How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Grow as a Leader
How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Grow as a Leader
Emotional intelligence is the best skill set to master for professional success.

We've hit the midpoint of 2021. How are you doing with those goals?

It’s typical to begin this year with goals, resolutions and changes of habit that we believe will inspire us to do great things. No matter how clear our plans and actions are, we’re going to be affected by the environment and people around us. We’re going to need to rejuvenate and replenish our mindset with positive thoughts and to understand our needs better than before.

It’s why emotional intelligence matters so much — not just knowing what it means, but using its power to transform our mindset to accomplish what we want to most in 2021.

I want to share five ways emotional intelligence will help you grow as a leader in 2021, with clear direction on how to activate this amazing power.

1. Positive Self-Talk Fuels Positive Affirmations and How We See Ourselves

Our inner voice seems to always know what’s right for us and wants us to live our best life — that’s called our intuition.

One book that completely changed my outlook for living was Think and Grow Rich for the first time. This book forever changed my life and helped me to understand what I needed to do to get on track.

As you look at your life, you may begin to realize many of the things you want aren’t even a part of your life. You need to start thinking, visualizing and speaking these things into exist. Ask Why” and “What” questions that help you recognize what you need to take action. By asking these tough questions, you will grow in self-confidence and self-awareness.

For you: Start each day speaking positive affirmations about your life. Create a list of the five things you want most. Then, create a plan for how to get there. Ask yourself, “Am I growing?” “Do I feel happy?” “What will it take for me to feel like I’m living a fulfilled life?” That’s what self-awareness is all about.

2. Use Empathy to Create Powerful Relationships

Take your show on the road. In other words, make connections online and then look to build those relationships by giving away your skills, experiences and strengths for free. You will establish yourself as a great listener and leader who people want to partner with.

All of us want to learn from successful people, and we can do this by not trying to make things about us .

Every time I’ve done this, I made friends. I created future business partnerships. I earned a lot of supporters who then wanted to turn around and help me. Several of them did with the launch of my book, The Value of You.

For you: Use all of the tools on the internet that you have at your disposal to connect, meet with people (online or in-person) and create powerful relationships. Lead with a genuine, heartfelt desire to learn about that person and try and help them. Listen. Care. Help. Watch your relationships blossom.

3. Adapt to Change Better

Adaptability is all about knowing when to change the course, or whether to stay on the path we’re on. Adaptable people take every single lesson they can from experience and use it to their advantage. Adversity isn’t the end — in fact, it’s the greatest teacher. It’s led me to a life I love and I couldn’t be happier with the pain I felt.

What about you? Can you look back on times where you tripped up, got hurt, hit the ground hard and wondered, what next? What came of those experiences?

For you: First things first, you must embrace change in your life. Change is the law of life, so if you ignore change you’re making a huge mistake. Be willing to push yourself forward into new frontiers. Ditch the fear that previously held you back. Share your work, your writing, your art with the world. View adversity as an opportunity to grow.

4. Manage Your Time, Prioritize and Completely Chang the Way You See Your Life

A total game changer — take this Steve Jobs quote to heart:

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

Emotionally intelligent people manage time efficiently and organize their day to focus on their most important things.

You can use “blocks” to plan your day. You can decipher the activities that bring you joy, happiness, fulfillment and success — and then plan a life around those things.

For you: Find a schedule management tool (i.e. Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.) and begin to organize your day. Plot out the most important activities. Create a list at the end of each day checking off the biggest accomplishments and reflecting on what you did well. Then, choose what you want to focus on for tomorrow.

5. Deal With Pain and Use it to Your Advantage

Pain and suffering in life are unavoidable. We will lose the people we love. We will lose jobs. People will say things that hurt our feelings. We’ll lose in business and other competitive endeavors. We will get knocked on our asses.

Then what?

It’s all about how we grow and profit from the pain that matters next. Pain often leads to pleasure for those of us that think positively, work hard and surround ourselves with people that lift us up, rather than tearing us down. I’m most proud of the emotional toughness and maturity I’ve reached by adapting to change and getting to know myself better.

For you: Think about the moment or moments in your life that have caused you the greatest stress, anger, anxiety and pain. What have you learned from these? Take the time to reflect and grow as a person. Rely on the people in your life to lift you up — but lift yourself up first. Be positive.

Focus on what’s next. Use motivation to your advantage — a huge part of emotional intelligence!

Wisdom begins in wonder