CNBC make it 2024-03-14 02:00:49

If you use any of these 4 phrases you have higher emotional intelligence than most

In February 2024, the question “What is emotional intelligence?” was Googled three times more than it was a decade ago, according to data from Google Trends.

The uptick in interest makes sense: in recent years everyone from CEOs to therapists have touted the benefits of having high emotional intelligence or EQ.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your own feelings and the feelings of those around you. Those who have higher EQ tend to be better at building relationships both in and outside of the workplace, and excel at diffusing conflict.

EQ isn’t as easy to quantify as other types of skills because empathy and self-awareness are hard to measure.

One way to figure out whether or not you have high emotional intelligence is to think about the last few conversations you’ve had.

“Anything you say that demonstrates empathy and listening, I believe, signals higher emotional intelligence,” says Matt Abrahams, a Stanford University lecturer and communication expert.

Here are two things those with higher emotional intelligence do, according to Abrahams.

1. Paraphrase.

Summarizing what another person says indicates that you are listening and that you are correctly characterizing their message or story.

Some phrases you can use, according to Abrahams, include:

  • “What I hear you saying is … ”
  • “Let me get this right … ”

Then, paraphrase what they said.

″[These phrases] also happen to validate the person because it feels good to be summarized,” Abrahams says. “And that tends to build liking and trust, which are important and people who have high EQ tend to do this well.”

2. Ask questions.

People with high emotional intelligence demonstrate “deep, active listening” Abrahams says. You can show you’re engaged in a discussion by asking questions that have a more emotional leaning.

Abrahams offers up two examples:

  • “How did that make you feel?”
  • “What might have led you to that?”

Both show interest and concern for the other person.

The right body language can also help you demonstrate empathy, Abrahams says.

“Making eye contact, nodding your head, saying ‘uh huh,’” can all show you’re invested in the conversation.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

If you and your partner use any of these 5 phrases regularly, your relationship is stronger than most

Speaking to your partner with respect and appreciation is important, especially in times of conflict.

The most successful couples, according to psychologists, regularly express devotion, understanding, and contrition.

Here are the five phrases that couples who have a strong connection use most, according to experts.

1. “Thank you.”

John and Julie Gottman are psychologists who have studied more than 40,000 couples in search of answering the question: What makes love last?

The one phrase they say all successful couples use often is “thank you.”

“A thriving relationship requires an enthusiastic culture of appreciation, where we’re as good at noticing the things our partners are doing right as we are at noticing what they’re doing wrong,” they wrote for CNBC Make It.

This is especially true for small, everyday acts, they say.

“Tell them why that small thing is a big deal to you: ‘Thank you for making the coffee every morning. I love waking up to the smell of it and the sounds of you in the kitchen. It just makes me start the day off right,’” they say.

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2. “Help me understand this.”

Harvard psychologist Cortney Warren says successful couples don’t avoid conflict, they just better navigate it.

We often assume we know what our partner is saying when in reality they might be expressing something more nuanced or totally different.

“If your partner reacts to a situation in a way that you don’t understand, telling them that you want to know them better is key to resolving conflict and bonding at a deeper level,” Warren wrote for CNBC Make It.

3. “I can forgive you. Can you forgive me?”

When you’re in the heat of an argument or at the end of one it can be hard to express forgiveness. Do it anyways, Warren says.

“Studies have shown that couples who practice forgiveness are more likely to enjoy longer, more satisfying relationships,” she says.

4. “I am committed to you.”

“Being in a relationship is a choice,” Warren says. “Reassuring your partner that you’re still choosing to be with them and to work through challenges will help create a sense of safety and stability.”

This might seem obvious, but communicating your promise to one another can help you and your partner feel validated.

5. “I like you.”

“The healthiest couples don’t just love each other, they like each other, too,” Warren says. “Loving someone is an intense feeling of affection; liking is about seeing them for who they are and acknowledging the attributes you enjoy about them.”

Even if you and your partner aren’t arguing, remind them that you like them.

