Whether it’s asking a neighbor for a favor or re-directing a colleague on a team project, being persuasive in your professional or personal life is a helpful skill.
People with high emotional intelligence, or EQ, are generally better at convincing others to see things their way, says Matt Abrahams, a Stanford University lecturer in organizational behavior.
Here are two things they do better than most people, according to Abrahams.
1. They remove ‘restraining forces’
When someone is deciding whether or not to make a change, they are probably evaluating two factors: the promoting forces and the restraining forces.
Promoting forces are all the reasons why you should do something. Restraining forces are what perceived barriers you face.
“I could give you all the reasons for why you should do something, but that might not be enough because of the restraining forces,” Abrahams says. “Someone with high EQ might focus on restraining forces.”
Let’s say you notice a friend struggling with anxiety and want to convince them to try meditating. Instead of telling them all the benefits of meditation, you could offer to do it with them the first few times.
“Folks high in EQ try to connect things you already do to what they are looking for you to do,” Abrahams says.
This comes more naturally to them because they are good at asking questions and remembering details about other peoples’ lives.
Let’s say you’re putting together a presentation and need someone to design visuals for you. A high EQ person would be able to recall that a colleague recently told them that they are looking for more graphic design opportunities and ask them for help.
“People with high EQ are better at understanding what’s important to other people,” he says. “They are sensitive and remember what people are doing.”
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