even more when they are not expressed over time. People love it when you use their name to address them; it is their most important attribute.
  • Explain the reasoning behind your decisions. This is especially important for leadership. When you have made a decision, explain why, highlight the options you had, and why your choice is optimum.
  • Tackle tough discussions or confrontations if you want to progress. Use empathy and try to understand what’s it is like being in another person’s shoes before defending yourself or speaking up. There is always shared ground in every problem, and it is possible to steer the problematic situation to a common ground.

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