Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

This final post of our three-part miniseries on emotional intelligence (EQ) concludes with practical ways for you and/or your team to increase EQ. If you missed the first two posts, you can find them here and here. Also, if you are interested in the book which inspired this miniseries, you can download a free copy here.

Researchers once believed EQ was an inborn trait—either you have it or you don’t. Now, however, we know individuals can be taught how to increase their EQ. This can be done by improving four core skills: 1) self-management, 2) self-awareness, 3) social awareness, and 4) relationship management. Likewise, Agile EQ by Everything DiSC© is an assessment-based curriculum which teaches how to increase these skills.

Overview of the Agile EQ Mindsets

Mindsets for the D-style:

  • RESOLUTE: Standing your ground in the face of opposition, speaking up about problems, and pushing through any resistance.
  • SELF-ASSURED: Asserting your opinions and rights, projecting confidence in your ideas and abilities, and taking charge of situations.
  • DYNAMIC: Initiating action on your ideas, influencing people, and projecting a strong social presence.

Mindsets for the i-style:

  • DYNAMIC: Initiating action on your ideas, influencing people, and projecting a strong social presence.
  • OUTGOING: Establishing and maintaining relationships and expressing your emotions and unfiltered thoughts to others.
  • EMPATHIZING: Reaching out with compassion, seeking to understand people’s emotional needs and struggles, and being supportive.

Mindsets for the S-style:

  • EMPATHIZING: Reaching out with compassion, seeking to understand people’s emotional needs and struggles, and being supportive.
  • RECEPTIVE: Staying open to others’ ideas and being willing to compromise or set aside your own needs and preferences.
  • COMPOSED: Reflecting before acting, moderating your responses even under stress, and exercising diplomacy.

Mindsets for the C-style:

  • COMPOSED: Reflecting before acting, moderating your responses even under stress, and exercising diplomacy.
  • OBJECTIVE: Separating facts from emotion and keeping the discussion focused on logic.
  • RESOLUTE: Standing your ground in the face of opposition, speaking up about problems, and pushing through any resistance.

Some of these mindsets may come naturally and some may take a lot of energy to utilize. For example, as many of you know, I’m a high iD, which means I prioritize the Self-Assured, Resolute, and Outgoing mindsets. Therefore, I don’t need much energy to employ these mindsets in situations. However, it requires much more energy for me to stretch to the Receptive, Composed, and Objective mindsets.

How to Stretch to Different Mindsets

Different situations call for different mindsets. Of course, it’s easier to identify situations that call for the mindsets which come naturally for us. Recognizing situations and using other mindsets which don’t come naturally, though, is learning to increase EQ. In order to build these skills, the Agile EQ assessment gives participants Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced steps. These simple steps, then, can be used to increase agility to stretch to less natural mindsets.

Ideas if you need to work on being more Self-Assured:
Beginner – Project confidence through nonverbal communication.
Intermediate – Take charge even if you don’t feel like an expert.
Advanced – Address interpersonal problems you would typically live with or ignore.

Ideas if you need to work on being more Empathizing:
Beginner – Check in with colleagues to offer support.
Intermediate – Gather information about underlying emotions.
Advanced – Adapt your approach to different people and situations.

Ideas if you need to work on being more Outgoing:
Beginner – Get to know colleagues on a personal level.
Intermediate – Share your emotions with others.
Advanced – Build a larger network of connections.

When we can stretch and use all mindsets effectively, we will be using the skills which increase our EQ. This increase, then, helps to build thriving workplace cultures.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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