A master of emotional intelligence is someone who is aware of and practices how to express and control emotions in any situation. They are able to manage professional and personal relationships with clear communication by handling crucial conversations with empathy and without judgment. They are also keenly self-aware and are consistently mindful of opportunities to personally grow. By exercising this mental muscle that is emotional intelligence they become better versions of themselves which makes it easier to accomplish their goals. To get started on your own path to mastering emotional intelligence, here are four things to keep in mind:
Approach Conflict Head-on
Become A Better Listener
1. Approach Conflict Head-on
We live in a world connected at the swipe of a finger. With so many diverse cultures, personalities, identities, and beliefs, it can be tough to communicate differences. Diverse people have diverse opinions and when communicating you will likely have conflict. A master of emotions is someone who recognizes their emotions, manages them and also those of others comfortably - putting into practice the skill that is Emotional Intelligence. A master of emotions is prepared to approach conflicts head-on. Instead of reacting with judgement they use empathy to understand the other person. To make empathy actionable lead with curiosity by asking questions and avoid taking a side until clarity is reached and each person sees the counter perspective.
2. Accept Differences
When you are emotionally intelligent and conflict with someone different than you is present do not try to change them. Instead practice keeping an open mind. This can be difficult if you have not been around many different people before but by committing to experiencing the variety of personalities and perspectives that others have you expand your own perspective — this is called learning. Accepting differences is challenging, however it can help you master your emotions faster.
3. Become A Better Listener
There is a saying that goes, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” One of the greatest skills of effective communication is to become an excellent listener. When having a conversation, leave an opportunity for the other person to share more before probing with a follow-up question. One simple phrase you can try to use next time you are in a conversation is, “Tell me more about that”. That simple statement is open-ended and allows the other person to share without limitation or judgement.
4. Keep Practicing ;)
Just like when you were learning to ride a bike, learning to become emotionally intelligent takes time and practice. Do not get discouraged when you make a mistake or react in a negative way. Ask yourself what went wrong and how you could become better for next time. Circle back to the three previous tips if need be. It is important to check in with yourself often and reflect on how you are feeling in different situations. Overtime, with practice and determination, you will become an emotionally intelligent person and this skill will not only be beneficial for yourself but everyone around you.
Check out this 5 step guide to start improving your emotional intelligence right now.