If you've been working to develop your emotional intelligence skills, you know it's an ongoing effort. As with other soft skills, the process of improvement doesn't happen overnight. To truly improve your emotional intelligence requires not only action, but reflection.
The end of the year is the perfect time to assess your progress. Below, you'll find 20 questions to ask yourself aligned with 4 major principles of EI: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management, and Relationship Management. Simply answer these questions for yourself with "always", "sometimes", or "rarely". See how well you're progressing, and use your responses as a baseline for next year's skill improvement.
- I take time to ask myself, "How do I really feel about_______________?"
- I observe the changes in my physiology (upset stomach, headache, etc.) caused by emotional responses.
- I engage in positive self-talk ("I can learn from this," "I'm proud of this idea,") rather than negative ("This is stupid," "Why should I bother?").
- I monitor the condition of my own physicality throughout the day.
- I notice how day-to-day interactions influence my overall emotional state.
- I take time to ask myself, " How might they be feeling about______________?"
- I observe the body language of others to discern underlying emotional activity.
- I don't take the feelings of others for granted.
- I can effectively take the "emotional temperature" of any room I enter.
- I'm able to observe the effect that my words and actions may have on another person.
- I do my best to maintain an acceptable tone and physicality.
- I use active skills (Core Breathing, physical exercise) to adjust internal responses.
- I can recognize when an emotional trigger is being pulled, and handle it.
- I know that I may exhibit qualities that I'm unaware of, and do my best to discover them.
- I choose to critique constructively (and privately, as much as possible).
- I take the needs of others into account as well as my own.
- I believe that people can disagree while maintaining an imperative to keep things positive.
- I acknowledge that one person's emotional state can affect an entire group.
- I aim to create an environment where people are as comfortable expressing concerns and criticisms as praise and recognition.
- I look for the most constructive action that builds relationships, rather than disregards them.