A Different Sort of Clever: Managing Yourself

Why do smart people do stupid things sometimes? It’s a question that had researchers stumped until an American Psychologist named Daniel Goleman popularised a new concept in the 1980s. The theory suggested that there were two measurable forms of intelligence: IQ and EQ.

Last time, we focused on what Emotional Intelligence means, and how it might come in handy for us in day-to-day life. That’s all well and good, but what can we do to develop it? In the next few installments of our EQ series, we’ll share four areas you can work on now in order to develop the skills that’ll come in useful later.

Practice Self-Management

Ever been shouted at by a manager? Or watched someone leave a tense meeting in tears? Are you more likely to snap at your colleagues when you’re under stress? Without practicing self-management, you leave yourself at the mercy of your emotions – and when things get intense, you might do – or say – something you regret. The trick to self-management isn’t ignoring your emotions, it’s paying attention to them. If you can learn how your body responds to emotions, you might be able to catch the warning signs when you’re about to go off the deep end. Do you get headaches when you’re feeling stressed? Pay attention. Does your stomach tie itself in a knot when you’re frustrated? Notice that. Next time you get a headache, or your stomach twists, make use of mindfulness techniques that’ll help you ground yourself. Remember, it’s much easier to destroy a reputation than it is to repair it, so self-management is a really important thing to work on.

This week, your homework is to pay attention to your emotions. Extra credit for those who discover how The Employability Experts can help you take your career to the next level.