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Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is considered a much better predictor of success than pure intelligence. In many cases, it doesn't matter how intelligent you are.

You know plenty of people that possess average intelligence that are very successful. The struggling genius is quite common. There’s more to life than being able to do calculus in your head.

Making good decisions, communicating effectively, having positive relationships, and managing yourself well can be far more valuable and powerful than a genius-level IQ.

Boost your emotional intelligence with these strategies:

1. Become an excellent listener. Think about the best listener you know. You probably hold that person in high regard. Listening is a lost art that few people are interested in resurrecting.

● During your next conversation, notice what happens while you’re speaking. The other person is likely bored, distracted, and simply waiting to speak.

● You’ll do much better with people and have fewer misunderstandings if you put all of your attention on the other person during a conversation. They’ll even think that you’re a great conversationalist. Try it and see!

My clients always rave about what a good listener I am, they always seem amazed. In all sincerity, I've always been a listener. I am observing not just what you say with your words, but also your energy, your facial expressions, and your body language. It's something I remember doing from quite a young age. I always saw the entire persons expression as a language.

2. Pause before you respond. Think of all the times you wish you’d kept silent. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts can be a real advantage. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you give yourself the opportunity to respond wisely, or to not respond at all.

● Give yourself all the time you need to make an intelligent decision.

Oh my. I remember one such time I let my emotions get the best of me. At the tender age of 14, slamming the fax machine's phone receiver down after screaming "have a nice life". That event remains one of my biggest embarrassing moments, simply because I was reacting out of my emotions. Instead of pausing to have a thoughtful response.

3. Develop self-awareness. Very few people are self-aware. We have little idea of how others perceive us or how we come across to them. Think about how odd it is to hear a recording of your own voice, or how you seem to look heavier in photos than you thought you were. That’s only the beginning!

● You might be significantly more rude or obnoxious than you think. Maybe you’re dismissive to others and don’t even know it.

● Ask someone you trust what they think your biggest problem is. You may be surprised by what you hear. You won’t like the answer, but you’ll know in your heart that it’s true.

For me, I've long struggled with weight issues due to some hormone problems that have yet to be balanced properly. #hashimotosdisease I often get myself back into my truth by seeing a photo and remembering I am not where I want to be, but I'm also not where I was. This challenges me to continue on the path of healthy living, when the other part of me would rather grab something fast so I can enjoy shelling all day at the beach rather then taking the time to plan and prep healthy meals. The truth is POWERFUL if we allow it in.

4. Learn how to motivate yourself. Life is easy if you can get yourself to do the things you know you should do. However, few of us are effective in motivating ourselves to do those things consistently.

● You can avoid most of the drama life has to offer if you can simply do the things that need to be done, when they need to be done.

● Consider why you procrastinate when faced with tasks that are unappealing to you. You’re going to have to do them eventually. Why not put yourself out of your misery as soon as possible and simply get them done?

For me, I see this issue come in mostly when I'm distracted by family being home. I need quiet and alone time to get my work done, but unfortunately that often leads to me procrastinating. Instead, I have to CREATE the alone time to get my work done.

5. Analyze your emotions. Notice your emotions while you’re experiencing them. Try doing this in place of quickly responding to them.

● For example, if someone says something that irritates you, rather than reply in a hostile manner, ask yourself why you’re experiencing this emotion. What caused it? Is it reasonable? What is an intelligent way to respond?

I've realized my tendency to have an unreasonable response comes from three major areas. Maybe this will help you. Stress. Lack of sleep. Fear. When I ask myself where the reaction is coming from, I can gain a better understanding of myself and my needs. I can also reign in my emotional response and create an intelligent one.

6. Be assertive. There are advantages to being assertive. You have a much better chance of getting what you want. You’ll also be more transparent to others. People won’t have to guess what you want from them.

● Your relationships will have fewer misunderstandings, too, if you are upfront with your feelings and concerns.

This was a long standing issue in my marriage, because I was raised thinking being assertive was rude. I maintained that my husband must simply know what I wanted or needed because he loved me. He's not as intuitive as I am, and that led to YEARS of hurt feelings and misunderstandings. If I can help you with anything, I hope I can save you from that mistake!

Emotional intelligence might be what you’re missing from your life. You can be goal-oriented, committed, and capable, but it’s difficult to rise above the level of your emotional intelligence.

How would you rate your emotional intelligence? In what areas could you improve? What are the steps you are going to take to help yourself create better #emotionalintelligence today?

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