It was my pleasure to be featured in Authority Magazine for their series on Emotional Intelligence: What it Is; Why it is so Essential; How We Can Increase it.

Here are five tips I share on growing your Emotional Intelligence:

Hit the pause button. Stop before you take action or reply to an email to ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you have the information you need? Have you considered the impact of your actions a month or year down the road?

Ask where you’re wrong. We all need to account for confirmation bias. It’s natural to seek confirmation for our plan or perspective. This can keep us from optimizing and innovating. Find someone with a different perspective and ask what you may be missing.

Look underneath that initial emotion. When something ticks you off, pause. Look a little deeper. What’s underneath? Maybe there’s a fear or loss hanging out there. What values got stepped on? What values were missing? Now you can take action to honor those values.

Have the talk. Sometimes our feelings get in the way of making that tough call. Rather than avoiding difficult conversations, let your empathy support having the talks you’d rather not have. Put yourself in that other person’s shoes and express yourself so your points are understood.

Check your alignment. Sometimes being flexible pulls us or members of our team out of whack. Maybe the team is burned out. Maybe the original vision is getting lost in the details. Take a step back to reconnect with your values and vision and move forward from there.