The concept of emotional intelligence has recently gone global as we have seen professionals fail in their attempts to improve their emotional intelligence (EI). If you are looking to develop particular EI strengths, consider the areas of improvement that others have identified that go along with the goals you want to achieve. Then, you will want to actively build habits in those areas. Take a look at these three questions to get you started.
First and foremost, you want to get a sense of how your self-perception differs from your reputation. This is especially true when you are looking to develop your emotional intelligence as sometimes we can be blind to and biased about how we express and read the emotional components of interactions. One example would be the fact that many of us think that we are great listeners when that is truly not the case. So, without this reality check, it can be challenging to identify the ways your actions affect your performance.
You also need to consider what your goals are. Think about how you want to get better at what you are currently doing, or even where you want to be in the future. When it comes to developing your emotional intelligence, you will be at a major disadvantage if you are only interested in doing something because someone else says you should. With your EI being tied up in your sense of self, being intrinsically motivated will matter more when you are trying to changing long standing habits than when trying to learn a skill such as budgeting. Whatever areas you decide to work on, they should lie squarely at the intersection of feedback you have received and the areas you have identified that are most important to your goals.
Once you have identified the emotional intelligence skills you want to focus on, you need to determine the actions you are going to take. For example, if you are working on being a better listener, you may choose to take pauses and listen to what the other person is saying before replying whenever you have a conversation. You want to make your actions specific because that will help you change the target habit. You will also want to take every opportunity to practice that particular skill to train your brain to react differently in these common situations. The principle of neuroplasticity shows us that as a given brain circuit gets used more frequently, the connections become stronger.