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‘Aging Optimally’ Part 3: Maximize Emotional Intelligence and Become a Better Leader

This is part 3 of a three-part series on the book “Aging Optimally” by local author Dr. Carol L. Monson. 

Emotional intelligence is a highly sought attribute for business leaders since it was introduced by Daniel Goleman in the 1990s. 

Five elements define EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. EI enables us to perceive, identify, express, understand and use our emotions to facilitate emotional and intellectual growth in ourselves and others. It is essential for healthy interactions in all settings and all relationships. Add to it the characteristics of empathy, optimism and self-control, and you will have better outcomes in your workplace, family and other life arenas.  

Researchers have shown that having a high emotional quotient is more important to achieving life success than having a high intelligence quotient. Corporate and entrepreneurial America wants their prospective leaders to prove their emotional intelligence by taking emotional quotient written tests before hiring them. 

We develop a level of EI as we mature, what else can we do to improve it? Here are 10 tips for improving your emotional intelligence. 

  • Identify and evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Strive to become the best you can be. 
  • Be willing to embrace change. 
  • Be curious about other people when you meet them; reach out and get to know them. 
  • Become a better judge of character and learn who you can trust. 
  • Learn how to neutralize toxic people around you. 
  • Learn how and when to say “no.” 
  • Trust your intuition and learn when to say “yes” to opportunity knocking. 
  • Don’t dwell on your mistakes; we all make them.  
  • Stay positive and stop yourself when you have negative thoughts. 

Dr. Carol L. Monson is a family physician and psychotherapist. Her book is available on Amazon, and her website is