Build your EQ Muscles

If you desire a better job, higher pay, to be more effective in your management role, or just want to be happier, then perhaps you are considering building your emotional intelligence muscles.

Emotional intelligence is commonly broken down into the following 4 skills:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

EQ is a massive topic, but we don’t need to study all the science to put into practice some of the techniques. Let’s start with self-awareness.

Examine what ‘gets your goat’

People who are self-aware don’t necessarily suppress their feelings or emotions. Rather, by being aware of their feelings, they can choose how to respond in a stressful situation. That sounds simple but is actually very hard unless we have spent some time looking at our tendencies, to figure out where they come from and why they are there.

Have you looked at what gets a reaction from you? Why is that?

Next time you are triggered, try to take a breath and notice your reaction. Also notice the effect your reaction has on others around you. To do this, it might help if you imagine you are looking at yourself from a distance, to see the whole picture.

The following time you are triggered, again take a breath and this time see if you can catch yourself before you react. You will need to try this again and again until it becomes a habit for you. Just like a muscle builder keeps lifting weights at the gym, you need to keep practicing this technique to build your self-awareness muscle. Remember the old saying “No pain, no gain!”

Understanding your triggers is key to self-awareness. If you’re game, ask others how they see you, but remember you might not like everything you hear. Of course, if you’re determined to grow, you’ll be ready for some tough love.

Good luck flexing your muscles!