Find out the old habits that are not good for you and turn them into new good habits.

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Harvard Business Review” (ID: hbrchinese), author Daniel Gorman, Michel Nevarez, authorized to reprint.

As the concept of emotional intelligence is popular all over the world, we see that professionals are struggling and struggling on the way to improve their emotional intelligence, because they either don’t know where to focus or don’t know how to do it in practice. Improve these skills.

In our work of providing consulting and training leaders for the company, we found that if you want to improve your personal emotional intelligence, you need to consider the areas that need improvement and ensure that these aspects are consistent with the goals you want to achieve. And then actively cultivate habits in these areas, rather than relying solely on conceptual understanding.

In order to improve your emotional intelligence, you must first ask yourself the following three questions:

How do you see how different yourself and others think about you?

As with all learning, the first step is to understand the difference between your self-awareness (that is, how you see yourself) and how others perceive you (that is, how others see you).

This is especially true for the development of emotional intelligence, as we may turn a blind eye to how to express and interpret the emotional components of interaction, not to mention bias.

For example, most of us think that we are good listeners, but this is often not the case. Without such an external reality test, it will be difficult to determine how your behavior affects how you behave. Feedback from others can also prove that we need and have the motivation to change the way we behave.

In addition, EQ cannot be attributed to a single score like IQ. You can’t just say that your emotional intelligence is “good” or “poor”. It consists of four separate aspects, and in some ways we may be better than others: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship processing.

In order to give you a clear understanding of the difference between your self-awareness and the perception of others, you should conduct a 360-degree feedback assessment that includes multiple aspects of emotional intelligence testing. We use the Emotional and Social Capabilities Index, or ESCI-360, to evaluate, but many organizations have their own assessment methods.

The key is to find an organization that can keep the information of those who provide feedback confidential, this organization focuses on development, not performance evaluation (which will distort the feedback effect), this body can let you know in detail what other people are. Your evaluation is different from your own evaluation of yourself.

Another way to get an outside assessment of how your behavior affects your relationships and work is to work with the coach. The coach can help you to see through your surface and see how your vision and personal narrative are against you.
To find a professionally trained coach, you have to do your duty, because the coach is not a licensed profession, so you have to find the referee yourself and see if your future coach has received rigorous training. If working with a coach is not feasible, then find a learning partner, preferably a colleague you trust and willing to talk about your work on a regular basis.

What is important to you?

When you get feedback from the assessment or your coach, you should know from feedback what you want to improve. But also consider what your goals are – how do you do what you are doing better, or where you want to go in the future. When developing an emotional intelligence advantage, if you are interested only because a colleague, boss, or human resources department says you should be interested, then you are at a huge disadvantage. Your emotional intelligence is closely linked to your self-awareness, so when you want to change your long-term habits, the inner motivation is even more important.

This means that the area in which you choose to work actively should be an area that is both in line with the feedback you receive and allows you to make a difference. Ask yourself: Do you want to improve your ability to take leadership positions? Do you want to be a better team member? Or do you want to play a more positive impact?

Do you want to manage yourself better, or focus on your important goals? Or – your goal is not just professional – do you want to get closer to each other with your spouse or child? Knowing the relationship between your current emotional habits and your goals will keep you on your long-term efforts to improve your emotional intelligence.

For example, suppose you get feedback that you are not a good listener – but you think you are. Rather than taking this assessment as a personal attack, or dismissive, it’s better to take a step back and think about your goals: maybe you said you want to better connect, understand, and communicate meaningfully with others. But how can good listening help you do this? Looking at the feedback from this perspective, this can help you see it as an opportunity to move toward your goal, not a threat.

What changes will you make to achieve these goals?

Once you’ve identified the EQ skills you want to improve, you need to determine the specific actions you will take. For example, if you are trying to be a better listener, when you talk to someone, you may decide to take the time to listen to what they say during the conversation and then check if you understand before you answer. The action should be specific, which will help you change your target habits.

No matter how bad the opportunity, you should seize every practical opportunity to practiceLearn the EQ skills you are upgrading. You should try to train your brain to react differently under normal circumstances. The principle of neural plasticity tells us that when we use a particular brain circuit more and more frequently, its internal connectivity becomes stronger and stronger. When it comes to changing your habits, the brain can’t distinguish between family and work: at home and at work, when you practice with your partner or child, it’s no different than talking to your boss or direct subordinates.

Catching these opportunities to showcase your new habits requires a little extra awareness. At first this requires some effort (and actually it can be strange to do so), but each time you do this, these new circuits in your brain will strengthen the connection between them, making you easier and More accustomed to accept new methods.

Example: Soon you will find that it is much more natural to stop and listen to an answer than to interrupt others in excitement. One day you will have a milestone on the nervous system: The new habits will take effect automatically and you don’t need any effort. This means that your new habits have replaced old habits and become the default loop for your brain.

Here, a coach can help you along the way, especially if they have received clear training to help leaders and managers improve their emotional intelligence. From getting the right assessment to observing your behavior, a trained coach can work with you to identify habitual thinking that prevents you from exercising your abilities. When the pressure of life forces you to redevelop old, not so good habits, you can convince yourself.

By answering these questions and starting to change your daily behavioral responses, you can find out the old habits that are not good for you and turn them into new good habits.

Daniel Gorman, Michel Nevarez | Text

Daniel Gorman is the co-director of the Association of Emotional Intelligence Research at Rutgers University. His latest book, Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence, is a set of 12 primers on emotional intelligence that introduces all aspects of emotional intelligence. His other books include “Original Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence” and “Change Characteristics: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.” Michele Revares is an executive coach and experienced HR director.

译言网网 for Huan Geometry |Translation Zhou Qiang|School