Emotional intelligence is a word I love. It packs a punch because it is a term for several other powerful words. The words are Self Awareness, Self Management, Empathy, Social Relationship. If I was to argue for a more important term than emotional intelligence, I don't know if I could find one. Let's get into exactly what the different terms emotional intelligence describes.
The first word we are going to talk about is self awareness. I absolutely love this term and would consider doing a whole blog on this term, that's how much I like it. Self awareness asks how well do I know my strengths and weaknesses. Most people have a good understanding of their strengths. It's because these are fun to think about. They build us up and make us feel good. Weaknesses on the other hand feel as though they break us down. Most people don't like thinking about weaknesses, however weaknesses are an opportunity to grow. They are an opportunity for us to improve. They are an opportunity for us to become better human beings. The difficult aspect is having the awareness and where with all to even think about our weaknesses. So what should we do when we are thinking about our weaknesses. I would say we should write down our weaknesses so we can see them on the piece of paper and get them out of our head. Then we should make a plan to improve every single weakness that is in front of you. By doing this you can start to improve yourself to a level you may have never dreamed of reaching. I think it is also valuable to ask colleagues, coworkers, or friends what your weaknesses are. It won't feel great, but it can give you an opportunity to grow and develop.
We have already talked about emotions so we aren't going to get too into them in this blog post. Emotions equal energy in motion. When you have emotions you will "feel" them inside you. Some emotions feel good and positive, other emotions feel bad and negative. To give a quick summary, there are 8 negative emotions. They are sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, vulnerability. By knowing you will get one of these 8 negative emotions, you can anticipate them to lessen their impact. The more you can anticipate them, the less they feel, and the less they hurt. Then, you can allow emotions to permeate for 90 seconds before letting them go. Then you can let them go faster and faster until emotions come and go with ease. By being able to navigate emotion you will feel and look healthier and younger.
We already did a whole blog post on the 3 types of empathy which are cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathetic concern. Cognitive empathy is knowing how someone thinks. Emotional empathy is knowing how someone feels. Empathetic concern is knowing what someone needs and being able to give that to them. Checkout our blog on empathy to get a more in-depth discussion on it.
The last word for emotional intelligence is Social Relationship or social skills. This basically means you are able to connect with someone in a social situation. For example, you might be in conversation with someone and someone else walks up and wants to start talking with the two of you. A person who has no idea what's going on might look at the situation and ignore the third person. A person who is good in social skills will include the third person either by asking a question or what's their opinion on something. Then everyone will feel connected in the conversation. This will make everyone feel good and happy to be apart of the conversation with someone who knows how to conversate. Most people have social skills, but most people do not always feel what someone else is feeling so they have trouble relating to that person. That is why we like to be around people who can relate so everyone feels good.
How do you develop social skills. One of the best ways to develop social skills is by going out in public and conversating with people you like. It doesn't have to be the deepest conversations but just having them, putting in the work to connect with people will be a great place to start working on your social skills. By putting in the time and practice you will get better and better to the point where you become more intuitive and don't have to think about what you are going to say. Then you can add in bits of humor or empathy based on what you think the conversation needs. Conversating is one of the best ways to feel good. Without being able to feel good in conversation, you are going to miss out on a big part of being human. One of the best ways I was able to get comfortable in conversation was by thinking about how I felt and what I said with my friends who I was the most comfortable. Then, I brought that comfortableness into conversation I had with everyone. People I knew, people I didn't know. Over time I lost the filter that selects only the "right" things to say. Then I was able to be myself with everyone, and people like to talk to me because I am fun and magnetic. That's how I did it and you don't have to do it exactly that way but it's a good loose framework that other people can follow. It's definitely worth putting in the time because I have a lot of fun in conversation.
If becoming better in conversation is something you are striving to develop, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I know exactly how I became free in conversation and can help you do the same. I believe 90% of jobs require someone to be a people person and that starts with conversation and social skills.