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Yesterday, we looked at the difference between IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient) and how having a high IQ does not guarantee a high EQ. Unlike IQ – which remains relatively constant throughout your life – EQ can be developed over time. Here are 5 ways you can boost your EQ:   1. TAP INTO YOUR EMOTIONS Like it connotes, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to tap into your emotions and use them to make your life better. So, you should know that taking time to acknowledge how you feel about experiences is essential to improving your EQ. Your emotional reactions to events that happen around you throughout the day is very important. Start paying more attention to your feelings and connecting them to experiences because if you ignore your feelings, you’re ignoring important information that has a big effect on your mindset and behaviour.   2. DON’T JUDGE YOUR FEELINGS TOO QUICKLY Healthy emotions often rise and fall in a wave; rising, peaking, and fading naturally, so try not to dismiss your feelings before you have a chance to think them through. When a difficult feeling arises, ask yourself, “When have I felt this feeling before?” Doing this may help you to realize if your current emotional state is reflective of the current situation, or of another time in your past. Also try to connect your feelings with your thoughts by listening to them before you reach the final verdict. Listening to your feelings is like listening to all the witnesses in a court case; only by admitting all the evidence will you be able to reach the best verdict.   3. TAKE NOTE OF PATTERNS IN YOUR EMOTIONS When you have a strong emotion, ask yourself when you last felt like this. What happened before, during and after? It’s another way to learn as much as you can about your own feelings and how they’re connected to your experiences. When you are able to see patterns, you are able to exert more control over your behaviour. Observe how you handled a certain situation before, and how you would like to handle it next time. If you can do it, keep a journal of your emotional reactions on day to day issues, so you can clearly see how you tend to react when those issues arise. You would be more in control when trying to work on them.   4. IMPROVE YOUR EMPATHY SKILLS A lot of us have the “I don’t care” attitude when dealing with other people; especially our subordinates. While I agree some people are just full of untenable excuses, when you can use information from other people to inform your decision – by having a better sense of how or what they are feeling – you are able to improve the relationship and be a better leader. This is why you need to improve your empathy skill. To improve empathy, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Think about how you would feel if you were in their situation. Actively imagine how it must be to go through the experiences they’re having and what might alleviate some of their hardship in terms of support and care. When someone working for/with you is experiencing a strong emotion, ask yourself, “How would I react in the same situation?” Also increase your concentration skill; be truly interested in what people are saying, so you can react in a sensitive way. Instead of letting your thoughts drift, ask questions and summarize what they’re saying, so it’s clear you’re in the conversation.   5. REDUCE NEGATIVE PERSONALIZATION Avoid jumping to a negative conclusion right away, especially when you feel adversely about someone’s behaviour.  Instead of doing that, come up with multiple ways of viewing the situation before reacting. For example, if my friend didn’t pick my call and didn’t return it, I may be tempted to think he is ignoring me, or I can consider the possibility that he has been very busy. When we avoid personalizing other people’s behaviours, we can perceive their expressions more objectively. Widening our perspective when it comes to other people can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding. It is clear that being intellectually capable or possessing good IQ is important in life, but being emotionally intelligent is just as essential, as high emotional intelligence can lead to better relationships, workplace success and better opportunities.     About the Writer: Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele

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This article was first published on 24th March 2015


Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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