Here are 10 rules of emotional intelligence that will help you start making emotions work for you, instead of against you.
1. The 25/5 Rule
According to ancient legend, billionaire Warren Buffett's personal pilot was once discussing career priorities with his boss when Buffett taught him a simple lesson.
According to the legend, Buffet told his pilot to first make a list of his top 25 career goals, and then, to circle the top five goals. To remain focused on accomplishing goals one through five, the pilot would need to keep away from the other goals.
2. Writing in reverse
Writing in reverse is simple: You have to reverse your role as the writer (of an email, a report, a landing page, etc.) with the role of the recipient (your audience). This is helpful because it keeps you from:
- writing from an overly emotional perspective,
- writing too much, or
- writing things that won't help your cause, and which the recipient doesn't care about
Writing in reverse is also emotionally intelligent--because it helps you develop your empathy muscle.
3. The golden question
The golden question is actually five questions in one. When you need to make a decision but you feel your emotions taking over, ask yourself:
How will I feel about this in:
- a day
- a week?
- a month?
- a year?
- five years?
This question is extremely helpful because by forcing yourself to "see the future," you hack your brain and change the way it processes emotions.
4. The 5-minute rule
Ever have a huge task sitting in front of you, and instead of working on it, you sit around watching YouTube videos all morning? Yeah, me too.
There's a reason we do that: The brain is so overwhelmed with the thought of completing that task, it causes you to avoid it at all costs.
In cases like these, you can use the five-minute rule: Make a deal with yourself to work on a task for just five minutes. If you want to quit after that, no problem.
This works because the brain is "tricked" into seeing your large task as a small one. Of course, you usually end up working for much longer than five minutes.
5. The rule of clocking out
If you're anything like me, you view work as a priority. But how do you balance that priority with even more important priorities, like your family, or your mental health?
You can do so by learning to clock out: Set working times for every day, and when the end of the day comes, clock out. Treat it like an important appointment, one that I can't miss.
Employers and employees who apply the rule of clocking out find balance and build a more rewarding organizational culture--one that is founded on balance.