The core ingredient needed to help you get over this hurdle is Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence — it sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? People tend to think of others as either emotional or intelligent, but not both. So, just what is emotional intelligence? And why are you hearing about it only now?
Emotional intelligence has a lot to do with being intelligent about your emotions.
It involves the ability to recognize your own emotions as well as the
emotions of other people. It includes understanding emotions. It also has to
do with how you manage your emotions and how you manage other people’s
You may have come across people who surprised you with some of their behaviors. You may have wondered why some people who seem to be very smart in many ways have done some pretty foolish and self-defeating things; or you may want to know why some people are overly disrespectful of others. Getting the scoop on emotional intelligence may help you put together some pieces in this puzzle.
You can spot emotionally intelligent people pretty quickly. They’re the people who
✓ Successfully manage difficult situations
✓ Express themselves clearly
✓ Gain respect from others
✓ Influence other people
✓ Entice other people to help them out
✓ Keep cool under pressure
✓ Recognize their emotional reactions to people or situations
✓ Know how to say the “right” thing to get the right result
✓ Manage themselves effectively when negotiating
✓ Manage other people effectively when negotiating
✓ Motivate themselves to get things done
✓ Know how to be positive, even during difficult situations
Although these behaviors don’t fit within any formal definition of emotional
intelligence, they represent typical behaviors for a person high in emotional
intelligence. If the bar sounds high, don’t fret — with practice, you can build
on your existing skills to become more emotionally intelligent.
Because most people in the world have to interact with others on a regular basis, social intelligence can help make those interactions more satisfying. By
knowing how other people around you are feeling, you can
✓ Maintain good relationships
✓ Encourage a person to feel good about you
✓ Ask a favor from a person without alienating him
✓ Sell a person on an idea or a product
✓ Calm a person down
✓ Be a helpful person to others in need
✓ Have a network of friends and easily find others to do mutually satisfying
Increasing your emotional intelligence at work has many benefits, including the ability to:
✓ Better manage stress at work.
✓ Improve your relationships with co-workers.
✓ Deal more effectively with your supervisor.
✓ Be more productive.
✓ Be a better manager or/and leader.
✓ Better manage your work priorities.
✓ Be a better team player.
Because people who have high emotional intelligence are more in tune with
the people and situations in the workplace, they generally get comparatively
greater pay raises and responsibilities.
You can view empathy as one of the hallmarks of emotional intelligence.
It has a special role to play in just about every theory of emotional intelligence.
Empathy is so important, in part, because it can effectively and efficiently
connect you with other people. It’s also pretty versatile. On the one hand,
empathy enables you to bond with your partner, children, close friends, and
any other people you care about. On the other hand, empathy can help you
out when you’re in a tight spot with a difficult person.
Here’s the good news: People can develop empathy. So, if you think you
have mediocre or even poor skills in this area, you now know that you can
improve. Even if you think you’re pretty good at empathy, there’s more good
news — you can get even better!
After you obtain a good understanding of what empathy is (and what it isn’t),
you can improve your empathy skills. Like the other emotional intelligence
skills, developing empathy just takes some practice.
Empathy is often referred to as “walking in the other person’s moccasins.”
Your ability to know where another person is coming from, how he feels and
thinks, helps make you feel like you really understand that person. You can
often completely disarm a person by fully understanding him as another
human being. By disarming someone you get to deal with his real feelings as
opposed to the shell he wears for protection. Knowing how someone really
feels allows you to offer him the help he might need.
Empathy, in many ways, is a form of selflessness. You step out of your own
world — your problems, worries, joys, and responsibilities — to totally
immerse yourself in another person’s world.
You can’t easily change the behavior of other people. You can try all
kinds of things that often amount to nagging, pushing, or cajoling --
usually to no avail. You may tend to tell the other person why you want him
to change his behavior. However, by focusing more on the other person, and
less on your own needs, wants, and desires, you can get closer to the desired
change in the other person.
Instead of telling someone to do something, which doesn’t usually go over
very well, try to understand what’s holding that person back from doing it
herself. After you get a better idea of what’s keeping her back, you can more
effectively approach the situation.