By Nancy Schill - Certified Professional Coach
The research shows that people with higher emotional intelligence are more successful.
So why is it, then, that many folks continue to first look to fix others, as a means of building their success? On top of that, many more people talk about improving their emotional intelligence, yet repeatedly point to others as if they magically do not have to do anything to work on their skills.
This can be especially problematic for leaders. Why? Leaders set the stage and influence much of what happens around them. Not to mention, the only thing you ever have a semblance of control over is yourself. This is important to truly understand. The more you get this point, the sooner you will start seeing changes!

If you want greater success, may it be related to your performance, productivity, or your satisfaction, you have to work on YOU! And, why not start with emotional intelligence? Data shows that strong emotional intelligence skills is what separates star performers from others and it also accounts for a majority of the skills of effective managers!

Who doesn't want more emotional intelligence? After all, they are skills. We can learn them and stretch ourselves with practice. That is the place to start! Through improving our own skills, we are setting the stage for responsible, effective behaviors from the people we lead. We are demonstrating through example and building trust and our credibility! All of these, in turn, can increase our influence (often times what leaders really want)!

3 Steps for Building Your Emotional Intelligence

Make a decision and commitment to strengthening your emotional intelligence! Did you ever hear of someone who wasn't great at playing basketball becoming good without practice? Of course not! So, you will have to make a decision that this is something you want to do and then make it a priority to improve. Things won't change or improve if you don't keep at them. Good habits, as well as the other kind, take time to develop!

Start with your awareness! Notice when you have different feelings, especially the subtle ones, and figure out what specifically are creating those feelings. Also, it is important to know how others experience you. So, get their pulse - notice others' responses to you and even ask them to tell you how they perceive you. You will not change anything, if you are not first aware that it needs changing!

Create a plan for yourself that includes getting more information and specific actions for real time practice! What skills do you want to focus on first? How will you learn more about those skills and build your knowledge? What new behaviors will you practice, how regularly, and when will you evaluate your progress? Keep in mind that our ways of acting do not occur in a vacuum and they do not change overnight. Your plan will outline where you want to go and how you will get there!

Nancy Schill is a Certified Professional Coach and the Founder of Executive Intelligent Coaching, where she is a guide to her clients in achieving their next level of success and fulfillment. Through coaching, assessments, strategies, team and culture work, training, and consultation, her clients gain clarity and focus, enhance their skills and influence, and move past obstacles to implement strategic activities and accomplish their vision and goals. Nancy began her career in Psychology, from which she received a specialist-level degree and also maintains two state licenses.

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