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(Summary article 'Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with These 3 Questions')

As the concept of emotional intelligence has gone global, we’ve watched professionals founder as they try to improve their emotional intelligence (or EI) because they either don’t know where to focus their efforts or they haven’t understood how to improve these skills on a practical level. In our work consulting with companies and coaching leaders, we have found that if you’re looking to develop particular EI strengths, it helps to consider areas for improvement others have identified along with the goals you want to achieve — and then to actively build habits in those areas rather than simply relying on understanding them conceptually.

To that end, start by asking yourself three questions:

What are the differences between how you see yourself and how others see you?
The first step, as with all learning, is to get a sense of how your self-perception (how you see yourself) differs from your reputation (how others see you). This is especially true for the development of emotional intelligence because we can be blind to, not to mention biased about, how we express and read the emotional components of our interactions.

What matters to you?
When you get your feedback from an assessment or your coach, let that inform what you want to improve. But also consider what your goals are — how you want to get better at what you do now, or where you want to go in the future. When it comes to cultivating strengths in emotional intelligence, you’re at a huge disadvantage if you’re only interested because a colleague, your boss, or someone in HR said you should be.

What changes will you make to achieve these goals?
Once you’ve determined which emotional intelligence skills you want to focus on, identify specific actions that you’ll take. If you’re working on becoming a better listener, for example, you might decide that when you’re conversing with someone you’ll take the time to pause, listen to what they have to say, and check that you understand before you reply. Keep it specific. That helps you change the target habit.

Source: Goleman, D., Nevarez, M. (2018) Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with These 3 Questions.

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