Emotional Intelligence is a term that has been used in the business world for a while and is only recently starting to become more popular with the rest of the world. With people being overly critical due to the rigors of the workplace and people struggling to connect with their loved ones, it’s no surprise that emotional intelligence is what we all want to be able to master. We want to become better people in both our professional and personal lives, but how do you go about it?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
How we respond to our challenges, express our emotions, and interact with others is more than a gut reaction. Our responses are key skills we can use to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. These skills are often called “emotional intelligence” or “EI.” Daniel Goleman, psychologist, and best-selling author defines EI as the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions as well as the ability to identify, understand, and influence the feelings of others.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important?
Having a high level of emotional intelligence allows you to empathize with others, communicate effectively, and be both self and socially aware. How we respond to ourselves and others impacts our home and work environments. Living in this world means interacting with many different types of people, as well as constant change and surprises. Being emotionally intelligent can help a person to better understand how to deal with anger in an appropriate way, how to deal with stress in a healthy way, how to get things done at work, how to communicate with coworkers, how to communicate with family, how to better communicate with friends, and so much more. Being emotionally intelligent can make a positive difference in your relationships with friends and co-workers as well as in your personal life.
What are the factors that contribute to Emotional Intelligence?
Five components are critical for emotional intelligence.
- Self-Awareness. The ability to recognize what you’re feeling and also understand how your emotions and actions can affect others.
- Self-Regulation. Being able to regulate and manage the emotions you’re feeling while waiting for the appropriate time and avenue in how to express them.
- Motivation. Emotionally intelligent people are motivated by things beyond money, fame, or success. They’re also able to understand and desire the need to fulfill their own inner needs and goals.
- Empathy. Having a high EQ means being able to understand what others may be feeling and are going through and responding kindly and thoughtfully.
- Social Skills. Social skills are vital to emotional intelligence. When you’re aware of how you’re feeling, what others are feeling, and able to communicate effectively, you’re ready to interact well with others.
Understanding and putting these components into action thoughtfully and intentionally can make a drastic difference in not just your life, but those around you. It will help you become more empathetic towards other people and more aware of your social surroundings.
How do you improve Emotional Intelligence?
While emotional skills may come naturally to some people, there are things that anyone can do to help improve their ability to understand and reason with emotions. This can be particularly helpful in the workplace, where relationships and business decisions often rely on the interpersonal understanding, teamwork, and communication.
Become More Self-Aware
One of the first steps toward utilizing emotional intelligence skills in the workplace is to practice recognizing your own emotions. Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of yourself, including your emotions and feelings. It is one of the foundational components of emotional intelligence. To recognize your emotions and understand what is causing these feelings, you need to first be self-aware.
Learn how to respond versus react
Do you know the difference between how you respond versus how you react? Negative emotions often encourage us to react immediately to a given scenario. When we feel angry, we may lash out or shout. When we become sad, we may withdraw and reject people around us.Sometimes we need to act on these impulses, but mostly we don’t. By exploring your negative emotions you can start to develop your understanding of how you react, and instead start to switch this to positive ways of responding – which could mean learning that no reaction is required at all.
Explore mindfulness techniques
If you find that you have the unfortunate tendency to always be mad (or if you always get annoyed or agitated) then mindfulness could help. Mindfulness helps you acknowledge what you’re feeling and why.
Analyze your emotion and its triggers
If you are constantly experiencing negative emotions and struggling to manage them, try to channel those negative emotions into a positive direction by keeping your daily journal. You don’t have to write anything down, simply describing things in your journal helps calm the emotions going through you. People who are willing to explore better ways of living and coping with situations can understand why they react negatively in certain situations. By finding out what triggers the anger inside you, you will become more aware of when the nervous system is set off in that specific way.
Being emotionally intelligent is not something you are born with. It is about truly understanding how you are feeling and being able to respond accordingly. It is a skill you can learn. It is important to understand your emotion and how it affects your reactions to others. By keeping these points in mind, you can improve your emotional intelligence and improve your relationships with other people. Be sure to review them and then leave a comment letting us know what you think!