Goleman's 3 Questions to Increase your Emotional Intelligence

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Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia

Goleman's 3 Questions to Increase your Emotional Intelligence

To improve your Emotional Intelligence (EI) you have to know the areas where to focus your efforts. And you must understand how to improve these skills on a practical level along with the goals you want to achieve.
After this you can then actively build habits in those areas. Merely understanding the areas conceptually is not enough.
According to Goleman and Nevarez, to increase your emotional intelligence you should start by asking yourself 3 questions:

1. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF AND HOW OTHERS SEE YOU?
This is to get a sense of how your self-perception (how you see yourself) differs from your reputation (how others see you).
To give you the best sense of where the differences lie between your self-perception and your reputation, then, you should use a 360-degree feedback assessment that takes into account the multiple facets of EI.
Another way to get an outside perspective on how your actions impact your relationships and your work is to work with a coach.

2. WHAT MATTERS TO YOU?
When you get your feedback from an assessment or your coach, let that inform what you want to improve. But also consider what your goals are — how you want to get better at what you do now, or where you want to go in the future. Understanding the impacts of your current EI habits relative to your goals will keep you going over the long haul as you do the work of strengthening your emotional intelligence.

3. WHAT CHANGES WILL YOU MAKE TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS?
Once you’ve determined which EI skills you want to focus on, identify specific actions that you’ll take. If you’re working on becoming a better listener, for example, you might decide that when you’re conversing with someone you’ll take the time to pause, listen to what they have to say, and check that you understand before you reply. Keep it specific. That helps you change the target habit.
Change the old habits that aren’t serving you well and transform them into new, improved ones that do.

Source: Goleman, D. and Nevarez, M., 2018, "Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with These 3 Questions", HBR August 2018.

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