Want Your Business To Succeed? Start Practicing Emotional Intelligence.
Why is it so important for leaders and entrepreneurs to develop emotional intelligence? How is the ability to control the way one feels supposed to be one of the most important assets when creating well-being as well as elevating business?
High-performers experience constant pressure, stress and the need to meet their own expectations merged with the challenge of leading their people effectively and elevating their business. This is not an easy task to deal with on a daily basis without burning out. Emotional intelligence is exactly what can help make this challenge easier.
When someone has a high EQ, they recognize and understand their emotions and are able to control them and express feelings adequately. Therefore, they can relate better to other people’s feelings and behaviors, develop empathy and meet them where they are, which is essential to great leadership. When they are able to see things for what they are and take a step back when necessary, they are less likely to get caught up in their emotions. Decisions are being made from a place of calm and clarity, and they respond intentionally to situations as opposed to reacting out of default or habit. This is of advantage in life as well as in business. Emotionally intelligent people simply are better at relating to themselves and others, which helps them grow their personal and professional relationships.
Here are four steps to increase your EQ today:
Being aware of how you react out of habit is essential to changing it. The first step to becoming more emotionally intelligent is to observe your emotions as they appear, in the situations and conversations when they are triggered, and to then label them. Bring them from your unconscious to your conscious by stating what feelings you’re experiencing. Most people are not aware if they are feeling angry, sad, disappointed or threatened. Uncovering and labeling your feelings sets the foundation to working with them.
In order to change the way you feel about a situation, you must first change the way you think about it. After getting clear on what exact emotion shows up, the second step is to find out why it appears, where it comes from and what beliefs might cause your default reaction. Become curious about the reason behind it. Often, anger and frustration are not rational, and when we think things through, they don’t even make sense. Maybe you’re holding a grudge that is being triggered, or your ego might feel threatened and want to defend itself. The more honest you can be with yourself, the faster you’ll get to the root of your emotions, understand them and gain perspective.
Thirdly, control your emotions by consciously choosing how you want to respond in order to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties included. When in a difficult conversation, let the other person know that you’ll continue talking after a short break. Step out of the situation, leave the room, breathe, and let your emotions settle. Consider multiple ways of how you could respond, and assess the costs and benefits of each action. Be aware that you’re in control if you want to be right or create opportunity. Are you choosing to listen to your ego or let the other person feel understood and find a solution together? Even if you still feel upset, ask yourself if you want to respond based on emotion or logic. Whichever choice you make, know that you’re responsible for the outcome.
The fourth step to becoming more emotionally intelligent is to learn how to express your feelings appropriately without repressing them. Additionally, to consciously respond to a situation, communicate what emotions you’re experiencing. Be honest with yourself and others to increase trust and connection. Give them permission to share their beliefs and feelings without being judged, and move forward together.
Becoming emotionally intelligent does not happen overnight. Rather, it’s a muscle to be built and a habit to be created. Not only can you practice during difficult times but also by observing everyday situations, where it’s easier to gain perspective. It’s key to building relationships, understanding yourself and others better and increasing opportunities. Controlling your emotions and expressing them adequately rather than being controlled by them makes all the difference in business, leadership and communication as well as in creating resilience and well-being.