I first heard of Emotional Intelligence in college. We had to take a class called “Corporate Culture” in which the topic of EQ (as opposed to IQ) was brought up.
It was interesting to think about. Some people are book smart with few social skills. Some people are street smart but not-so-academic.
And a lucky few in the middle have a good balance of both. But then again, there are so many types of intelligence. It is hard to quantify a person’s aptitude when there are so many different kinds of aptitudes to be had.
The five signs of Emotional Intelligence are Self Awareness (knowing yourself intimately, including how to work with your own weaknesses), Self Control, Self Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills.
Self control (or discipline) is ultimately part of your personality. Some people come by it easier than others, but anyone can develop self control if they put effort into it.
I admit, I am not the perfect picture of a self disciplined person. But here are some things I try to do every day to improve myself:
1) Make the bed every morning and pick up clutter when you see it, not just when you feel like it.
2) Do what has to be done first. That means minimizing chit chat, tv shows, and fluff until after your obligations are fulfilled. (I will admit, “chit chat and fluff” is important. Just don’t do it first, though.)
3) Try not to eat food just because it is offered to you. Our office is exploding with muffins, cookies, hershey kisses, and lots of other stuff.
4) Use social networking sites as rewards AFTER your regular work is done. This is a tough one for me.
5) Take time for exercise. Also a tough one for me.
6) Make goals for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them. People who can’t handle pressure, competition, and overall discipline have a much harder time with their lives in general.
Self Awareness is really important for Self Control. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as well as where you stand is important for developing discipline. If you have these two things under control, you will have more composure with your emotions and more control over your actions.
If you want to develop Self Control, you have to be patient with yourself. No one is perfectly self controlled; some people are just better at pretending than others. No matter how skilled you are in this area, everyone has room for improvement. One way of becoming more disciplined is to concentrate on what you are trying to do. Those who have difficulty concentrating (and I would know; I am the Queen of Randomness!) have a harder time sticking to their goals and becoming a disciplined person.
When you set your goals, make sure they are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. If your goal is to “open a business someday” or “complete higher education,” you might as well commit to eating an entire steak in one bite. It can’t be done. However, both of these goals can be broken down into achievable steps. If you think in terms of what you are capable of in small chunks, nearly anything is doable.
Another thing to remember as you work on Self Control is to forgive yourself for making mistakes. I make mistakes all the time. Don’t dwell on what is in the past, but focus on doing better in the future. (If an apology is in order, make sure you take care of it. But don’t mentally beat yourself up.) If you make mistakes, you are at least making progress by realizing your efforts in the first place. Mistakes mean that you are trying, so it is actually a positive thing.
If you haven’t read my Emotional Intelligence series, here is the link. I love to read about types of intelligence like a real dork, so here are my findings! I hope it is helpful. Just keep in mind that I am writing about what I have learned in this area, but I am not a healthcare professional in any way. If you need professional help, please seek it from a licensed professional.
Get the book: Click Here to read about the book, “Emotional Intelligence for Dummies.” I highly recommend it as a practical resource!