Before I read this book, I did not know what is emotional intelligence, never have I heard about it before. By the first chapter I thought this is just a “charisma” book about “how to be a better person” but that actually is only a small part of emotional intelligence. You can read this book and learn how to talk to people correctly and respectfully, how to improve your listening skills, how to understand the dialogue situation and how to read emotions from people next to you. Last but not least – how to read your own emotions. Understand when you are driven by emotions or rational thinking. This book helps you to find the buttons that triggers you, how to and how to take control of them. Many companies now mandate emotional intelligence training and utilize EQ tests as part of the hiring process.
Emotional Intelligence itself, splits in to four competencies. The top two competencies of Personal Competence, self-awareness and self-management, are more about you, your emotions and how much influence they have on you. The bottom two competencies under the Social Competence – social awareness and relationship management, are more about how you are with other people, your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior and motives in order to improve the quality of your relationships. In the next four paragraphs I will sum up steps in each subcategory. It is a list for self improvement.
“A good mood can deceive your thinking just as much as a bad one. When you are feeling excited and really happy, it’s easy to do something that you’ll regret.” – Travis Bradberry
- Quit Treating Your Feelings as Good or Bad
- Observe the Ripple Effect from Your Emotions
- Lean into Your Discomfort
- Feel Your Emotions Physically
- Know Who and What Pushes Your Buttons
- Watch Yourself Like a Hawk . . .
- Keep a Journal about Your Emotions
- Don’t Be Fooled by a Bad Mood
- Don’t Be Fooled by a Good Mood, Either
- Stop and Ask Yourself Why You Do the Things You Do
- Visit Your Values
- Check Yourself
- Spot Your Emotions in Books, Movies, and Music
- Seek Feedback
- Get to know Yourself Under Stress
There was always a reason to procrastinate. One day I just felt sick of it. I felt disgusting. I was a lazy, unorganised mess. I had goals of my own but my actions didn’t associate with them. I took a piece of paper, wrote down my goals, or atleast things I want to experience in my life. I wrote that I want to travel around the world in a volkswagen t3 bus, meet completely new people and earn money by busking. Play in a band and have a huge concert in a some kind of indie rock festival in summer. I want to have a cabin in the woods in Alaska and an old ford ranger from 70s. I want to write a book, write a song. Make my own furniture. Have two kids. Go fishing with them. I want to L I V E. That’s where my self-awareness kicked in.
This is what I had in mind when I was writing about traveling.
I stopped and asked myself why I do things that I do. Why I am in Ventspils for example, why I try and improve my graphic design skills, or why I am learning how to play guitar. I started by listing my core values and things I want to experience in my life as I mentioned before. I listed them on the left column and things I do, what I think and how I react to situations, on the right column. By doing that I easily could see if I am on the right track and if all that’s left is to just trust the process. If I am not on the right track, I try to point out the problem that is preventing from achieving these goals. After two weeks of doing this, each time I am about to do something I imagine this list in my head beforehand and try to understand if it complies with the vision that I have wrote down. I watched myself like a HAWK.
- Breathe Right
- Create an Emotion vs. Reason List
- Make Your Goals Public
- Count to Ten
- Sleep On It
- Talk To a Skilled Self-Manager
- Smile and Laugh More
- Set Aside Some Time in Your Day for Problem Solving
- Take Control of Your Self-Talk
- Visualize Yourself Succeeding
- Clean Up Your Sleep Hygiene
- Focus Your Attention on Your Freedoms Rather thanYour Limitations
- Stay Synchronized
- Speak to Someone Who is Not Emotionally Invested in Your Problem
- Learn a Valuable Lesson from Everyone You Encounter
- Put a Mental Recharge into Your Schedule
- Accept That Change is Just around the Corne.
When someone criticized me, or disagreed with me strongly, or someone questioned my motives, I tended to get a cloudy vision. As odd as it may sound, in moments like these we are missing out on a valuable opportunity to learn from other people. Approaching everyone I encounter as though they have something valuable to teach me – something that I personally will benefit from, is the best way to remain flexible, open-minded, and much less stressed.
Next thing that I was struggling is that I had a bad habit of messing up my sleep schedule. Sleep is one of the most important factors for learning and productivity. One of the chapter suggested to clean Up my Sleep Hygiene. I took these 4 steps to do so.
1. Get twenty minutes of morning sunlight. Our eyes need at least twenty minutes of pre-noon sunlight to reset our inner clock, which makes it easier to fall asleep in the evening. The light can’t be filtered by windows or sunglasses. So I tried to find some time to get outdoors before lunch- time.
2. Turn off the computer at least two hours before bedtime. The light of computer screen, late at night is similar enough to sunlight, making it difficult to fall asleep and disrupt the quality of sleep.
3. Keep your bed for sleeping. I tend to work in bed, watch movies or just relax, and I always had problems going to bed in time. Therefore I saved my bed only for sleep, now going to sleep is much easier.
