Authority Magazine
Published in

Authority Magazine

Dr. Cassandra LeClair: Emotional Intelligence; What It Is, Why It Is So Essential, And How We Can Increase It

Cultivate Compassion. Choose kindness and practice empathy. Again, start with yourself. When we have compassion for others, we show them that we see them, we hear them, we value their experiences, and we want to work to end their suffering. You cannot do that for another if you have yet to do it for yourself. When we practice loving kindness with ourselves, we can more easily extend it to others. We can increase our capacity for compassion, just like we can strengthen a muscle through exercise. We can critique and provide guidance without being harsh. We can lead and motivate without tearing others down. Your heart is as much part of emotional intelligence as your brain. Don’t let it harden.

  1. Acknowledge and Accept Your Emotions. Managing your emotions is a crucial piece of emotional intelligence, but first, you must understand what you are feeling. Take a look at your own emotions and ask yourself where they come from and what they mean. What is your emotional history? Do not push away feelings that you don’t like. Accept that all emotions are healthy and learn from those reactions. Name your feelings, find ways to describe them, recognize your triggers, and work to understand when they arise. Learn how to talk about your emotional needs. Look at how your emotions impact your thinking across different situations. In addition, remember that managing your emotions doesn’t mean shutting them down. Work on recognizing where the emotions come from and understanding the appropriate spaces for expression of those emotions. When we know our emotions, we are better equipped to understand the emotions and needs of others.
  2. Actively Engage. Learn to be present, even if distractions abound. Listen to understand so that you can provide an appropriate response. What is needed of you at this moment? Increase your nonverbal immediacy by nodding, leaning in, or smiling. Seek to respond — not react. As you engage, do not let your emotions take over your ability to respond with care and intention. Sit with your initial reaction and think about your response verbally and nonverbally. In addition, recognize that emotions that differ from yours aren’t inherently wrong. Have patience as you listen and seek to acknowledge another feelings and emotional space. Emotional processing is an essential piece of my self-care routine. My mental health and emotional well-being suffer if I don’t take time to acknowledge, feel, and release the feelings I’m experiencing. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to talk to others about areas of improvement. Recognize that each moment can teach you if you are open to change.
  3. Recenter. Emotional intelligence involves recognizing what you need to be emotionally healthy. Meditation, mindfulness, and journaling are daily practices that help me recenter. I build time into my schedule to make sure these things are a priority. You have to take space to regroup and take inventory of what you need for optimal emotional health before you can be there for others. Boundaries are essential, and they do not look the same for everyone. Learn to set boundaries at work and home. Practice self-care so that you can keep your own emotional health intact. Self-care isn’t selfish!
  4. Cultivate Compassion. Choose kindness and practice empathy. Again, start with yourself. When we have compassion for others, we show them that we see them, we hear them, we value their experiences, and we want to work to end their suffering. You cannot do that for another if you have yet to do it for yourself. When we practice loving kindness with ourselves, we can more easily extend it to others. We can increase our capacity for compassion, just like we can strengthen a muscle through exercise. We can critique and provide guidance without being harsh. We can lead and motivate without tearing others down. Your heart is as much part of emotional intelligence as your brain. Don’t let it harden.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Entrepreneur, angel investor and syndicated columnist, as well as a yoga, holistic health, breathwork and meditation enthusiast. Unlock the deepest powers