Emotional Intelligence has now become the benchmark for predicting your success in the world. HR departments place more value on a high EQ than on a high IQ when interviewing job candidates. Emotional Intelligence is how we react to situations and life in general. It is how we view things – Have you ever met anyone that is always negative about everything? Imagine how their life would change if they could learn to view the world through a positive lens. It is how we react to things – Do you know someone who goes off the handle at the smallest thing? Imagine how many more people would willingly help them, and how much more they could accomplish, if they could have react more rationally. It is our own self-reflection – Do you know someone who always places blame on others? Imagine how they could be more successful if they had more self-confidence, and could identify, own, and improve on their weaknesses without trying to brush them off.
All of these things relate to a person’s emotional intelligence. Controlling our emotions does not just affect ourselves; it affects responses from others. If you can read and influence other’s emotions, and even anticipate their behaviors, imaging what you can accomplish!
So how do you improve your emotional intelligence? There are 15 EQ components to develop and improve, based on the Bar-On EQ-I model by Reuven Bar-On. The first one is related to your Self-Perception, and, more specifically, your Self-Regard. To be successful in Emotional Intelligence, we have to start with how we feel about ourselves, and our ability to accept ourselves. This includes embracing your faults as well as your strengths. If you have a strong Self-Regard, you will be self-confident, but will also be open to suggestions and change. You also will not bristle or blame others when mistakes are made. People with a good self-regard are willing to take ownership of mistakes because they accept even those parts of themselves.
People who do not have a strong self-regard can be either timid, or meek, or can come across as over-confident and arrogant. Both of these personality traits can be created when someone does not feel good about himself or herself, because they have not accepted and embraced their faults. They over-compensate for what they subconsciously feel are their inadequacies in hopes of covering them up.
However, other people are not stupid. They see through these things. One key to EQ – Do not underestimate the perception of others. Even if someone may not consciously be able to pinpoint what the issues are with an arrogant person, they do know that something is off and not quite right.
So how do you work on improving your own self-regard? Start by taking a critical look at yourself:
1 – Jot down 3 things that you really like about yourself. There cannot be any “buts” in the statement. It has to be 100% positive.
2- Then, jot down 3 faults, or warts, that you have. The power here is in how honest you can be about the warts.
3- Acknowledge your warts and keep an ongoing conscious eye on ways and opportunities to improve them.
4 – If it makes sense in a specific situation, confess one of your faults. For example, you may say “I’m sorry that I get a bit stressed when something isn’t exactly right. I am a perfectionist and I know that is what puts me off kilter. So I’ll try to work on that so I don’t overreact.”
Oftentimes we are afraid that we will look weak in front of others when we admit these types of things. But it actually has the opposite effect. We actually feel more respect toward someone when they confess their own issues. It makes them more human and makes us feel more of a bond with them. We feel a bit honored that they felt they could share that with us.
There is a lot of power in recognizing and sharing your faults! If you accept that you are not perfect, it allows you to laugh about your faults, so that they do not generate feelings of shame or inadequacies. It also gives you more of a sense of certainty of who you are (since you are not trying to hide parts of yourself from yourself). You will like yourself more. It makes you more confident but authentic, rather than arrogant. A strong self-perception is critical to EQ because it allows you to learn, grow, and change, and to take risks and venture out into the world to accept all it has to offer.
Improve your EQ with an Emotional Intelligence course.