Undoubtedly, being familiar with EQ as HR professionals enables us to hire better candidates, but did you know that EQ can change over time? You can improve EQ or watch it dwindle, depending on how self-aware you are and much effort you put into developing it. With this in mind, it’s not only possible to prime employees for success and leadership roles by helping them improve their EQ, but we can also become more effective in our own positions by increasing our personal EQ. While there are many ways to do so, the five outlined below are some of the easiest to implement.
Our brains build up toxic proteins throughout the day, and the only way they’re eliminated is through high-quality sleep. Most people need 7-9 hours to achieve this. Without it, people feel tired, groggy, ineffective, and less in-touch with the people around us. If you’re like most people, you aren’t getting enough sleep, and the quality of your rest is being taken away by common habits such as sleep aids, alcohol, caffeine, and blue light (computer screens). To improve rest, try reducing or eliminating these things in the hours before bed.
Emotional intelligence expert Travis Bradberry says one simple way to reduce stress involves “cultivating an attitude of gratitude,” or pausing to think of things you’re grateful for throughout the day. This method alone can reduce the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. You can also implement relaxation techniques, such as meditation or breathing exercises.
Those with high EQ tend to react less emotionally to situations. This is because they stop and consider how their words and actions might be received by others before moving forward. To improve EQ, teach yourself to pause. Begin with simple situations where there’s already some distance, such as via text and email. You can even give yourself visual queues, like post-it notes by your computer, to make sure it stays at the forefront of your mind. As you home in your skills, practice the pause with in-person conversations. Over time, this mindful and intentional behavior becomes habit.
At the end of the day, stop and reflect on 2-3 interactions that went well or poorly. Consider what the other person might have been thinking or feeling, and how your words and actions may have been perceived. If you’re unsure what the other person was feeling, go back and ask after a cooling-off period. Listen to them with an open mind- there is no right or wrong. Emotional intelligence is about recognizing the emotions in others and how it impacts their behavior. It’s not about judgements.
Ask trusted friends and coworkers for their unbiased feedback on specific situations they’ve observed you in. Find out if you seemed connected, understanding, and empathetic. Although you may feel defensive, remember that it’s about enhancing your EQ, which means that their perceptions are a valid indicator, even if you felt like you were spot-on.
At the HR source, we specialize in helping companies find the right HR and Executive talent for their needs. If high EQ is important to your organization, let us help. If you have questions or would like assistance, contact us today for a free consultation.
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