Emotional Intelligence – sounds a bit stuffy and slightly sophisticated, doesn’t it?
If you’ve been hanging around here for any amount of time, you know that “stuffy and sophisticated” are far from an accurate description of this space.
Emotions… well, it is an ultra appropriate topic for this particular environment… because women. Enough said, right?
So, let’s unwrap this seemingly grandiose topic of emotional intelligence and make it more relatable to your everyday life.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, evaluate, and control your emotions.
When you understand your emotions (and the emotions of others) in a positive way, you are better equipped to minimize stress, communicate effectively, overcome challenges, resolve conflict, empathize with others, etc. Who in this crazy world wouldn’t want to live this way?
Do you ever think back to important decisions you have made and wonder, “What in the heck was I thinking?” or “Why did I do that?”. I can tell you from personal experience that a lack of emotional intelligence explains this sister’s bad choices and inappropriate behavior.
Every day, we make important decisions based on our current circumstances.
You must recognize how your circumstances can skew your perspective of the bigger picture.
When you are focused on your circumstances, it is easy to feel stuck. It makes it hard to imagine that things will ever be any different because you have a limited perspective of options and solutions.
Spend the time and energy reflecting on why you make the decisions you do. Work to understand the emotions that influence your choices and behavior.
Sister, this type of self-examination is at the heart of living life on purpose. And intentional living is the path that will lead you to that infamous sweet spot you both desire and deserve.
Developing your emotional intelligence will significantly impact the journey to your sweet spot in every area of life – marriage, family, friends, career, etc. It will influence your choices by opening doors to options and possibilities you may never have considered or even imagined.
It’s not enough to just know about emotional intelligence. You must also know how to cultivate and improve it.
Because we are about real-life application around here, I want to share some practical skills to help you develop your emotional intelligence.
4 Key Skills for Cultivating and Improving Emotional Intelligence
- Self-Awareness – The ability to recognize, label, and understand your emotions (even the negative ones) is the key to self-awareness. The more you are in tune with your emotional states, the better you will understand how they affect your decisions and behaviors. The proof will be in the pudding of the choices you make.
- Self Management – Being able to manage your emotions isn’t a skill you just wake up one morning and decide to put on. But with practice, you will find that you react less and respond more to life’s stuff. Learning to sit for a bit with unpleasant emotions and allowing yourself time to figure out how to alleviate the negative feelings will build your self-confidence. As a result, you will make better decisions and demonstrate positive behavior.
- Relationship Management – Empathy (crucial for healthy relationships) is the ability to recognize how people feel and understand why they feel that way. When we can empathize with others, we can develop more meaningful relationships. Empathy enhances a better understanding of ourselves and those around us.
- Social Awareness – This requires your presence in the moment. As women, the multi-tasking superpower we like to boast about is both a blessing… and a curse. But in a social situation, when you zone out or are distracted with other thoughts and obligations, you miss the opportunity to pay attention to others. Investing time and energy to be fully present can not only teach you things about other people, but it can also reveal much about yourself.
So you’re probably thinking, “Ok Kacie, this is all fine and dandy, but how do these skills transfer to real life? What does this look like?”
I got you, sister.
Today in our incredible Facebook community of real women just like you, I share a list of practical action steps that will help you hone your emotional intelligence. Come on over and check them out.