Hacks to improve emotional intelligence

18 Jun 2020

Hacks to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Staying indoors away from office colleagues, friends and the resultant lack of social interactions at this time has resulted in anxiousness among people in all walks of life, across strata. Even the most sorted out people seem be a little disturbed at the moment.

How do you manage in a situation when you are stressed about an outcome of a certain initiative? How do you manage a situation when there is uncertainty? Emotional intelligence is the only trait that comes in handy.

Here’s a quick list on what emotionally intelligent people do different, or what sets them apart. I am sure there are lessons for each of us in the list..

  1. They know what they value. And hence, they know who they are.

Emotionally intelligent individuals have high amount of self-awareness. They know what they like and dislike, what’s acceptable and what’s not, what motivates them, what drives them etc. Hence, when they make a decision or a choice, they are very careful about choosing what’s best for them. There is never a confusion and hence they take rational decisions.

  1. They know their why’s. They know what drives them.

With the heightened self-awareness, they are clear about their purpose and goals that they are pursueing. They know what motivates them into taking up a certain task. They know what drives them.

  1. They know their what’s. They know their priorities

At any point of time, they know what is important to them and what they are upto. They are usually the ones who know their goals, which are typically aligned to their values and their beliefs. Since they know their goals, their priorities are typically related to their goals and hence they don’t waste their time on frivolous things and don’t waste time impressing people.

  1. They know the how’s. They plan well.

A useful advantage of having goal clarity is the thoughtfulness with which they plan on the execution that comes in later. They would know that if they wish to achieve a certain goal by the end of the year, what they should target to achieve 3 months from now and in 6 months. They would have milestones set and the timelines for it. They would also plan on what they would do if they din’t achieve the milestones, how they would counter the short fall.

  1. They prioritize self-assessment.  They know how well they are doing. Or, how bad.

A useful advantage of self-awareness, having clarity in goals and priorities and good planning is that self-assessment becomes easy. They  assess themselves regularly, and if they know that they are short of target, instead of being upset for too long, they work towards course correction. They would not be in the ‘upset’ state for too long. When you expect googlies and bouncers, you are prepared for it.

  1. They don’t spend time in useless drama. They are assertive.

Emotional intelligence mostly means the capability to manage ones emotions – both how one experiences a particular event, how they react to the event, how they manage their response to another person involved in the event. People with high EQ understand themselves well on what affects them and they are able to name the emotion they experience. Hence, when in a difficult situation, they know how they would respond and are able to go through or live through the experience calmly.

At the same time, they are able to speak their mind and are assertive.

  1. They are confident and own their decisions. They don’t let others limit their joy.

Since they are confident and do what is most suitable for them, they seldom seek validation from others. They are comfortable in their own skin. They celebrate their high points and deal with the low points, without having to post every thing on social media. Their happiness or sadness does not depend on the number of likes and comments they receive on facebook or Instagram. Hence, they don’t let others limit their joy.

  1. They invest in real relationships. They value good old style friendships.

Everyone needs friends. No body can live in isolation. Even if they have 500 friends on facebook and another 500 connections on Linkedin, they make it a point to have deep friendships with atleast 2 individuals in the real world. Everyone needs friends to share their joys, sorrows, get advice when things are not going well and to share a beer when you wish to just chill.

  1. They are practical. Staying ‘Real’ is key.

I am on purpose not choosing words like positive, negative, optimistic and pessimistic here, as being practical and realistic is above all these. Those with higher EQ or EI are able to manage their emotions better than others and hence discussing the mindset is not relevant here. Those with higher EQ seem to be realistic and are able to take better decisions.

Here’s the all important question. Can emotional intelligence be learnt?

Yes, Emotional intelligence can be learnt. It is not an innate talent. They are abilities that can be developed. One needs to believe that like muscles, EI can be developed over time.

So, how does one develop Emotional Intelligence?

  1. You need to be motivated enough to change.
  2. You need to go on a self-assessment mode to understand what needs to change, what to enhance and what to dumb down.
  3. Practice what you need to cultivate. Eliminate what you need to reduce. Its not easy, but its not difficult either.
  4. Nothing happens overnight. As Robin Sharma says, all transformation is difficult in the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous in the end. If you are patient, and work at it, you can change yourself.

Emotional Intelligence is the bedrock of successful leadership and it can be learned.

It is the combination of Emotional Intelligence and domain knowledge that separates star performers from average ones.

Personal transformation or any change is not that easy, but not impossible. It’s easier when you sign up with a coach. If you wish to speak to one, write to contact@chaptertwocoaching.com

About the Author:


Sandhya Reddy is a PCC Accredited Executive Coach and Leadership coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that specializes in leadership development.  She is also a Certified Hogan Assessor. She has over 750+ hours of experience with coaching senior professionals. She has enabled personal transformation for over 1500+ individuals through coaching interventions, workshops, webinars and mentoring.

Chapter Two helps leaders in middle levels and senior levels engage better with their teams, peers and senior stakeholders. We help teams develop a growth and performance mindset, align better with the organizational culture and values and function more cohesively. We are also passionate about women’s leadership development and have developed a practice around it. We enable leadership development through 1:1 coaching interventions and through a set of curated leadership and personal transformational workshops.

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