Now let’s take a look at some ways in which we can increase the levels of our own emotional intelligence so that employers will be fighting over us! [laughter]
The first step is to label our own feelings rather than labelling situations or other people. We should say things like “I feel angry” instead of “This is a ridiculous situation”.
Secondly, it is very important to know the difference between a thought and a feeling. In terms of language we express thoughts by saying “I feel like” or “I feel as if” but for feelings we say “I feel” and then a feeling word, an adjective – happy, angry, frustrated.
Next – and this is a crucial point – we should take more responsibility for our feelings. Instead of saying “You are making me jealous” we ought to say “I feel jealous”.
After this we need to learn how to use our feelings to help us make decisions. Ask yourselves “How will I feel if I do this?” or “How will I feel if I don’t?” Another important issue here is respect. We have to respect the feelings of others. We should ask ourselves questions like “How will this person feel if I do this?”
And of course it isn’t enough to just respect the feelings of others. We have to show others that we care. We do this through empathy and understanding. And we should accept people’s feelings. They are just as valid as our own.
Then we come to energy. We need to turn anger into energy and use it to take action – productive action, that is.
Finally, after getting used to understanding and analysing our emotions, we should practise getting a positive value from them. Ask yourselves “How do I feel and what could help me feel better?” and don’t forget those around you – “How do you feel?” and “What would help you feel better?”
To sum up I am going to leave you with two pieces of advice. Don’t criticise, advise, control or lecture others. Just listen with empathy and in a non-judgemental way.
And what about people who invalidate you? Easy – avoid them. And when it isn’t possible to avoid them altogether, try to spend less time with them and don’t let them get to you.
Follow this advice and I am sure that you will soon increase your EQ level. You will feel happier and more positive and hopefully this will rub off on those around you.