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3 red flags recruiters look out for in job candidates: They’re how you ‘get blacklisted’

A majority of people, 95%, intend to look for a new job this year, according to a January 2024 survey by jobsite Monster. And many anticipate it will be challenging. More than half, 68% say they think it will be difficult to find one given the state of the economy.

While finding work opportunities can be challenging, there are ways to conduct yourself that could make doing so even harder.

“There’s something called validation seeking behavior, aka desperation,” says Lindsay Mustain, a former Amazon recruiter and current CEO of career coaching company Talent Paradigm. She adds that “it’s that ‘pick me’ energy that actually repels the opportunity.”

Here’s how to avoid giving it off.

Don’t apply to a company over and over

First, avoid applying to jobs in the company over and over again, especially in a short period of time.

If Mustain sees that “you’ve applied 20 times in the last two years and we’ve never hired you once,” she says, that’s a red flag. She immediately thinks, “something’s wrong with that candidate for them to have not been hired by this point.”

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to acing your interview and landing your dream job

Regardless of how much of a fit you might be for the job, a recruiter’s likely not going to take the time to investigate your candidacy further.

“This is how you can kind of get blacklisted,” she says. Try to limit your internal applications to a maximum of five roles that you closely align with in the company.

Don’t use LinkedIn’s ‘open to work’ banner

Another red flag for a recruiter: the “open to work” banner on LinkedIn.

Just by putting up that one signal on the site, “we already know that you need something,” says Mustain. It means that you might not be as picky when it comes to your job opportunities, that you might not be moving your career forward in a measured way that helps you build skills and get better.

“It reduces the appearance of being a high caliber candidate,” she says. Plus, it changes the dynamic in a conversation with a hiring manager. Now, they’re not trying to convince you of a great job opportunity because they want you at the company. Instead, you’re trying to convince them to consider you.

Nolan Church, CEO of talent marketplace Continuum and ex-Google recruiter, agrees. Using the banner “actually feels to a hiring manager like desperation,” he previously told CNBC Make It.

“It’s kind of like asking for a handout on the corner,” says Mustain.

Don’t show up ‘very wounded and hurt’ on social media

Finally, if you’re unemployed, don’t post your unemployment status on social media, especially if you’re inclined to do so from a place of hurt. Mustain gives the example of a post like the following:

“I just got laid off and I have two kids at home and I really need another job, like, as soon as possible. So if you could please introduce me to every person that you know that has a possible opening, I would be so grateful.”

Though sad and a cause for sympathy, people who post like statuses are “showing up very wounded and hurt,” she says. They’re “bleeding out on social media.” Ultimately, they’re showing a weakness in a similar way to people who include the “open to work” banner on their LinkedIn profiles. It’s clear they need something.

A post like that “repels people because they’re not coming from a place of strength,” says Mustain.

Instead, if you’ve been laid off and want to signal to the world that you’re looking for new opportunities, try framing the situation as a new beginning or a chance for growth and sharing concrete examples of your past contributions and successes. You can also share what you’ve learned and how your experiences have equipped you for future challenges. All of this “demonstrates adaptability and a forward-looking mindset to potential employers,” she says.

Remember, “you don’t need any job,” says Mustain. “You want a good job.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

The No. 1 trait bosses look for when promoting employees, says ex-CEO and Harvard expert

Sometimes, exceeding your goals and having a great attitude is enough to get a promotion. But often, bosses look for something more subtle, says Harvard Business School executive fellow Bill George.

People who “focus on doing an outstanding job in leading [their] team” are in the “best” position to get promoted, says George, the former head of health care company Medtronic. In other words, CEOs and other leaders may want to see you guiding and inspiring the rest of your team.

Great employees — the ones managers tend to see as worth promoting — don’t just boss their co-workers around. They excel at building trust with the people around them, which requires a certain amount of self-awareness to achieve, George says.

“Many people do not know who they are,” George wrote in his book, “True North: Emerging Leader Edition,” which published in 2022. “They are so focused on trying to impress others that they let the world shape them rather than shaping themselves into the kind of leaders they want to be.”

