Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) describes a person's ability to recognize emotions, to understand their effect, and to use that information to guide thinking and behavior — helping you make better decisions and reach goals more quickly.
Here are 7 practical ways to sharpen your EQ.
1. Reflect on your own emotions
For example, think about how you typically respond when you read an email that makes you angry. By identifying your own emotions and reactions, you become more mindful and can start to build control.
2. Ask others for perspective
We see ourselves differently than others see us. Ask a friend or close colleague how you react when they're emotional. The answers will help you achieve a more accurate view of yourself.
3. Be observant
Armed with this newly acquired knowledge, you can be more observant of your current emotions. Self-reflection and thinking about what others have shared will help you to be more in tune with what you're feeling.
4. The pause
"The pause" is as simple as taking a moment to stop and think before we act or speak — an ability that's hindered by factors like added stress. Practice pausing before responding to an upsetting email, or before posting comments on social media.
5.Focus on feelings, not events
Showing empathy means trying our best to see a situation through another person's eyes. We may not understand why they feel uncomfortable, angry, or hurt. But we can all relate to those feelings, and that helps us relate to the person.
6. Don't take offense
Criticism is never easy to take: But when you receive it, there are two choices: You can let emotion get the best of you, or you can learn from it. Don't let emotion close your mind to negative feedback. Use it to make you better.
7. Practice, practice, practice
Like any other skill or ability, practice makes ... better. Of course, it's impossible to have perfect control over your emotions. But keep practicing these steps and you'll start to harness the power of emotions — and use them to work for you, instead of against you.