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Emotional Intelligence Matters. Here's How to Increase Yours.

Danielle Banner (Estate Information Services) discusses how emotional intelligence leads to increased empathy and can accelerate the careers of female leaders in financial services.

 

 

Empathy is in demand.

Empathy is a highly sought after trait in leaders, and it’s easy to understand why. Leaders don’t just execute. They guide teams through completing projects and overcoming challenges. That takes collaboration and communication. Both of those skills can be enhanced by increased emotional intelligence. 

As Danielle Banner, Executive Vice President at Estate Information Services, puts it, “You can excel technically, but if you can’t collaborate or communicate effectively it’s all for nothing. Technical skills can be overlooked.”

 

What is emotional intelligence?

Danielle describes emotional intelligence as, “the ability to recognize your own emotions and behaviors while also being aware of how they impact others.” Emotional intelligence is a mindfulness approach to how you speak to yourself and interact with the people around you. It starts with the recognition that there is a why behind all feelings.

 

Emotionally intelligent, not emotional. 

An emotional response is reactionary and immediate. There is no thought, just action. In some ways, this is our default mode. It takes patience and practice to slow down our thoughts and understand the feelings behind them.

An emotionally intelligent response is slower. It leaves time for analysis. It’s the introspective way to deal with our own emotions and the emotions of others.

 

How to become more emotionally intelligent?

Simply taking the time to stop and analyze why you or someone else is feeling a certain way is a great place to start. Danielle suggests using the 3 C’s approach—catch it, check it, change it.

 

  • Catch it - Recognize the way that you feel.

  • Check it - Ask yourself why you feel a certain way and think about where those emotions came from. Then, analyze how your feelings impact your actions and those around you.

  • Change it - Use the information gained in reflection to positively move forward.

Start by looking inward.

Examine your thoughts and feelings, especially when they’re negative, and use the 3 C’s to get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do. Then, move into using the same steps to better understand how others are feeling. Doing so will help you build empathy and as a result improve your interactions and conversations.