Wonder what emotional intelligence looks like?
I was at a music festival and one of my friends lost his bike. The next morning he was all hungover and couldn’t help but panic. He somehow managed to crawl out of bed and he started arguing that he needed one of our bikes. The plan was simple: riding up and down all over town to look for the lost velocipede.
Then came Anna. She calmly asked Lost Bike Friend what the problem was. She listened to his response, made him feel validated, and managed to make him come to the conclusion that he was being unreasonable. Then she helped him retrace the steps he had taken the evening before. Finally, he resorted to asking around at the places he remembered. Want to find out how it ended? Keep reading!
Still, Anna entered the argument, put it to a full stop in 2 minutes, and made everyone feel better. I immediately felt the need to put some work into my own social and emotional skills.
According to Daniel Goleman, there are five main components of emotional intelligence. I’ve come up with a few tips for each of them.
First up, how to become more self-aware. Trying to see yourself as you really are is not easy. It takes effort, and it’s more easily said than done. Writing down a journal can help you in this process. Write down your thoughts and feelings, your successes and your failures. Looking at them while you’re not caught up in the heat of the moment can make all the difference. If you want to find out more reasons to start journaling, have a look at this article.
How many times have you experienced being interrupted while you speak? How did you feel? And how many times have you done it yourself? Interrupting can close a communication down. It can also affect negatively the relationship between us and the speaker. Do you interrupt to stimulate thinking or to vent your own frustration? If you find that your answer is more about you, try to let the other person talk. Sometimes it’s all they need.
One surprising tip to increase your achievement drive comes from Madonna: strike a pose. Holding a high-power pose – even for as little as two minutes – increases your testosterone levels, which are associated with confidence. It also decreases your cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. I’m so into voguing right now.
Want to get better at understanding other people’s feelings? Try meditation. Neuroscientists found that a meditation program was able to improve people’s ability to read emotions on others’ faces. The study also showed an increase in brain areas associated with empathy. Try listening to both our meditation and brainpower playlists and let us know.
5. Social Skills
Let’s go back to Anna. There are at least three great social skills she showed. She was able to communicate effectively. She was great at managing conflict. And, finally, she catalyzed change and positive behavior. Try focusing on those areas. The bike was never found, but, hey, dealing with bad outcomes is a trait of emotional intelligence by itself.