Emotional intelligence is considered a much better predictor of success than pure intelligence. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are.
You know plenty of people that possess average intelligence that are very successful. The struggling genius is quite common. There’s more to life than being able to do calculus in your head.
Making good decisions, communicating effectively, having positive relationships, and managing yourself well can be far more valuable and powerful than a genius-level IQ.
Boost your emotional intelligence with these strategies:
1. Become an excellent listener. Think about the best listener you know. You probably hold that person in high regard. Listening is a lost art that few people are interested in resurrecting.
● During your next conversation, notice what happens while you’re speaking. The other person is likely bored, distracted, and simply waiting to speak.
● You’ll do much better with people and have fewer misunderstandings if you put all of your attention on the other person during a conversation. They’ll even think that you’re a great conversationalist. Try it and see!
2. Pause before you respond. Think of all the times you wish you’d kept silent. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts can be a real advantage. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you give yourself the opportunity to respond wisely, or to not respond at all.
● Give yourself all the time you need to make an intelligent decision.
3. Develop self-awareness. Very few people are self-aware. We have little idea of how others perceive us or how we come across to them. Think about how odd it is to hear a recording of your own voice, or how you seem to look heavier in photos than you thought you were. That’s only the beginning!
● You might be significantly more rude or obnoxious than you think. Maybe you’re dismissive to others and don’t even know it.
● Ask someone you trust what they think your biggest problem is. You may be surprised by what you hear. You won’t like the answer, but you’ll know in your heart that it’s true.
4. Learn how to motivate yourself. Life is easy if you can get yourself to do the things you know you should do. However, few of us are effective in motivating ourselves to do those things consistently.
● You can avoid most of the drama life has to offer if you can simply do the things that need to be done, when they need to be done.
● Consider why you procrastinate when faced with tasks that are unappealing to you. You’re going to have to do them eventually. Why not put yourself out of your misery as soon as possible and simply get them done?
5. Analyze your emotions. Notice your emotions while you’re experiencing them. Try doing this in place of quickly responding to them.
● For example, if someone says something that irritates you, rather than reply in a hostile manner, ask yourself why you’re experiencing this emotion. What caused it? Is it reasonable? What is an intelligent way to respond?
6. Be assertive. There are advantages to being assertive. You have a much better chance of getting what you want. You’ll also be more transparent to others. People won’t have to guess what you want from them.
● Your relationships will have fewer misunderstandings, too, if you are upfront with your feelings and concerns.
Emotional intelligence might be what you’re missing from your life. You can be goal-oriented, committed, and capable, but it’s difficult to rise above the level of your emotional intelligence.
How would you rate your emotional intelligence? In what areas could you improve? There are several books on the subject, and many contain diagnostic tests. This might be a great place to start.