Research shows that the secret to success in work and life is Emotional Intelligence. People with high levels of EQ – the ability to recognise and manage your own emotions and those of others – are more likely to build meaningful relationships that help them stand out from the crowd. The great news is that your EQ (unlike your IQ) is not fixed. Here, Nicole Soames, a highly qualified EQ practitioner and author of ‘The Emotional Intelligence Book’ shares 10 steps to help you live your life in a more emotionally intelligent way:
1. Make a connection
Women are generally better than men at relationships skills. So when you meet someone for the first time, try to find common ground. Remember everyone brings something of value to the table – so treat everyone you meet as an equal and expect to be treated on an equal footing in return.
2. Put yourself in other people’s shoes
Empathy lies at the heart of EQ. Not to be confused with sympathy, empathy is about understanding the other person’s point of view. You need to listen with curiosity and ask clever questions so you can truly understand their motivations.
3. Understand what really makes you tick
Self-knowledge is one of the key building blocks of EQ. As a rule, women are usually more in touch with their feelings than their male counterparts and are therefore more likely to recognise the impact they have on other people. On the down side, women can also be more sensitive – so try not to take things too much to heart.
4. Be open and honest
Straightforwardness is an area women often struggle with. It’s important to know when to push back appropriately rather than saying “yes” to everything that is asked of you. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself and put across your point of view.
5. Manage your emotions
The ability to control your feelings is key to boosting your EQ levels. With so many plates to juggle, it can sometimes be tricky to appear cool calm and collected at all times. However, whenever possible try to keep your feelings in check so that you can respond rather than react to other people.
6. Boost your self-confidence
Women can often suffer from imposter syndrome – putting down their success to luck or being in the right place at the right time. So, it’s important to value who you are and what you bring to the table.
7. Back Yourself
Don’t default to others – have the courage of your convictions and stand your ground. By drawing on your self-reliance in this way, you are far more likely to boost your EQ levels.
8. Be true to yourself
I always remind my clients that you need to stay true to who you really are if you want to find fulfillment in life. So make sure you do the things that make you happy, whether it’s meeting a friend for a drink after work or heading to the gym – only then will you achieve the work life balance you crave.
9. Have a glass half full attitude
Successful people focus on the positives in life and look for new opportunities. So draw on your resilience to overcome any obstacles in your path. Remember, your mood is contagious – so try not to hold a grudge – instead take the learnings from any setbacks and move on.
10. Take change in your stride
In today’s rapidly changing world, adaptability is crucial if you want to stand out from the competition. Women are particularly good at adapting as they are used to wearing different hats – whether it’s as an employee, a mother or a boss. So keep up to date with all the latest developments and try to view change as exciting not scary.