Emotions are messages from you to you. They are chemical signals that travel through your body in about six seconds, preparing you to navigate through life.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Are you listening to your emotions? When we use our emotional intelligence we see and choose more clearly. We respond instead of react.
There are 15 skills involved in emotional intelligence, and we all have them to a greater or lesser degree. Men generally use their emotional intelligence to solve problems and make decisions. Women generally use their emotional intelligence to build relationships, nurture and empathize. Most of this comes from the differences in how boys and girls are brought up.
Boys are socialized very early on to be competitive, confident, assertive, decisive and even aggressive. They’re taught that winning is the most important thing. Girls are socialized to be nurturing, care about others, show emotions, get along and be empathetic. They learn that the process is more important than winning and that relationships are key.
Can you improve your emotional intelligence and improve relationships? Yes. Here are seven tips for to get you started:
• Respect the other person’s world view. We build our perspective from our experiences. Their view of the world is no less valid than yours.
• Don’t let your ego get in the way. Don’t think that if they respected you more things would be different.
• Look at every interaction as a new event. See things objectively, and focus on what is relevant to the situation.
• Ignore more. If someone says something that offends you, remember it’s their issue, not yours.
• Don’t push your perspectives on other people. Learn to disagree agreeably.
• Remember that people don’t do things to you; they do things for themselves.
• Give people space. Remember, you don’t know what the other person is going through.
Dale Choquette is a master trainer and human behavioural consultant who offers emotional intelligence coaching at Dale Choquette Co.
This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.
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