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5 Steps for Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

In a previous blog post this month, we explored “Gaining the Advantage of Emotional Intelligence.” In that post, we listed and addressed the five basic components of emotional intelligence:

  1. Emotional awareness
  2. Emotional regulation
  3. Emotional empathy
  4. Emotional motivation
  5. Social skills

When you’re looking to gain a competitive advantage in the employment marketplace, emotional intelligence can give you that advantage. However, it’s NOT easy. (If it was easy, then everybody would not only be doing it, but they would also be good at it.)

Like any other skill, emotional intelligence is one that must be developed. That means it requires desire, diligence, and perseverance. And since emotional intelligence is a “soft skill” as opposed to a “hard skill,” it’s more difficult to track your effectiveness and results.

Regardless, below are five steps for developing your emotional intelligence:

#1—Observe and identify your feelings.

This is an obvious first step. You can’t exercise emotional intelligence unless you’re first able to perform an accurate audit of your own emotions. If necessary, keep a journal of your emotions during the work day. (You could also do so during your non-working hours to gain a broader perspective.) This might be a difficult practice at first, but it will become easier over time.

#2—Identify those things that affect your emotions.

This step is trickier. That’s because you have to “drill down” to what is actually affecting your emotions. Often, we think that something is affecting us emotionally, but in actuality, the real catalyst is something else. Keep digging until you’ve uncovered what you believe is the root cause of your emotion.

#3—Identify those things that cause you stress.

You can, of course, experience a wide range of emotions. The ones we’re primarily concerned about are those related to stress. That’s because being able to handle your stress—and the stress of others—in the work setting is at the heart of emotional intelligence. Not only should you identify those things that cause you stress, but you should also analyze your reaction and devise ways to improve it.

#4—Put yourself in other people’s “emotional shoes.”

Viewing situations from other people’s point of view is critical to the development of emotional intelligence. That’s because when you understand a person’s point of view, you better understand both their motivation and why they feel the way they do. And when you understand all of those things, you can be more effective navigating work-related issues involving those particular individuals.

#5—Tie your efforts to a specific outcome or objective.

Unless you know why you’re doing something, it’s more difficult for you to actually do it. This is yet another reason motivation is so important. What is the ultimate career goal that you wish to pursue? How will mastering emotional intelligence help you to accomplish that goal? Whatever your goal may be, use it as motivation in your development of greater emotional intelligence.

Make developing your emotional intelligence one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. You’ll find that it will benefit you both professionally and personally.

Are you ready to make a career move in the New Year? Then Time Staffing can help!

Click here to see Time Staffing’s list of open jobs, and click here for more information about Time Staffing’s services for job seekers.

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