Ok, so you know that developing emotional intelligence is important. You’ve been told it helps people navigate difficult situations and can help make you a better leader. Maybe you even know the basics of what emotional intelligence is. But how do you deal with other people who aren’t as aware of emotional intelligence as you are?
You Can Only Change You
Step one for handling other people’s emotions is to fully and completely accept that you cannot change someone else. You can’t force a frustrating co-worker to be more aware of their emotional impact on those around them. You can’t force someone to be more empathetic or to try harder to self-regulate themselves.
Self-Awareness and self-regulation are things that the “self” has to do. So, while you can’t be self-aware for someone else, you can be more self-aware of yourself.
Focus On You
Just because you can’t change other people, doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact.
Self-awareness is especially important in dealing with other peoples emotional intelligence. The more you are aware of your own emotions the easier it is going to be to deal with other people. The idea is that if you can recognize the effects of an emotion, both physically and mentally, in yourself then you are better able to recognize that emotion in someone else.
Once you’re able to recognize emotions in others, you can use your own understanding and awareness to proceed with empathy. So while you can’t make a difficult co-worker more empathetic, you can adjust how you interact with them. Instead of allowing yourself to become frustrated and short tempered, proceed with empathy for the other persons emotions. You would be surprised how much of a difference that can make.