Do you ever wonder why people like working with you, or they don’t? Why your life goes pretty smoothly most of the time, or it seems to be constantly filled with destructive drama? Is it possible that the emotional intelligence you’ve developed (or failed to develop) might have something to do with it? Good news! There are ways to improve your emotional intelligence that will improve your relationships. Here are some suggestions (adapted from Carey Nieuwhof).
1. Become aware of how you impact other people.
When you enter a room, do people tense up or clam up? Are they glad you’re there and happy to see you? Are they afraid you’ll criticize them or be complaining again?
How can you increase your awareness of how you impact people? Get up the courage to ask them! And whatever feedback they give you, don’t be defensive. Just listen and try to figure out what you can learn from it.
When I was growing up, I used to watch the Flintstones cartoon. There was a child character in it named Bamm-Bamm Rubble who did not realize how strong he was. Recently, a couple of people have indicated that I have a pretty strong personality. Often times, I don’t feel like this, but it’s a good learning for me on how I impact people, either for good or not so good, when I’m being like Bamm-Bamm! I am realizing there are times I may need to apologize when I have spoken more strongly than I might should have given the circumstances.
2. Don’t make others pay when you’re having a bad day.
Any of us can have a bad day, but we shouldn’t take that out on the people around us. Self-awareness is a significant key to emotional intelligence. So is self-regulation. Well, how should we process our frustration. Possibly praying a lot more?
3. Take the high road.
Refuse to take cheap shots at others. When the conversation starts going negative and damaging, don’t go there. It can be hard to not try and angrily refute all unwarranted criticism. But, there’s a familiar quote about the consequence of taking the low road: “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.” The high road isn’t the easy road, but it’s always the best road.