6 Skills That Will Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is considered to be a much better predictor of success than pure intelligence. In many cases, it doesn't matter how intelligent you are.

You know plenty of people that possess average intelligence who are very successful. The struggling genius is quite common. However, there’s more to life than being able to do calculus in your head.

Making good decisions, communicating effectively, having positive relationships, and managing yourself well can be far more valuable and powerful than a genius-level IQ.

Boost your emotional intelligence with these strategies:

1. Become an excellent listener 

Think about the best listener you know. You probably hold that person in high regard. Listening is a lost art that few people are interested in resurrecting.

During your next conversation, notice what happens while you’re speaking. The other person is likely distracted by their own thoughts and simply waiting to speak. You don’t have to be that person.

You’ll do much better with people and have fewer misunderstandings if you put all of your attention on the other person during a conversation. They’ll even think that you’re a great conversationalist. Try it!

2. Pause before you respond. 

Think of all the times you wish you’d kept silent. Taking even a small moment to collect your thoughts can be a real advantage. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you give yourself the opportunity to respond wisely, or not at all.

Give yourself all the time you need to make an intelligent decision and take extra care to consider the other person’s feelings in the process.

3. Develop self-awareness. 

Very few people are truly self-aware. We have little idea of how others perceive us or how we come across to them. Think about how odd it is to hear a recording of your own voice, or how you seem to look so much different in photos than you thought you looked in real life. That’s only the beginning!

You also might be a significantly different conversationalist than you think. Maybe you’re dismissive of others and don’t even know it.

Ask someone you trust what they think your biggest problem is. You may be surprised by what you hear. You may not like the answer, but at least you’ll know what your plan of action is. 

4. Learn how to motivate yourself. 

Life is easy if you can get yourself to do the things you know you should (but may not want to) do. However, few of us are effective in motivating ourselves to do those things consistently.

You can avoid most of the drama life has to offer if you simply do the things that need to be done, when they need to be done.

Consider why you procrastinate when faced with tasks that are unappealing to you. You’re going to have to do them eventually. Why not put yourself out of your misery as soon as possible and simply get them done?

5. Analyze your emotions. 

Notice your emotions while you’re experiencing them and try doing this in place of quickly responding to them.

For example, if someone says something that irritates you, rather than reply in a hostile manner, ask yourself why you’re experiencing this emotion. What caused it? Is it reasonable? What is an intelligent way to respond?

6. Be assertive. 

There are advantages to being assertive. You have a much better chance of getting what you want. You’ll also be more transparent to others. People won’t have to guess what you want from them.

Your relationships will have fewer misunderstandings, too, if you are upfront with your feelings and concerns.

More emotional intelligence might be what you’re missing from your life. You can be goal-oriented, committed, and capable, but it can be difficult to rise above the level of your emotional intelligence.

How would you rate your emotional intelligence? In what areas could you improve? There are several books on the subject, and many contain diagnostic tests. This might be a great place to start. 

After reading these tips you’re already well on your way to greater success in your personal communications. Good luck out there!

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