Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

4. Digging In: An Action Plan to Increase Your EQ

  • Your EQ is largely based on how well your emotional and rational brains communicate with each other. Your goal is to strengthen the pathway between them. We know that brains are plastic in that they form new connections all the time. (Doug: For example, beginning teachers are more inclined to yell at students who make them angry. As their EQ increases, however, they will be better able to control themselves and avoid behavior that only serves to pour more gas on a fire.) Now it’s time to get out your scores from your Emotinal Intelligence Appraisal. Transfer them to page 56 and pick one to work on. Select three strategies from your report and choose an EQ mentor. Now it’s time to practice and be patient as it will take a few months to realize a lasting change. When you think you are ready, retake the appraisal to see how you did and pick another skill to work on.

5. Self-Awareness Strategies

  • Getting to know yourself is a continuous journey. The idea is to get to know your true essence and to become comfortable with it. You need to take time and notice your emotions, which can be unsettling at times. It takes honesty, courage, and patience. Like the chapters that follow, this one offers strategies that you can use to improve your self-awareness. Each strategy has a couple of pages explaining how it works. Sample strategies include: don’t pass judgment as to whether an emotion is good or bad, learn from your discomfort, feel your emotions physically, know who and what pushes your buttons, don’t be fooled by good or bad moods, asking yourself why you do what you do, seek feedback, and getting to know yourself under stress.

6. Self-Management Strategies

  • If you are aware of an emotion, you can choose how to respond to it. This is why self-management builds on self-awareness. It builds on information from your self-awareness and takes the reins to control your behavior. You don’t control your emotions, but you read them and use what you read as you decide how to behave. Sample strategies include: breathing right, count to ten, sleep on it, smile and laugh more, sleep well, focus on freedoms rather than limitations, get advice from someone not emotionally invested in your problem, schedule mental recharging, and accepting that change is just around the corner.
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