Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry
Shouldn’t skill and strategy outweigh something seemingly small like people skills in workplace success? Interestingly enough, being able to interact with people successfully and manage your own emotions are two of the most important elements in being able to successfully climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, these are skills that aren’t often taught in schools or college courses. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 lays out basic guidelines for developing your emotional intelligence and having more successful relationships with your colleagues.
What is EQ?
EQ is a combination of factors. It involves self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self-awareness is your ability to manage and understand your own feelings and behaviors. Self-management is being able to manage your feelings. Social awareness is your ability to understand other people. Relationship management helps you to build successful relationships between yourself and other people in your life.
Mastering all of these skills can have a direct relationship with your ability to achieve what you’d like to in the workplace. For instance, let's say one of your coworker’s tries to take credit for a difficult project you put a lot of effort into. If you have self-awareness and self-management, you will be able to prevent yourself from having an outburst in the situation (which could limit your credibility) and will also allow you to step back and figure out how to address it best. Here are a few tips for increasing your EQ:
Get to know yourself
Strong moods can lead to dangerous outcomes. Let’s say you’re in a terrible mood: you’ve spilled coffee all over yourself and a project you were working on has hit a major snag. One of your coworkers bursts in to tell you all about her weekend, when you’d much rather concentrate on how to address the snag. Understanding that your bad mood has nothing to do with her is because often we can take our moods out on others. Conversely, think of when you were in a good mood, so you agreed to do something you’d really rather not.
Moods are powerful, and they can control our actions. Preventing yourself from being controlled by your emotions is an important part of EQ. You can do this by checking yourself when you have strong emotional reactions to situations. Understand that moods and emotions are temporary, but the ways we react to them can have lasting consequences.
Create self-management tools
People with emotional intelligence can manage their emotions and are able to balance out being logical and going with their heart or intuition. In the battle between logic and emotion, where do you find you often land? While it is important to make decisions that make rational sense, is purely driven by logic and creates a well-balanced life. People with high emotional intelligence are able to make strong, well thought out decisions. How do they do this?
One tool to resolve a difficult decision is to make an emotion vs reason list. Draw a table with two columns, and on the emotion side, write down what your emotions are telling you to do. On the other side, write down what reason is telling you to do. Look through each side of your table, and determine which column has more support. Are emotions making you incapable of seeing the logical truth? Is your logic flawed? This list can help you clarify which direction you should go in.
Another self-management tool is telling your friends and family about your goals. They can be a source of motivation when you feel like quitting, and hold you accountable. Outsourcing your self-regulation is an excellent way to save energy and stay inspired. For instance, a professor was struggling to meet deadlines, until he told his colleagues he would pay them $100 for every deadline missed. That stopped the problem in its tracks!
A great indicator of how a person is feeling is their body language. To successfully read someone, start from their head and work your way down their body to look for clues. Looking at someone’s eyes can be very telling: for instance, sometimes when someone is lying they often blink a lot. Check the mouth: does the smile seem sincere or fake? Hint: only a real smile will appear sympathetic. Move down to the shoulders: are they rigid or relaxed? They can indicate how relaxed someone is. Once you’ve thoroughly examined someone’s body language, treat them accordingly. If they are relaxed, feel free to engage with them. If they seem tense, moderate your behavior accordingly.
Learn people’s first names
Learning someone’s first name is a great way to make them feel important. It can also be a great conversation starter: perhaps they have an unusual name or an interesting backstory with their nickname. Learning someone's name as soon as possible and addressing them forward as such is an important component in being likable and making others feel valued.
Avoid sending mixed signals
Imagine you’re having a serious discussion with a coworker about their exceptional performance, but you’re irritated because you got into a fight with your spouse beforehand. Your coworker might be confused about the mixed messages you’re sending: you’re praising them, but you also seem annoyed.
Mixed messages are confusing to those who receive them, and create static in relationships. You can avoid sending mixed messages by checking your own body language. Be aware of how you’re standing, the facial expressions you’re making, and the way you’re physically representing yourself. You can also avoid them by getting feedback from others about how you’re being perceived. Though criticism can be uncomfortable, the benefits of feedback heavily outweigh the initial discomfort.
Anyone can develop emotional intelligence, regardless of what skill level you begin with. Increasing your EQ can be the first step to the success you desire! Now, start applying these ideas and see how your work life changes!
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 lays out basic guidelines for developing your emotional intelligence and having more successful relationships with your colleagues. These tools can help anyone increase their EQ, become more socially aware, and enjoy more fulfilling interactions with others. Learn how to avoid sending mixed signals, how to read other’s body language, and why getting to know yourself is so important!