The Seven Selves: Your Roadmap to Improving Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is associated with high performance, according to a study. And, as you rise through the ranks of an organization, your EQ has an increasingly beneficial overall impact. Building your EQ isn’t an option if you want to achieve well, climb the corporate ladder, and assist your organization as a true team member. It’s a requirement. The seven selves everyone has and can strengthen for better emotional intelligence include:

  • Self-image: what you think of your own personality, abilities, and how you appear to others.
  • Self- and social awareness: Self-awareness, which is internally focused, is consciousness in the present moment about everything that makes you you, such as your normal behaviors or goals. Social awareness, which is externally focused, is how well you pick up on and understand social dynamics and the feelings of others.  
  • Self-reflection: the ability to look back and think about your nature, motivations, and what you’ve done.
  • Self-discipline: the ability to keep ego/emotions from taking over and create/stick to a game plan.
  • Self-management: taking responsibility for and directing your own behavior. 
  • Self-disclosure: revealing things about yourself (e.g., thoughts, successes, likes, mistakes) to others. 
  • Self-development: gaining knowledge or skills to improve yourself.

Each person has their own set of challenges. One big issue with self-image, for example, its accuracy. Most people have a self-image that differs from how others see them, which can lead to issues such as a lack of confidence in approaching colleagues or, on the other hand, being so narcissistic that no one can teach you.

If you’re not sure where to start with fostering the seven selves, here are some great examples of actions you can take right now:

  • Ask for more input from others, especially people such as coaches who can guide you in self-evaluation or help you identify problem spots in your life or work.
  • Observe how others treat you, what’s happening in your space and how you feel. Don’t judge the information you get — just collect it.
  • Create a clear battle plan for your day that identifies and breaks down the short-range goals within your larger strategy.
  • When you feel your emotions running too hot, take a walk or do another calming activity you enjoy. 
  • Admit mistakes as soon as you make them and share points about yourself with honesty.

Everyone is also unique in terms of which aspects of themselves they are certain about and which are wobbly. As a result, you can’t always “repair” one of yourselves the same way you can another. Rather than replicating what someone else has done, you should personalize your approach to improve yourself.

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