Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to listen and interpret to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and not cast judgement over what you see. It affects how we manage behavior, interpret social interactions, and make decisions to achieve positive results.
Research now suggests that having the ability to harness self awareness in the form of emotional intelligence is a critical factor that sets star performers clear of the pack. How do you know how 'emotionally intelligent' you are? Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is an intangible measure that is unique to the individual, so it's difficult to measure exactly how much you've got, and if you're lacking. That said, there are behaviour traits that have been found through research to be common amongst the elite in society.
Here are my top six.
1. Be curious
Emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them, and is a product of empathy (understanding the experience of another from their point of view). The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more emotionally intelligent you’re going to be as a result of your curiosity.
2. Embrace change
Flexibility and adaptation are notable traits of the emotionally intelligent, who also recognise that fear of change is a major threat to their success and happiness. Those who find success, find themselves with the highest level of flexibility in response to change.
3. Know your strengths and weaknesses
Being emotionally intelligent isn’t only about emotions, it covers a knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses too. This includes the people and the environments that enable them to succeed. The EI know their strengths and how to use them to their full advantage while keeping weaknesses from slowing their progress.
4. Stop negative self-talk in its tracks
The more you focus on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. It’s important to remember that most negative thoughts are just that – thoughts, not facts. Emotionally intelligent people are able to pause, recognise their thoughts, and separate them from the facts. Doing so gives greater control to impulsive responses and breaks the negativity, opening the way for a more positive outlook.
5. Give and expect nothing in return
Giving something spontaneously without expecting anything in return, leaves a powerful impression with the receiver. Emotionally intelligent people build success through strong relationships, because they invest time in others and expect nothing in return.
6. Neutralize 'negative' people
Encounters with negative people are frustrating, exhausting, and to be avoided for the emotionally intelligent. Should an encounter be necessary, they use their rationale and identify their own emotions without allowing anger or frustration from others to fuel internal negativity. EI are able to remain neutral and consider the negative person’s standpoint, offering solutions and finding common ground, whilst avoiding being dragged down to a lower level.
As society continues to grow and trend towards a more holistic approach to business, it’s likely that those ahead of the game will be the ones who have elevated emotional intelligence. There are some amongst us who will be naturally gifted with EI through their upbringing, and there will be even more who can step up to the plate and hone this wonderful ability to generate success. The six behavioural traits mentioned here are a great way to start building your own emotional intelligence muscle and pave the way to a life of success, whatever that may be.
Post inspired by Travis Bradberry