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« 12. Develop emotional intelligence: Kind words »

Written by Rachel Green, Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited user of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and internationally recognised Emotional Intelligence Coach.

Most of us have not grown up in emotionally intelligent societies, schools or families and thus our potential emotional intelligence has seldom developed to its fullest. 

The good news is that there are many different activities adults can engage in to develop their emotional intelligence.

This article will focus upon emotional intelligence activities for adults which will help develop the sixth emotional intelligence competency on the Genos emotional intelligence model: Emotional management of others. It will focus upon the emotional reactions that kindness brings.

How good are you at managing the emotions of others? 

High emotional intelligence in this area may include the ability to manage the emotions of others, in individuals, groups and organisations; to manage emotions in people you know well and in those you don't, and to handle a full range of emotions in people, from sadness and anger through to excitement and elation.

Struggling to manage your emotions or read others? Sign up for our five-star emotional intelligence coaching package and have your emotional intelligence assessed on the MSCEIT as part of that. Emotions will become easier. Click here to find out more.

Emotional intelligence activity: Say kind words

You might imagine that it is hard to influence and manage other people's emotions. However it needn't be. Sometimes it is the simplest things that make the difference. You can, for example, influence people's emotions by what you say and how you say it.

Today's activity for you is to use kind words to help manage people's emotions.

Practise saying kind things to people and notice their reactions.

  • You might thank them for what they've done, for the presentations they have given to your executive meeting, for the deadlines they have met, for the ideas they have contributed at a meeting.
  • You may praise them for their productivity, patience or thoughtfulness.
  • You may compliment them on some aspect of their appearance, strengths or work.

When you do these things notice whether people brighten up a little, or not. If they do, you are influencing their emotions.

Practise saying kind things to people every day for the next 4 weeks, and notice the effect it has.

The influence the kind words have will vary across people and situations. Of course, the kind words need to be said in a genuine, sincere, way; faking it is unlikely to produce a positive response.

What is your level of emotional intelligence in managing the emotions of others?

Develop your own or your leader's emotional intelligence

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