High Emotional Intelligence is what differentiates great leaders from the rest. They're the people who are self-aware, self-regulated, and motivated to do more and be more.  

They're charismatic leaders who transcend the competition and motivate their teams to accomplish the impossible. Understanding how emotions effect your own performance is important. Understanding how emotions impact your teams performance is even more important. 

So how can we re-wire our brains to perform at a higher level and thrive? Here are some practical ways to cultivate your emotional intelligence. 

1. Ask yourself what type of leader you want to be? 

Daydreaming about becoming an amazing leader? Great. What does that leader look like? What do they do that makes them a great leader? If you can clearly see what that leader is doing in your ideal fantasy and then think of your current reality, you will identify weaknesses. Use this as a starting point to grow. 

2. Challenge yourself to make lasting change. 

I like to take change on in small doses.  If I can get myself to one CrossFit class, I can get to another. If I can confront my weaknesses and see in my minds eye how I'll respond to certain difficult situations I can push myself in real life.

Visualize yourself and how you may handle change or confrontation. Get comfortable with that challenge. When you confront those issues in real life they will begin to come more easily. 

3. Get by with a little help from your friends. 

If you have colleagues who are seeking growth in their career as well, ask for support.  If they're a friend outside of the office too, I think this helps. Offering candid feedback is important for growth.

My business partner and I are candid, and truthful, but never harsh with each other. This trust allows us to grow without hurting the other. 

4. Get out of your office, and shift your brain.

Approaching business issues at an offsite, or in the comfort of watching a sporting event can be a great way to break old habits of interaction with your team. It will allow for you to try new responsive patterns to your colleagues. Even allowing for you to share a laugh together. 

5. Cultivate your own self confidence.  

Create a realistic self assessment, and reward yourself when you have even the smallest wins.  If you know that tight deadlines stress you. Make every attempt to plan your time better.

Get comfortable with feedback, by seeking a constant constructive feedback loop. This is uncomfortable, I get it. But if you can get to zero (which will be painful), you can begin to build on your weaknesses. 

6. Strengthen your own trustworthiness by controlling emotional reactions.  

Instead of berating your team with low performance.  Take a step back to address the real cause of the underperforming.  When building my agency I realized that my team was underperforming because I was out of the office too much. I assessed the issue, and modified my schedule accordingly. 

7. Test the mood contagion.  

Have you ever heard the saying "smile, and the whole world smiles with you?" High or low EQ travels through companies like wildfire. If you're approaching your work with self-awareness, empathy and compassion your team will too.

Being upbeat may not come naturally. Especially in tense situations (I'm guilty).  Part of being an inspirational leader is someone who can remain positive during adversity. 

Let me know how these steps work for you? Do you agree with these steps? What did I miss?