4. Avoid caffeine, especially in the p.m. Caffeine has a six-hour half-life. Have a cup of coffee at 8 a.m., and you’ll still have 25 percent of the caffeine in your body at 8 p.m. Caffeine keeps you from falling asleep and is extremely disruptive to the quality of your sleep. It’s best avoided all together.
SOCIAL AWARENESS STRATEGIES
1. Greet People by Name
2. Watch Body Language
3. Make Timing Everything
4. Develop a Back-Pocket Question 5. Don’t Take Notes at Meetings
6. Plan Ahead for Social Gatherings 7. Clear Away the Clutter
8. Live in the Moment
9. Go on a 15-minute Tour
10. Watch EQ at the Movies
11. Practice the Art of Listening
12. Go People Watching
13. Understand the Rules of the Culture Game 14. Test for Accuracy
15. Step into Their Shoes
16. Seek the Whole Picture
17. Catch the Mood of the Room
We use our self-awareness skills to notice our feelings and judge if our needs are being satisfied. We use our self-management skills to express our feelings and act accordingly to benefit the connection. Finally, We use our social awareness skills to better understand the other person’s needs and feelings.
That’s why let’s talk about names. I really like being called by my name, especially if it’s someone I just met, in my book it always is a “plus” for them. Names are usually on the tip of my tongue, and then ,poof’, I tend to forget names 30 seconds after I hear it—I made this the “Hello” month to practice saying, “Hello, [name ],” to someone each time I enter a room and to those I am introduced to. Remembering a person’s name is a brain exercise—practice may be required. If a name sounds unusual, I ask the person to spell it, so my brain can picture the name written. This helped me remember it later. “Be sure to use the person’s name at least twice during the conversation.”
Greeting people by their names not only acknowledges them as the essence of who they are, but also allows you to remain connected to them in more than just a superficial way. By making it a goal to remember someone’s name when you meet or greet him or her, you are focusing your mind, which will only increase your awareness in social situations.
Also when I am studying and my head is focused on my computer and my hands are busy typing, I miss the critical clues on how others are feeling or what they may be thinking, therefore I tend to misunderstand what the other person meant.
Another great thing to implement in our lives is to make eye contact with whoever is speaking. We will feel more engaged and focused on others, and pick up on things that pen and paper surely miss.
RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
- Be Open and Be Curious
- Enhance Your Natural Communication Style
- Avoid Giving Mixed Signals
- Remember the Little Things That Pack a Punch
- Take Feedback Well
- Build Trust
- Have an “Open-door” Policy
- Only Get Mad on Purpose
- Don’t Avoid the Inevitable
- Acknowledge the Other Person’s Feelings
- Complement the Person’s Emotions or Situation
- When You Care, Show It
- Explain Your Decisions, Don’t Just Make Them
- Make Your Feedback Direct and Constructive
- Align Your Intention with Your Impact
- Offer a “Fix-it” Statement during a Broken Conversation
- Tackle a Tough Conversation
Remember, relationship management is about making choices and acting with the goal of creating an honest, deep connection with others. To do this, we need to be honest with others and with yourself. I take mental note of those moments when I tell someone that I am feeling fine, but my body, tone, or demeanor is sending drastically different signals. When I catch myself sending a mixed signal, I try to readjust to match it or explain it.
When Giving feedback I use softeners such as “I think,” or “I believe,” or “This time” to begin a statement, so it may soften the blow. Instead of “Your report is utterly terrible,” I use “I believe there are parts of your report that could use revisions. May I walk you through some suggestions?” Here, offering suggestions for improvement is helpful—not prescriptive. At the end, I ask the person for his or her thoughts, and thank the person for his or her willingness to consider your suggestions.
Most workers will say that they never get thanked for their contributions at work but yet will agree that hearing “thank you,” “please,” or even “I’m sorry” can have a positive impact on morale. I thought about how often I really say “thank you,” “please,” or “I’m sorry” when it is needed; I didn’t use them often, it could be due to lack of time or habit, or maybe even a bruised ego. I Began to make a habit of incorporating more of these phrases into my relationships.
I understood that increasing our accessibility can only improve our relationships—it literally opens the door to communication, even if it’s virtual (by email or phone). People will feel valued and respected because of the time we’re giving them; and we get the opportunity to learn about others. “Trust is a peculiar resource; it is built rather than depleted by use.”
To sum up, I think mastering EQ has to be done by everyone. The reason for the small application of emotional intelligence in society, is because people just don’t understand it. They often mistake emotional intelligence for a form of charisma and/or empathy, just as I did it.
Second, they don’t see it as something that can be improved. Either you have it or you don’t. And that’s why this is such a helpful book. By understanding what emotional intelligence really is and how we can manage it in our lives, we can begin to leverage all of that intelligence, education and experience we’ve been storing up for all these years for our own good.
This was a great book “Emotional intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry, especially because I read this book before the emotional intelligence lectures in BA. It was like a knowledge refreshment and clearing the fog on things I didn’t quite understand while reading the book on my own. It was really helpful and I would recommend to read this book to everyone in this country.
If you want to speak about emotional intelligence or discuss your future plans with me – apply to Bootcamp 2020 in the form below. I will be there! 🙂