Your EQ Toolkit: Six Ways to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

May 16, 2019

The term “emotional intelligence” seems to be everywhere but for many, it can be a tricky concept to truly understand. How do you practice emotional intelligence? How can you cultivate your emotional quotient (EQ)?

 

Our Emotional Intelligence Toolkit is a six-step guide to controlling your thoughts, managing stress and difficult emotions, improving your relationships, and following through on positive intentions. Following these steps can help you to:

 

  • Better manage stress and anxiety

  • Become connected to your thoughts and feelings

  • Follow through on your goals and dreams

  • Change self-defeating moods and attitudes

 

1. Understand What EI Truly Is

 

“Emotional Intelligence,” or EI, isn’t just some squishy concept that business people throw around. It’s about developing a deep and meaningful relationship with yourself, your thoughts and feelings, and how that relationship affects how you treat others.

 

Before you begin developing your EI toolkit, check out the short Doodly video above for an overview of what we’ll be diving into below.
 

2. Practice Learning to Quickly Relieve Stress

 

Being able to stay in control of your life depends on your ability to manage stress and stay focused on your goals. Learning stress-relief techniques will help you cope with day-to-day challenges as they arise, so we suggest trying the following:

 

  • Talking face-to-face with an understanding friend

  • Exercising or going for a walk

  • Doing yoga or meditating

 

Unfortunately, these options aren’t always available to us, which is why we recommend using this breathing technique to calm down in the moment:

 

Start by taking deep breaths and focusing on your senses: what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, and focus on those positive sensory inputs. This could be as simple as the breeze on your cheek, or the smell of BBQ hamburgers from your neighbour’s yard. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and breathe out for four seconds. Repeat as often as you need.
 

3. Practice Solomon’s Paradox

 

Did you know that we tend to reason more effectively about other people’s problems than our own? This is known as Solomon’s Paradox.

 

This interesting but little-known paradox comes from studies done at the University of Waterloo where researchers taught participants self-distancing techniques to help them make wiser decisions.

 

By practicing self-distancing techniques when we need to make a decision or assess an area of our lives, we can act more wisely than we normally would. Practicing this habit over time increases our EQ and our ability to approach situations with wisdom and compassion.

 

4. Start Naming Emotions

 

Naming your emotions is a surprisingly effective way of making them feel less intense.

 

The simple act of remembering to say what you’re feeling, such as, “I am sad and anxious,” has proven to be a crucial step in managing emotions. Why does this happen? According to one study it calms the amygdala and activates the prefrontal cortex, thereby calming us down.

 

Essentially, naming emotions appears to bridge the gap between thoughts and feelings - exactly what emotional intelligence is all about!

 

So the next time you’re feeling a difficult emotion: start by expressing it.

 

5. Use The Emotoscope Feeling Chart

 

Emotions act as internal alarm systems that guide us as we go through the world. They focus our attention and motivate us towards specific goals and outcomes, and every emotion serves a purpose.

 

One of the most important things you can do to develop your Emotional Intelligence is to enhance your emotional literacy, and the Emotoscope Feeling Chart is a resource designed to do just that!

 

As you can see from the image, the chart breaks down the purpose of different emotions by helping us understand not just how the emotion makes us feel, but also what the emotion is telling us to do.

 

6. Learn Your Change Style

 

We all react differently to change, and understanding the ways that our minds react to different and changing environments can offer insight into who we are and why we do what we do.

 

Learning your preferences for changing using the Change Style Indicator (CSI) will allow you to:

 

  • Manage how you react to change and how it affects you as a leader

  • Understand the sources of emotion and conflict associated with change

  • Understand how each change style impacts to your team and organization

  • Increase productivity by being more adaptive to change

  • Change your response to change in order to increase innovation and collaboration

 

You can view a sample report here and register for on-demand certification to start developing a deeper understanding of your CSI style.

 

Ready to start developing your EQ today? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you’re ready to apply what you’ve learned in a classroom setting register for one of our upcoming certification courses.

 

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