How To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

Employers want to hire and promote people with high Emotional Intelligence. People with high EQ have better customer service skills, and can work in team and lead projects better than those with low Emotional Intelligence.

How do you know if you are Emotionally Intelligent?

Inc. Magazine lists qualities of people with high EQ. Here are a few:

  • Able to understand and describe what you are feeling.
  • Know your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Interested in other people, care about what they are going through.
  • Navigate change and new situations.
  • Not easily offended or angered.
  • Grateful and positive attitudes.
Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

No matter how old you are, no matter what your life is like, you have the ability to change or build skills or personality traits that will make you a better person. This includes Emotional Intelligence.

Take a look at this short worksheet to find out where your strengths are and where you might need improvement.

Here are easy ways to increase your EQ capabilities.

Be Polite and Respectful to Everyone You Meet: People who are nice only to supervisors but rude to everyone “beneath them” do not succeed at work — or in life. Emotional Intelligence includes treating everyone with kindness and acting professional in all situations.

Know What is Important to You: Every job offers more than just a paycheck. Remind yourself of how your current job fits your career goals. When you are clear about your priorities and your Professional Identity, you are better able to focus on your work and not get stressed.

Take a Deep Breath: When you feel anger or another strong emotion, stop for a moment before you say or do anything. Take a deep breath and pause to think about why you are feeling what you’re feeling. Give yourself time to choose how you will react to the situation. Think about the consequences of your choices.

Walk in Your Coworker’s Shoes: Look at situations from other people’s points of view. Think about why people do what they do, especially someone you are not getting along with. Try to understand and have compassion for other people.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions: When something goes wrong, do not blame others before you stop and think about everything that happened. Admit your mistakes and face the consequences. Your supervisors and coworkers will see you as an ethical and trustworthy person. And you will feel better about yourself, too.

Don’t Take Things Personally At Work: If your coworkers don’t like your idea, or a project is not completed the way you want, do not get offended. Ask the group or your supervisor about the pros and cons of your ideas. Listen and learn from their critiques and suggestions without getting upset.

Make a Plan to De-Stress: When you know you’re going to have a stressful day at work, think of ways to keep calm and be positive. Know what or who makes you upset at work and have a plan for when you encounter them. Have a list of simple things you can do to clear your head — like going for a 10 minute walk, taking a deep breath, or calling a friend.

Avoid Gossip and Office Drama: Sharing rumors with your coworkers might seem like a good way to make work friends, but it’s dangerous. People who spread and listen to gossip are not considered trustworthy or professional. There are better ways to start conversations with coworkers.

Know That Everyone Is Doing The Best They Can: Most of us are doing the best we can with what we’ve been given. That coworker who you do not like is not a bad person, they just have a different way of working or communicating than you. Have patience for people you do not get along with, and hopefully they will be patient and kind to you.

Improve Your Communications Skills: Your communication skills can be tied to your level of Emotional Intelligence. How you speak and use words at work can help your colleagues to see you as management material or not worthy of working with customers.


Sources: MindTools; Entrepreneur; Idealist Careers