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This Is What Will Happen When You Become Emotionally Intelligent

This Is What Will Happen When You Become Emotionally Intelligent
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The head and the heart combine to create emotional intelligence. You want to have emotionally intelligent people on your team. They have the ability to navigate through sticky emotional waters. If you were drowning in emotion, you would want an emotionally intelligent person as your proverbial lifeguard.

Emotion Intelligence (EQ) is not a new concept. Two psychologists – Jack Mayer, Ph.D. of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey, Ph.D. of Yale University were the first to coin the term in 1989.

The Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto explains:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Daniel Goleman is the new father of EQ. His book Emotional Intelligence explains how emotionally intelligent people are really good at handling themselves and relationships.

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Here’s what happens when you become Emotionally Intelligent:

Emotionally Intelligent

    1. You will use your head and heart to solve problems.

    Emotional Intelligence isn’t the triumph of heart over head, it’s the combination of the two. Emotional intelligent people are able to use and regulate emotions in order to solve problems. Some would even argue that EQ is now more important that IQ. Being smart does not necessarily translate into success.

    2. You will have self-awareness when you’re emotionally Intelligent.

    Self-awareness is knowing what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling that way. It’s about being switched on to what’s going on during an emotional situation. Knowing where feelings are coming from, and helping to figure out how to work through them is an important part of behaving in an emotionally intelligent manner. When we’re upset or overwhelmed for unforeseen reasons, it makes it more challenging to overcome the problem — it’s like going somewhere new without a map.

    3. You will have strong self-management skills.

    Self-management in emotionally intelligent people refers to the ability to regulate emotions. It’s knowing when being emotional is resourceful and when it can be harmful. Some of us wear our heart on our sleeves, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but you’re far more likely to get burned out if you always operate in this way. Some situations call for a big, sobbing cry and other times it’s best to keep it to yourself. Having strong self-management skills is knowing the time and place for emotions.

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    4. You will be a good leader.

    Leaders who don’t lead with their heart are rigid. Daniel Goleman explains:

    The CEO of one of the world’s largest money management firms was puzzled. He wanted to know why there was a Bell curve for performance among his employees, with a few outstanding, most in the middle, and a few poor. After all, he hired only the best and brightest graduates from the top schools – shouldn’t they all be outstanding?

    That same puzzle was explored in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller David and Goliath, which I recently read. Malcolm was befuddled by the finding that many of those in the mid to low achievement spectrum of Ivy League schools did not turn out to be world leaders – despite their SAT scores being higher than even the best students at the so-so colleges, who fared better.

    Gladwell and that CEO share a certain muddle in their reasoning: they assumed that academic abilities should predict how well we do in life. They don’t.

    5. You will be empathetic.

    Empathy is your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Having empathy as an emotionally intelligent person allows you to step outside of yourself and see another person’s perspective. Psychcentral.com says that empathy is a skill that is learned.

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    By the time a child is about 4 years old, he begins to associate his emotions with the feelings of others.

    Empathy is learned through interactions and play when we are young. Dr Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute of Play, was a young professor of psychiatry at Baylor University in Texas when he overheard a live radio broadcast of gunshots occurring during the Charles Whitman massacre in 1966. He was studying aggression and was told by his boss to begin researching why Whitman committed this heinous crime.

    Brown and his team reconstructed Whitman’s life in great detail and over the course of his research Brown became fascinated with the importance of play and the overwhelming connection of lack of play across several other young homicidal men. They all had dysfunctional childhoods, histories of abuse, and/or exposure to abuse, and/or overbearing fathers/ carers.

    6. You will have impressive social skills.

    Having impressive social skills as an emotionally intelligent person isn’t all about being extroverted. Understanding your audience and your environment takes great skill when navigating a social setting. Possessing qualities of an ambivert will allow you to assess the situation and call on the necessary approach to achieve social success. Through acting like an ambivert, you’ll be a great communicator, be good at conflict resolution and work well in a team. Knowing who you’re interacting with and what their needs are shows acceptance and respect, allowing you to make lots of friends and influence people.

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    Emotionally Intelligent

      7. You will be gritty.

      Grit is a relatively new concept researched by Angela Lee Duckworth. She explains in her TED Talk that IQ no longer measures success in students; it’s grit.

      Grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.

      Watch her talk here: The key to success? Grit.

      Forbes.com describes the five characteristics of grit as courage, contentiousness, resilience, follow-through and excellence.

      8. You will be resilient.

      Resilience is our ability to bounce back from hard times. It doesn’t mean turning your cheek to challenging times, it means embracing difficult emotions and using them as an opportunity to grow. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, explains the difference between Post Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Growth in this Harvard Business Review podcast.

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      Take a free EQ Quiz here!

      Featured photo credit: 08 — Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: What You Need — Some of the Icons for Anthony Iannarino’s New Book via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

      Warming up

      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

      Stay hydrated

      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

      Meditate

      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

      2. Focus on your goal

      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

      3. Convert negativity to positivity

      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

      4. Understand your content

      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

      5. Practice makes perfect

      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

      6. Be authentic

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

      7. Post speech evaluation

      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

      Improve your next speech

      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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      • How did I do?
      • Are there any areas for improvement?
      • Did I sound or look stressed?
      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
      • Was I saying “um” too often?
      • How was the flow of the speech?

      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

      Reference

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