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3 Ways to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

It doesn’t matter if you’re the next Einstein (which you very well could be!), there’s another trait that’s just as important as IQ: it’s EQ.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to handle situations and others in a smart way through your feelings and reactions. Everything from resolving an office spackle to closing a business deal is more dependent on your emotional smarts than anything else. And just like your IQ, it’s something that can be honed and sharpened to bring further success.

Without further ado, here are some simple ways to boost your emotional intelligence, even during a stressful or conflict-ridden workday:

Practice mindfulness

Essentially, mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to your present moment with calmness and collectiveness.

The Google empire highly values mindfulness as a technique to help employees become emotionally intelligent.  As the leader of their program said, “At any time, whatever is happening to you — whether you’re under stress, you’re being shouted at, or anything else — you have the skill to bring the mind to a place that’s calm and clear. If you can do that, it lays the foundation for emotional intelligence.”

They’re able to achieve this by meditating and reflecting for a few minutes a day. You can too by penciling in reflection before a big meeting or busy workday. Even if you don’t have time to meditate, Harvard studies suggest the mere act of breathing calmly will bolster your EQ during times of stress.

Redefine failure

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

— Michael Jordan

Our emotional balance is most tested when we’re facing rejection. Whether it’s through receiving feedback or being told “no”, we’re most likely to lash out (and hinder success) when we face the really personal and stinging lash of rejection.

By redefining failure as a stepping stone, you’ll be using the most valuable ways to strengthen your emotional intelligence. Just like Jordan, you can and should realize that slip-ups are necessary to get to where you want to be.

Don’t dwell and focus on what you can’t control

There will always be things out of our control (especially during a hectic workday), and that’s why emotionally intelligent people focus on what they can control. As Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 put it, “Successful people live in the real world. They know that the only thing they really control is the process through which they reach their decisions”

For instance, rather than dwelling on a slip-up, and getting angry, you can boost your EQ by focusing on what to do to move forward. Or when your team is facing a tough project and acting like the sky is falling, you can be the leader who focuses on what can be done next.

Boost your EQ even more

Do you have any ways to strengthen your emotional intelligence? Share them with The Tribe, and get some more expert tips along the way!