Source | www.inc.com | JUSTIN BARISO
In 1995, psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman published a book introducing most of the world to the nascent concept of emotional intelligence. The idea–that an ability to understand and manage emotions greatly increases our chances of success–quickly took off, and it went on to greatly influence the way people think about emotions and human behavior.
But what does emotional intelligence look like, as manifested in everyday life?
For the past two years, I’ve explored that question in researching my forthcoming book, EQ, Applied. In doing so, I’ve identified a number of actions that illustrate how emotional intelligence appears in the real world.
Here are 13 of them:
1. You think about feelings.
Emotional intelligence begins with what is called self- and social awareness, the ability to recognize emotions (and their impact) in both yourself and others.
That awareness begins with reflection. You ask questions like:
- What are my emotional strengths? What are my weaknesses?
- How does my current mood affect my thoughts and decision making?
- What’s going on under the surface that influences what others say or do?
Pondering questions like these yield valuable insights that can be used to your advantage.
2. You pause.
The pause is as simple as taking a moment to stop and think before you speak or act. (Easy in theory, difficult in practice.) This can help save you from embarrassing moments or from making commitments too quickly.
In other words, pausing helps you refrain from making a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.
3. You strive to control your thoughts.
You don’t have much control over the emotion you experience in a given moment. But you can control your reaction to those emotions–by focusing on your thoughts. (As it’s been said: You can’t prevent a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest.)