5 Ways To Get Ahead Using Emotional Intelligence
For anyone who has read an article centred around emotional intelligence, there is a strong
chance the two mains points covered were that emotional intelligence is the ability to
recognise, understand and manage emotions, and all you need to do to improve it is to
become aware of your emotions.
While both points are correct, what they fail to acknowledge is the extensive research and
data centric tools that have been developed since the popularisation of the term, by
psychologist Daniel Goleman. There is a direct correlation between low emotional
intelligence and lack of self-awareness, making it difficult for someone with low EI to begin
increasing their EI, solo. Even those who consider themselves to be emotionally self-aware,
often do not have the scope of understanding to articulate the 15 characteristics that define
Since the initial introduction of EI, we have learnt the exact characteristics that make up an
individual's EI, to the extent that we can pinpoint where they sit on a scale of high to low EI,
what their likelihood of success in a leadership position is and how their unique EI makeup
dictates their behaviour.
Want to get an edge on your competition? Then you need to focus on these 5 key
composites of EI.
Without a healthy sense of inner confidence the journey for an entrepreneur or
business owner can be a constant battle of self-doubt. Am I good enough? Maybe
I’m not cut out for this? I’ve had another no, I’m failure.
Spending time developing a strong sense of self-belief creates the foundation for
your business. Focus on what’s working and what has gone well. Keep a record of all
the wins and reasons you chose this path in the first place. Know it’s OK to change
direction and think of it not as failure but experimentation.
55% of communication is non-verbal, so what are you telling the people around you?
Are you walking into your meeting with an air of confidence or are you carrying the
rejection from your first meeting that didn’t go so well. Are you self-directed in your
approach or do you constantly look to others to tell you want direction to take?
To improve self-expression you need to learn which emotions are hard for you to
express and start to share them with close confidants. Pre-empt the situations where
you might lack assertion and give yourself the tools to practice standing up for
yourself. For example, if negotiating makes you uncomfortable, be clear about what
is up for discussion and what is a a hard no.
How do we connect with our customers, improve brand loyalty and motivate and
inspire team members? Through interpersonal skills. This involves utilising empathy
to understand how others operate and to appreciate their point of view. Being able
to articulate someone else’s perspective helps us to understand what they need,
how we can solve it and diffuse conflict. Empathy is your secret weapon to building
connection, community and a loyal client based.
4. Decision Making
From product inventory, marketing initiatives, operational efficiency and budget
management, the decisions made by a business owner are endless. If we are unable
to separate emotion from decision making, the results are likely to be irrational and
impulsive. Step 1 in separating emotion from decision is to recognised when we feel
an overwhelming emotional response. Step 2 is to delay the decision and step 3 is
reality testing. Data collection, speaking with advisors and getting an external
perspective will help us understand alternative perspectives and make objective
5. Stress Management
Our capacity to handle stress comes down to our outlook on life and ability to adapt
to unpredictable situations. Do you see set-backs as a sign you are doomed or a
natural part of the journey? Accept that things won’t always go to plan and that
external pressures are out of your control, but know that whatever comes your way
you have the strength to handle it.