As we all start to adapt to a post-pandemic world, many of us are working on getting our “sea legs” back with social interaction, heading back to the office, and just seeing each other in person again.
Now more than ever the principals of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can support us as we step back into the world. Emotional Intelligence is the belief that a person can learn to identify, understand, and manage emotions to impact the way we think about intelligence and influence. At well-social we believe that self-care is not selfish and by enhancing our EQ we not only take care of our own mental health but the comfort and well-being of others.
Here are 12 tips for how to raise your EQ for healthy interactions every day.
- Incorporate "the rule of awkward silence"
When someone asks you a deep or challenging question, don't answer right away. Instead, pause and consider carefully before responding. Take a breath or two before offering a reply.
By taking this extra step, you can get in touch with your emotions first and relieve pressure. When you are calm and take some time, you can think things through more clearly and answer authentically.
- Practice "the three-second trick"
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said by me now?
It takes only 3 seconds to ask yourself this, and can prevent future regret.
- Be Mindful of your initial thoughts.
Emotions can hijack our well-being, but you can control your reactions --by observing your first thoughts. For example, the coronavirus pandemic has given us all cause for negative emotions. However, dwelling on those negative feelings, or wishing things were different, isn't helpful. By refocusing your thoughts on what you have control over, you can make the best of this challenging situation.
- Be receptive to feedback.
No one likes criticism. However, all feedback has some value, because--right or wrong--it provides insight into how you are perceived by others. Negative feedback is tough to take, but don’t respond right away. Instead, take some time and ask yourself how this feedback can make you better or how it can help you better understand others.
- Make your feedback constructive.
Delivering feedback is also an opportunity to flex that EQ. Focus on recognizing specific accomplishment and sincere praise that will motivate people to keep doing what they have done right. If someone has made a mistake, don't dwell on the negative. Try and frame feedback as constructive and share how you used to make a similar mistake until someone pointed it out to you. Then, the other person will see you as a partner trying to help, not an opponent trying to harm.
- Disagree and commit.
There will be times when you disagree with someone on how to handle a situation. You have debated the pros and cons, and neither of you agrees. Now what? Disagree and commit.
By recognizing that the only way to move forward is for someone to give in, you make yourself that someone. By going all in, you communicate trust--and encourage your counterpart to do the same for you in the future.
- Show empathy.
Instead of judging another person’s situation, focus on their feelings. Start with listening, and not interrupting with a solution or dismissing the other person. Ask yourself "When was the last time I felt like that? How would I want others to treat me?" Empathy doesn't mean agreement. It is about working to understand and relate to the other person—leading to stronger relationships.
- Ask for help.
If you are facing a difficult situation, pride can be a stumbling block. By asking others for help, you show that you value them and their abilities. You are basically saying "I can't do this without you" or "I'd rather do this with you." By giving others the opportunity to help, you make them feel good and turn them into a partner who is invested in your success.
- Help others.
One of the best ways to have a positive impact on another is by offering to help them. Don't wait for them to ask. If you see a need, offer to assist, or just step forward and take action.
By showing a willingness to get in the trenches with others, you build trust and inspiration.
It’s not easy to take back something you said in anger or haste and it ss not easy to say sorry but doing so demonstrates humility and draws others to you. Apologizing doesn't always mean that you're wrong, but it does show you value your relationship more than your ego.
What if someone else did you wrong? Whether they meant it or not, doesn’t help you to dwell on it. Ongoing resentment can make you bitter, and by practicing forgiveness (and it is a practice like meditation or yoga) it has been scientifically proven that practicing forgiveness improves your physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Be yourself.
Have the courage to be yourself. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Not everyone will appreciate it. But the ones who matter will.
Looking for more ways to enhance your self-care or to show you care about someone else? Check out our nurturing brands on www.well-social.com and add one of them to your self-care practice. Mention EQ15 and get 15% off your next order!
Adapted from Emotional Intelligence 25th Anniversary Edition by Daniel Goleman (Bantam Books 2021)