5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence Before A Job Search

Securing a good job has become a daunting task due to the volatile nature of the job market. To be successful in a job search, you will need the required skills to land the perfect job.

Even though cover letters or resume can help you get a job, they’re not usually the biggest factor in the hiring manager’s decision. Aside from your background and skills, emotional intelligence is an essential factor that employers are using more and more often to screen potential job applicants for a job role.

In the past, research indicated that employees with average IQ perform better than those with higher IQ. It is logical to assume that a smarter employee would excel in a working environment.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that defines how effective you perceive, understand, reason with and manage your and other people's feelings and emotions. Because it’s so important in the modern work environment, it’s worthwhile to take the time to develop and add to your CV—if you’re not sure of the best way to include it, many of the best websites can assist you.

Here are 5 ways to improve your emotional intelligence:

1.     Be Conscious and Aware

Being conscious and aware is a critical step to help you make decisions, take action and respond to others with awareness. It requires turning off the mindless, unconscious cruise control and living in the moment.

Can you think of a time when you drove your car somewhere and when you arrived you didn’t remember actually driving there? It was as if you had an autopilot installed in your car and it drove itself. That’s a sure sign that you were just mindful enough to be safe but perhaps not conscious enough to experience the ride fully. Improving your emotional intelligence requires experiencing yourself and the world around you.

2.     Seek to Neutralize Events

When you bring two people together and introduce individual beliefs, histories, desires, external pressures and emotion into the mixture, you can get many reactions; you might see a slow fizzle, a boiling over, an explosion or perhaps just a new and better result.

Seeking to neutralize events will help you to prevent a chemical meltdown or even a slight disruption by separating out the elements that get you all fired up. Basically, events are neutral, to begin with. We add our interpretation or judgment and then assume a meaning that may or may not be implied.

For example, if you were told by your employer that you are being relieved of your duties and that you are a good worker but they need to let you go for financial reasons, what might your reaction be? You might start to read into the decision, feel anger or resentment, and let your imagination make up things about yourself or others, stimulated by your emotional reaction.

3.     Operate from Love, Not Fear

This is a really big idea that can revolutionize your interactions with others. Consciously choosing to operate from love and not fear is the next progression and an often very challenging step. It’s not about romantic love, of course. It’s about forgiveness, acceptance and appreciating others. This applies to how you view those around you and includes how you see yourself.

If you operate with fear in your work setting, it might show up with you being suspicious, closed-minded, judgmental, anxious, feeling victimized, angry, desperate and trying to control outcomes. Here you might hold back and fake being something you are not to avoid a perceived conflict. How does that feel? This creates a very low vibration and energy that others will not feel comfortable around. From this mindset there is an assumption that things won’t go well, there isn’t enough to go around and your job is in jeopardy, so you have to beat out the competition.

4.     Agreement without Judgment

Imagine if you did not expect conflict, disagreement or the need to overpower and force others to your point of view. To get to this mindset requires us to activate our emotional intelligence and detach from the outcome.

This is a great place from which to operate. On one hand, you believe in your cause, mission or product and you are enthusiastic about wanting others to agree, buy, or collaborate with you. At the same time, you can lay out your case and then sit back and really listen and let others share their opinions without the need to be right, better, or out to win at all costs. You can help everyone find the best solution, take a stand for your beliefs and product or services and allow them to have their opinions.

5.     Create Moments of Stillness

Many of our methods to building emotional intelligence benefit from the practice of spending quality time with oneself. In today’s hectic world how often do you get to do that? How can you get to know and appreciate your talents and get grounded, centered and calm if you multitask at every moment possible?

There are so many stimuli with our email, the media, iPods, PDAs, car radios, work, family and home demands. When is the last time you had 5 minutes between events and didn’t rush to fill it with a task or distraction? The power of stillness doesn’t necessarily mean silence. It is the ability to focus on your Inner Being, an inner peace.

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