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Growing Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Why growing your emotional intelligence matters and three things you can do to increase it.

The longer I lead, the more convinced I am that much of our influence stands or falls on our Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Good EQ gives us credibility while poor EQ sabotages it. It remains a skill set to which many pay too little attention. If I had to identify three EQ skills that are necessary for influencing others and being successful they would be the following. These skills matter and can be developed in our marriage, workplace, and relationships.

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ONE | Personal security

Insecurity is the menace of many men leading to unhealthy behaviors to try to mask that insecurity. Think of how our vulnerability is masked: Bravado, the need to continually compete with others, putting others down to elevate ourselves, the need to be right, a need to be loved by everyone and a need to prove ourselves to those around us. These are all characteristics that lead to a lack of authenticity because they are falsely masking our insecurities.

Personal security is knowing who we are with our unique strengths and weaknesses and being okay with that. Secure individuals do not need to be right, they do not need to be defensive and can live from a "nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide" perspective. Secure men are healthy men. They are authentic men who live without pretense. Their security is in the God who made them rather than in themselves.

TWO | Self-awareness

The better we understand ourselves, the better our relationships, influence, and leadership will be. Other-centered awareness and empathy are not possible without self-awareness. Self-aware men understand their emotions and control them, their motives and regulate them, and their relationships and maintain their health. They also know how others perceive them and how to manage their dark side (we all have one).

Self-awareness is not perfection. Instead, it is an accurate read of who we are with all our strengths, weaknesses and imperfections. Being aware, we can then control our emotions, behaviors, and attitudes so that they don't get in the way of our relationships and what we are trying to accomplish.

THREE | Other awareness

Those who do not understand the emotions, reactions, motivations, and behaviors of others come off as uncaring, aloof and arrogant. Perhaps even narcissistic. One cannot have empathy toward others without being aware of their needs, concerns and why they act the way they do. Healthy men are acutely aware of those around them and their needs. Only those who understand others can help them succeed and grow.

One more thing. It is possible to possess these skills but to neglect them - to become so consumed in our stuff that we become careless with our self-awareness, other awareness and it is possible for our security to become arrogance if not guarded. These three areas of EQ must be safeguarded, grown, practiced, and evaluated regularly for us and our relationships to be healthy.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

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