Awareness of your emotions and how they affect your communication skills is critical to improving how you interact with others and make decisions, says Brandi Stankovic, chief marketing officer at CU Solutions Group.
“Self-awareness becomes an opportunity to make decisions and move forward,” she says, adding that this type of emotional intelligence is crucial to leadership development.
Stankovic offers five ways to improve your emotional intelligence:
Listen to a CUNA News Podcast interview with Brandi Stankovic.
1. Keep learning. Continue to learn about yourself, your emotions, and what drives them, she advises. “The more we can continue to broaden our own awareness the better.”
2. Build relationships. Even if you work remotely, take time to build relationships with people, whether it’s in person or electronically.
“Build relationships in person as much as you can,” Stankovic says, “because people are more likely to read into your words if you don’t have a strong in-person relationship.”
3. Be authentic. “Be the best version of you for every situation.”
4. Be aware. Understand what triggers your emotional responses and understand how your emotions can be destructive.
5. Understand stressful situations. Stress causes physiological responses that can be uncontrollable. People may lose their train of thought, cry, get upset, or sweat.
These responses are hard to stop once they begin, Stankovic says.
“Once that happens, we can’t be as effective as we want to be,” she says. “The more you put yourself in stressful situations, the better you can learn to manage them.”