The more self-aware you are, the more “your leadership will be authentic and people will naturally want to associate with you,” he added.

Why leadership and self-awareness can help you get a promotion

When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can use them more effectively in the workplace. Traits like emotional intelligence, adaptability and mindset particularly matter, because they can help you navigate challenges and make a lasting impact on your team, research shows.

You can start cultivating your self-awareness with a three-part exercise, Juliette Han, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, told CNBC Make It last year:

  1. Reflect on your interests and skills, so you can specifically define your strengths and the job responsibilities you’d enjoy. What are you good at? What do you like doing?
  2. Ask for feedback from your managers and co-workers. The way they describe you and your work can help you learn a little more about how other people see you.
  3. Use all of those takeaways to figure out which skills you want to hone or incorporate more into your work.

“You can have all the technical skills and charisma in the world, but if you’re completely oblivious of yourself, how you come across and interact in the world, it’s a lot harder to build strong relationships, interact with your boss and co-workers and deepen the friendships you need to truly succeed,” Han said.

You may discover that guiding and inspiring others isn’t your strongest suit, pushing you to leverage other leadership skills — like critical thinking, decision making or conflict resolution — to be a better candidate for promotion.

How to make your case

Even if you deserve a promotion, you might be roadblocked by other factors like your company’s budget. Or, your boss could be totally unaware that you feel ready to move up the ladder.

Try sitting down with your manager and making your case. If they say no, ask them why — and use their response to come back with a stronger argument, or create a plan to meet their expectations, OpenTable CEO Debby Soo told Make It in 2022.

Don’t let a “no” keep you from asking again, said Soo: “Oftentimes, a no isn’t a hard no, it’s a ‘not yet’ or ‘no, but how about this?’”

If you work to meet their expectations, ask your boss again and they still don’t seem to understand or appreciate what you bring to the table, it may be time to look for new opportunities elsewhere, she added.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

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The minimum amount of money to save in case of an emergency, according to a CFP

Experts generally say emergency savings should cover three to six months of living expenses. But after years of high inflation, this goal might seem far from attainable for many Americans.

In fact, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults say they have no emergency savings, a recent Bankrate survey found.

If you’re starting an emergency fund from scratch, don’t be intimidated by the prospect of saving months’ worth of expenses all at once, says Will Kellar, a certified financial planner and partner and lead advisor at Human Investing.

“Emergency savings demands a personalized approach,” he says. “While the conventional wisdom endorses three to six months of living expenses, I persistently advocate that any amount is superior to none.”

Kellar recommends breaking down your emergency savings goals into bite-sized amounts — and celebrating wins where you can. Start by putting aside $50 to $100 a month, he says, and work your way toward saving one month of living expenses. That’s a solid starting point, Kellar says. 

“An entire month of expenses serves as a buffer against immediate shocks, affording space to navigate crises without plunging into debt,” he says. “Regardless of their financial situation, I urge everyone to prioritize this humble yet essential goal.”

Why now is a good time to build your emergency fund

While 63% of Americans say they’re saving less due to rising costs, a series of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve means banks are offering their most attractive rates to savers in years, says Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick.

“One of the benefits of that is we’re now in an environment where people who shop around for the highest yields can get 4 or 5% [annual percentage yield] on a number of different savings products,” he says.

While traditional savings accounts offer an average interest rate of 0.46%, many high-yield savings accounts carry interest rates of 4% or higher — making them ideal for growing your savings faster. These interest rates — also known as annual percentage yield, or APY — fluctuate alongside the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate.

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, also carry higher APYs than traditional savings accounts, with top CD rates ranging from 4.45% to 5.50%, according to Bankrate. CDs are a type of savings account where money is deposited for a predefined amount of time at a fixed interest rate and can’t be withdrawn prematurely without incurring a penalty.

No matter which savings vehicle you choose for your emergency fund, putting away something is better than nothing, Kellar says.

“In essence, there’s no universal formula for emergency savings,” he says. “Having some cash can prevent someone’s financial wellbeing and what they’ve worked so hard to build from going up in smoke.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.