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  • Writer's pictureLeverageEQ

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


their EI.



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.



1. Self-Perception


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.



2. Self-Expression


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.


3. Interpersonal

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


decisions.



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.


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