Emotional Intelligence (EQ) or EQ remains a relatively unknown and vastly underutilized skill in most countries of the world.
The reason is simple: There are no tested and proven ways to gauge a person’s EQ. Every individual reacts differently to a situation.
However, in the modern world, excellent human resources management requires a high level of EQ, especially among middle and top-ranking executives.
EQ cannot be learned, as many psychologists aver. Preferably, it is a skill acquired by experience or sometimes innate. With some training, you can develop & improve EQ to manage own emotions and understand others who are stressed.
Defining Emotional Intelligence
Astute definition of Emotional Intelligence is provided by the American website, Psychology Today.
It defines EQ in these words. “Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” This definition requires no further explanation.
As it rightly states, we need abilities to identify and manage our own emotions while interacting with others. At the same time, we need to relate to the feelings of the other person and communicate appropriately. This can be somewhat arduous. Therefore, we look at ways and means how to utilize EQ for a better life.
Identifying Own Emotions
Nobody can know what is bothering or stressing you. Only you can provide the answers. In such a scenario, identify factors or causes that are triggering a particular set of emotions.
Upon identifying these reasons, you can easily find ways and means to address the issue, regardless whether it is in the workplace, personal life, family or a relationship.
Learning to identify your emotions and its causes is vital before you step out to help others.
Helping others overcome crises with your EQ is possible only if you can relate to a situation or scenario that is stressing someone.
Step-1: Listen Carefully
Regardless of whom you are interacting, the best method to detect stress in the other is by listening to how they are speaking. Stressed people will either talk excitedly or slur in their speech.
Often, stressed people cannot maintain a single chain of thought. Hence, they will speak about unrelated issues while talking with you.
Politely request the person to express their views or point in detail. Ask them to speak only about the issue they are confronted with rather than talking about unrelated stuff.
Try and take notes, if possible, since it indicates you are genuinely interested in solving their problem and relieving the stressful situation.
Step-2: Physical Appearance
Physical appearances of a stressed female or male are readily evident if you pay close attention. A generally well-dressed woman or man will betray stress through their attire. Stressed people will wear clothes that are creased or bear sweat marks or even carry body odour.
Stressed males will often have stubble. Unkempt hair and faulty make-up are all signs of stress. It is because stress preoccupies a person’s mind and takes the focus off their daily habits such as grooming.
You can handle such a person by offering them to take some time off from work or assigning tasks that are easy to complete. If this person is a friend or relative, give them ample space to relieve stress. This includes leaving them alone for some time.
Step-3: Stressful Scenarios
There will be several scenarios where you would be stressed equally or more than an employee, colleague, friend or relative. These situations require slightly deft handling. Blowing your top is unhelpful and can end up in creating strained relationships at work, home or social and personal life.
Should you encounter such a scenario, the best way is to remind yourself that others have more worries and problems. Talk with the other person and find out what is stressing them out.
Speaking about a stressful situation often works as a great reliever. Once you have given a patient hearing to the other, also discuss the stress you experience and ask for solutions. This generally has a magical effect.
Step-4: Get Stuff Sorted
One of the leading causes of stress is when people lose focus on what is important and concentrate on what is urgent. Remember, nothing significant that is attended on time becomes urgent.
Should you encounter stress, sort out your list of priorities according to urgency and importance and their due relevance to your life or job.
Also, you can help the other person to relieve stress by getting them to prioritize issues that are bothering them. Here, the same formula holds good: sorting out problems that are pressing and those that are vital.
Allow the other person to work on stuff that is important and relevant rather than focusing on something that is urgent. Of course, relegating critical tasks can be done only when it does not incur losses of any sort.
Step-5: Suggest, Don’t Advise
Generally, people tend to welcome suggestions over advice. The same holds true for you too. Giving or taking advice is okay only if you will act upon it immediately.
Else, it is a sheer waste of time for everyone involved. Ask the other person for reasons leading to stress. Suggest overcoming the stressful situation.
In case you find yourself stressed, ask others for suggestions. Some of these suggestions may be absurd, yet they will help relieve the stress. Additionally, you may be able to find some ways and means by adopting these suggestions.
The basic rule of using EQ is to tame your mind. Unless you are calm in the midst of whatever storm, it is impossible to help others tide over their emotional turbulence.
Taking short breaks at the workplace or home often helps relieve stress. Reflecting upon your achievements serves to boost self-confidence.
Once your own emotions are under control, others can be helped too. Remember, it does not serve well to suppress your emotions or expect others to conceal their feelings. Using EQ astutely helps you in all situations in life.