A new year is a good time for reflection and renewal, including on your professional self. High emotional intelligence helps differentiate between average performers and stars, so executive coach Alison Zecha explains how to improve your EI and position yourself for career advancement.
1. Know yourself
“Who am I? What’s important to me? Why am I interested in a promotion? What are my intentions in seeking a promotion?” Focus your attention on the person you are now, not were three years ago. Inventory your strengths and areas for development. How do others experience you at work? Ask for their constructive, candid feedback. Review your technical and business skills as well as your interpersonal competencies. Do soul checking about your purpose and how that intersects with your professional life. Be honest: Are you a good fit for the new position and is the position a good fit for you?
2. Regulate your emotions
Tune in to yourself. Breathe deeply. Which emotions do you experience most and least? How do your emotions affect your interactions and relationships? EI research confirms emotions are contagious. What are you sharing and spreading in the workplace? Take control of your self-talk and how you demonstrate your emotions.
3. Increase empathy
Expand from a self-focus to examine your social awareness. Study interpersonal dynamics and your impact on others. Hone your active listening skills, become a master observer of body language and walk in other people’s shoes.
4. Polish your social skills
Leadership is the art of getting results with and through others. People go above and beyond for those who value them, so develop better social skills to build and nurture relationships. Be curious with others rather than judgmental.
5. Take small steps
Move to action. Share your emotional intelligence self-development with your supervisors. Show that you are ready to contribute more.