In recent times, Emotional Intelligence has become one of the most important people’s skills everyone needs to pay huge attention to, as it has been proven to help individuals and groups overcome challenges, build relationships and resolve conflicts.

Generally, Emotional Intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to monitor one’s emotions as well as that of others; to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately; and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.

To improve your emotional intelligence, here are four key areas you need to pay attention:

1 – Self-awareness

As popularly agreed that you can’t give what you don’t have, the first step to improving your emotional intelligence is by knowing your own emotions. This cuts across identifying your emotions, being aware of them and the possible triggers and the impacts. It also allows you to put a check on your reactions towards people’s actions.

2 – Empathy

Empathy is simply ‘putting oneself in another person’s condition’. Having known what your own emotions are, the next step to improving your emotional intelligence is to seek to understand other people’s emotions and use that understanding to guide your actions towards them. Empathy also guides us not to force our own definition of our emotions on people. Listening and understanding your biases is essential to building empathy.

3 – Communication

The third key area to pay attention to is Communication. Knowing how to clearly communicate your emotions and your understanding of people’s emotions whether verbal or non-verbal, helps to express needs, influence others and improve listening. Ways to improve your communication includes: consciously choosing active listening over passive listening, paying attention to your choice of words, your tone of speech and your body language, etc.

4 – Relationship Management

The final step is knowing how to develop and maintain effective, fruitful and fulfilling relationships. This requires having a sense of responsibility and commitment to the relationship you share with people. Another tip to relationship management is seeing conflicts and disagreements as an opportunity to grow closer to others which helps to strengthen trust and foster security.

Improving your Emotional Intelligence is a continuous process that requires so much intentionality. Start today by paying attention to the four areas stated above. It can be instrumental to achieving both your personal and organisation’s goals.

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Jane Egerton-Idehen is a telecommunication executive with over 13 years’ experience in the Nigerian, Liberian and Ghanaian telecommunications markets. Jane has a strong passion for promoting girls in STEM and ensuring women in STEM industries remain and grow their careers in that industry. She curates her thoughts around her career journey, experiences and passion in life.