Top-Shelf Tip No. 12:

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion."

Dale Carnegie

Simple Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a major part in your success. It helps you boost your self-awareness, self-control, empathy, motivation and social skills, and it can make you a better leader. Considering the importance of emotional intelligence in virtually all aspects of life, it pays to spend time developing, refining, and growing your emotional intelligence.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, author and consultant Justin Bariso outlines how you can increase your emotional intelligence in just a few minutes a day.

Ask and reflect. Spend some time each week pondering questions such as, "How do my moods affect my thoughts and actions?" and "Do I find it difficult to admit when I am wrong?"

Use your emotional vocabulary. When you experience a strong emotional reaction, assign specific words to describe your feelings.

Pause for a moment. Before you respond emotionally to a situation, take some time to calm down. Try going for a walk or taking a few deep breaths.

Use the three-second strategy. Before speaking, ask yourself three quick questions: Does this need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does this need to be said by me, now?

Adjust your volume. If a discussion begins to escalate, try dialing it back by softening your voice or lowering your voice.

Set a goal with sensitive topics. When you're talking about a touchy topic, carefully consider where and when to speak and what you hope to accomplish with the conversation.

Hit the fast-forward button. If emotions are getting in the way, it might be best to fast forward the situation. Just be sure you understand the short-term and long-term consequences of doing so.

Learn from negative emotions. When you struggle with negative emotions, try to determine what the emotion is telling you and how you can use it to motivate change.

Learn from emotional hijacks. If you've ever lost control of your emotions in a situation, this is called an emotional hijack. It's often a series of events that pushes you over the edge. Ask yourself why you reacted this way and what you would change if you could do it over again.

Accept that it's okay to say no. Everyone has their limits. If you say yes to every request for your time and energy, you put yourself on the path to burnout.

Ask for feedback. Sit down with a manager or trusted colleague and ask for something specific you do that tends to hold you back.

Turn criticism into constructive feedback. Put your personal feelings aside and consider what you can learn from the other person's perspective.

Reflect on commendation. When someone commends you, thank them and then take some time to think about what you did well and how you can repeat it.

Practice empathy. Listen carefully when someone shares a personal struggle with you. Try to understand how the person feels and why he or she feels that way.

When you commit to developing your emotional intelligence, you learn to make your emotions work for you instead of against you.

Source: Justin Bariso is an author and a consultant who helps organizations think differently and communicate with impact. In 2016, LinkedIn named him the "Top Voice" in "Management and Culture." His new book, EQ Applied, shares fascinating research, modern examples, and personal stories that illustrate how emotional intelligence works in the real world.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

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