Can you believe it? A whole month dedicated to Emotional Intelligence? I love it!
Emotional Intelligence is defined as: a skill in perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings.
The higher your Emotional Intelligence, the more successful you are at navigating life’s tough situations. Read this article for more on Emotional Intelligence at Work and an example. I also have several other posts about EI, just click on the tags link for EI and you will get a list of them.
With Halloween approaching we will be carving pumpkins soon. We love to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out the best pumpkin from the field. Each of us has a style of pumpkin we prefer that will be perfect for the carving we will be doing. I always put on a happy face or something cute. Big surprise, huh? :)
Carving smiley face pumpkins is not a surprise because I smile a lot. How about you? Do you smile a lot? Have you thought about that lately? Probably not, nut that’s ok!
Most people do not realize that they are wearing their emotions on their face. A stressful conversation may cause them to harden their face and no longer appear open to the person they are talking with. The never-ending list of items to get done may cause a scowl on their face and they no longer seem approachable. Thinking about the next meeting distracts them so they don’t realize they have a blank look on their face when someone asks them a question.
Emotional Intelligence is not faking a smile every time someone talks to you, but instead being self-aware and actively participating in each situation. The more self-aware you are, the more you can actually enjoy the moment. Here are three ways to increase your self-awareness.
1. Do a self-check. How are you feeling? How are you handling things? Feeling stressed? What’s going right? The act of looking at yourself, automatically increases your self-awareness.
2. Seek feedback. Ask others how you are doing, what you do well, where your strengths and weaknesses are. Finding out how others see you, increases your self-awareness.
3. Practice reflecting. After a situation or conversation, stop and think about how it went. Did it go well? As expected? Did the other person respond in a way you didn’t expect? Why or why not? Make a mental or written checklist and see where you are being self-aware and where you could improve.
Being Emotionally Intelligent is not a place you arrive at. It takes work and practice. However, each time you choose to learn from a situation, you will! That is one of the things that makes Emotional Intelligence so fascinating in my book. It is not carved in stone!