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4 Simple Strategies to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

According to TalentSmart cofounder Dr. Travis Bradberry, the best way to increase your paycheck is to raise your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions belonging to yourself and to others. In a study comparing the EQ scores and annual salaries of 42,000 people, Bradberry’s team of researchers found that people with higher EQ’s tend to earn approximately $29,000 more per year than people with low EQ’s. They also found that a high EQ can be directly correlated to leading a happy and fulfilled life.

So, how do you increase your emotional intelligence? You can start by following these 4 simple steps:

  1. Know your weaknesses

While it is important to know your strengths, it is equally important to have a thorough understanding of your weaknesses so that you can work towards overcoming them. You can gain invaluable insight into these weaknesses by asking your coworkers for feedback or by utilizing a behavioral assessment like the DISC or Myers Briggs.

  1. Practice empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s emotions. By practicing empathy, focusing on others, and walking in their shoes, you will be able to relate more easily to what others might be going through. This ability to relate well to others will increase your emotional intelligence.

  1. Develop your social skills

By developing skills in this area, you will be able to find common ground with people of all kinds, which will allow you to widen your circle of acquaintances. Social skills will also make you an excellent team manager. Dale Carnegie’s timeless book How to Win Friends and Influence People gives great tips on how to build your social skills.

  1. Meditate

Leadership requires that you remain calm regardless of the situation. Meditation not only enhances self-awareness, but it actually changes the structure of the brain, enabling you to regulate your emotions.

Emotional intelligence plays an important role in your wellbeing and success in the workplace. While it may come naturally to some people, emotional intelligence can also be acquired over time. By focusing on the aforementioned steps, you can begin developing your emotional intelligence, thus increasing the likelihood of personal and professional success.