Is Emotional Intelligence the Key to Stronger Relationships?
Allow me to tell you story that illustrates the incredible connection between high emotional intelligence (EQ) and strong relationships.
A good friend of mine was on a big ski/snowboarding trip with her family last month, and her father spent the entire time complaining about something. When he was not complaining, he was trying to control everyone’s activities, from when they should hit the slopes to when they should eat to what they should eat.
He nearly ruined the weekend for her because, as my friend pointed out, her father has zero self-awareness. He has no idea how his negative, controlling behavior affects everyone – and even when he is told, he deflects blame for his behavior and pins it on someone or something else.
As a result, her relationship with her father suffers greatly. Instead of enjoying time together, it is a highly stressful, walking-on-eggshells time. Her father’s low self-awareness is affecting all of his family and social relationships.
People with higher EQ not only find it easier to form and maintain relationships, but it is easier for them to “fit in” to group situations.
EQ can affect your professional and personal lives in positive or negative ways. We help individuals and teams improve their EQ. The research continues to show us that raising your EQ brings you a higher salary, more connections to people and a happier life. One study from TalentSmart showed that for every point you raise your EQ it will lead to an additional $1,300 in annual salary.
The ability to connect leads to stronger relationships at work and at home.
- You can recognize your own emotional state
- You can pick up on the emotional cues of other people
- You can control impulsive feelings and behaviors
- You can manage your emotions in a healthy way
- You can adapt to changing circumstances
- You can communicate clearly
- You can manage conflict
All of the above affects your ability to relate to others and communicate more effectively – and in turn, that means you can form stronger relationships.
Now, imagine if my friend’s father worked on raising his EQ. He would understand why he is feeling so negative about something and work to put it in perspective (“Is this really worth getting upset about?”). He would offer suggestions of what to do and ask others to join him, and he would gladly accept other people’s plans – perhaps even joining them.
The next time you are in a highly charged situation, whether at work or at home, try the following exercise:
- Take a deep breath and think about what you are feeling and why you are feeling it
- Tune into the emotional cues that other people are displaying
- Resist reacting – just think about your emotions and those of others
- Form a response that takes into account everyone’s emotional state
- Offer a solution that takes into account everyone’s stake in the outcome
Now it’s your turn! Tell me how the above exercise helped you, and where you put it to use. Increasing our self-awareness has many benefits. If you want to discuss the best way to raise your EQ contact us at
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