Not dealing with emotions hurts us, our people, and our organizations. Worse, it holds us back from creating remarkable cultures and achieving incredible business results.
If you want to grow and scale your business, you must learn to develop your Emotional Intelligence. You need to learn how to feel comfortable with emotions. Your emotions, and those of others, are not the enemy, but, in fact, are the basis of your strengths.
The six-step process below is backed by leading science and grounded in decades of in-the-field experience. Learn to identify the specific emotional skills that most impact your career, uncover barriers to growth, set goals, and tap into the motivation to change. This framework addresses five distinct areas of EI – self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision-making, and stress management – along with the individual competencies associated with each.
1. Connect With Yourself
Take a hard look in the mirror to create an inventory of your existing EI strengths and areas for development. Ask yourself questions that probe all five areas of EI, such as: Am I aware of how I am feeling at any given moment? Do I stand up for myself? Am I able to put myself in other people’s shoes?
2. Consult With Others
People’s self-perception is not always accurate. Therefore, it’s critical to interview others to learn how they are seen and then circle back to compare these results with their own perceptions. Ask questions like: “Does it seem that I care too much about what others think of me? Do I adequately manage my stress? Do you think that I control my impulses?”
3. Clarify Focus
Once you’ve collected this information about your level of emotional intelligence, you’ll more likely change if you understand the why behind the EI gaps, and what these gaps are costing you. Look at your highest and lowest EI competencies, and then ask yourself: “Where does this development opportunity come from? Childhood? Life experience? How does it hold me back in the workplace?”
4. Consider Possibilities and Barriers
This step helps you figure out how to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. First, brainstorm as many options as possible for reaching your EI goal, and then they think about what might get in the way of realizing each option.
5. Craft an Action Plan
Develop an action plan broken down into bite-size chunks with target dates for completion, create a “relapse prevention” strategy for handling hiccups along the way. This includes asking yourself: “What triggers do I anticipate experiencing as I attempt to reach my goal? What can I do to avoid these triggers?”
6. Confirm Commitment and Close the Conversation
Establish accountability for your goals. Identify a “Competency Advisor” for support during your EI development process. When you check in with your advisor, they will be asked such questions as: “What strategies have you tried to achieve your goal? How did it go? What are you learning about yourself? What is one thing you will do differently next time?”
Instead of spending time and money on dealing with the inappropriate behaviors and disrespectful communications stemming from emotional issues in the workplace, you can get to the heart of those issues and deal with your feelings, and the feelings of your people, head-on. Leaders need to embrace emotion and turn it into unparalleled strengths.