Emotional intelligence is the most powerful tool for success — not only in in romantic relationships, but business, too. In fact, the same rules for achieving your goals in business also apply to love. Here are five practices that people with high EQs use to achieve success at both work and in their personal lives:
1. Follow actions, not words. When I hire someone, I don’t pay much attention to lip service about accountability or hard work. Instead, I screen for a solid track record — do they meet deadlines? Make calls? Close deals? What are they doing (not saying)?
In business and personal matters, talk is cheap.
2. Check yourself. We’re all emotional people, and sometimes little things can turn into unnecessarily big deals. Emotionally-intelligent people know how to push pause before making a perceived slight into a colossal deal. Did someone interrupt you in a meeting? Instead of stewing about it or plotting revenge, consider that the person is possibly distracted by personal issues at home. Maybe they felt scrutinized by their boss that day and was over-compensating with their boisterous presentation. Rise above it and give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s not always about you.
The same rules apply to your romantic and business relationships. Everyone has bad days and everyone has their quirks. Just because your date doesn’t feel like dancing doesn’t mean she is embarrassed to be seen with you, or that you should never go out with her again. Take the incident for what it is and move on.
3. Keep the end goal in mind. Those who succeed in life and business keep an eye on the big picture. This means letting go of petty perceived slights and road bumps that present themselves each and every day. When you keep the end goal at the top of your mind, it is easier to negotiate with a difficult client, create successful, win-win partnerships, and focus your energy on what is most important — not getting sidetracked by petty annoyances and putting out little fires.
That goes for relationships, too. If a long-term committed partnership with your spouse is your top priority, then you are less likely to focus on the proverbial toothpaste cap conundrums that trip up so many couples. Even bigger issues such as differences in money management or raising kids are more easily negotiated when you are both focused on lifelong collaboration.
4. Cleanse out the toxins. Good business feeds off good energy — and negative people can destroy an organization. Entrepreneurs with high EQs know there are enough positive people in the world that there is no need to waste valuable energy managing the toxic ones. Sometimes even high performers are not a good fit if they are manipulative, combative or otherwise a negative force in the office.
Ditto for your love life and business relationships. If someone zaps your energy or otherwise makes you feel bad about yourself, have the strength to move on. Emotionally intelligent people have little tolerance for others who are insincere (or downright lie), critical, needy or have addictive habits. There are some people who are better out of your life — or on the other side of the courtroom.
5. Stay connected. Just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean that you have to obliterate the bridge. Even if a deal falls apart on a sour note, emotionally intelligent people make all efforts to take the high road and keep the connection alive and positive. You never know when you may cross paths again — or need that person in the future.
Just because a relationship doesn’t last a lifetime doesn’t mean that you must part ways as enemies. More often than not relationships end because of differences or circumstances — not personal slights. When a bridge is still available, there is far more opportunity for you to enjoy richer experiences on nearly every level.