Emotional Intelligence: What and Why?
The capacity to detect and control one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, is referred to as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is generally defined as the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks such as thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions and assisting others to do the same.
In other words, Emotional Intelligence (often called emotional quotient) is the capacity to recognize, understand, and control one’s own emotions as well as recognize, understand, and affect the emotions of others.
In practice, this entails being aware that emotions may influence our conduct and affect others (both positively and adversely), as well as knowing how to control our own and others’ emotions.
Managing emotions is especially important in situations when we are under pressure. For example, when we are:
- Receiving and providing feedback
- Meeting time constraints
- Managing Difficult Relationships
- Dealing with insufficient resources
- Managing Change
- Overcoming setbacks and failure
Emotional Intelligence: Emergence
In the 1990s, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer established the notion of emotional intelligence in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, which was later expanded and made available to the general public by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence.
The notion of emotional quotient, or EQ, has acquired widespread recognition. Some psychologists contend that because EQ cannot be measured via psychometric tests (like general IQ), it lacks meaningful explanatory power.
Emotional Intelligence: Importance
Emotions always come before thinking, according to science. When our emotions are elevated, they alter the way our brains work, reducing our cognitive capacities, decision-making ability, and even interpersonal skills. Understanding and controlling our own emotions (as well as the emotions of others) allows us to be more successful in our personal and professional lives.
Humans are social animals; we are hardwired to connect. The more we can cultivate healthy relationships and cooperative connections, the more our lives will be enriched. Unsurprisingly, research has found a link between better EQ and happiness, but EQ may also aid us when things go bad. According to a study, adolescents who display strong emotional intelligence, particularly in the areas of emotional control and empathy, may be less likely to encounter bullying in an academic context.
As we all know, the smartest individuals are not always the most successful or satisfied in life. You’ve probably met folks who are intellectually smart yet socially incompetent and unsuccessful at jobs or in personal relationships. Intellectual capacity, or your intelligence quotient (IQ), is insufficient on its own to attain life success. Yes, your IQ can help you get into college, but your EQ will help you handle your stress and emotions when it comes to final examinations. IQ and EQ coexist and are most successful when they complement one another.
Emotional intelligence affects:
.A high level of emotional intelligence may assist you in navigating the social difficulties of the workplace, leading and motivating people, and excelling in your profession. Indeed, when it comes to assessing crucial job prospects, many businesses now consider emotional intelligence to be as vital as technical aptitude and use EQ testing before hiring.
You are better able to articulate how you feel and comprehend how others are feeling if you have a better awareness of your emotions and how to regulate them. As a result, you are able to build deeper relationships in both your personal and professional life and communicate more effectively.
- Physical health
If you can’t regulate your emotions, you probably can’t handle your stress either. This can result in major health issues. Uncontrolled stress elevates blood pressure, inhibits the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, leads to infertility, and hastens to age. The first step in increasing emotional intelligence is learning how to deal with stress.
- Mental health
Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also have a negative influence on your mental health, making you more susceptible to anxiety and despair. You will struggle to develop solid connections if you are unable to comprehend, accept, or regulate your emotions. This, in turn, might make you feel lonely and isolated, exacerbating any mental health issues
- Social Intelligence
Understanding your emotions helps you connect with others and the outside world on a social level. You can discern a friend from an enemy, gauge another person’s interest in you, relieve stress, regulate your nervous system through social interaction, and feel loved and happy thanks to social intelligence.
At a personal level, emotional intelligence helps us to:
- Talk about tough topics without offending others
- When under pressure or feeling overwhelmed, control our emotions.
- strengthening bonds with the individuals we care about
At work, emotional intelligence can help us to:
- Deal with disputes
- Mentor and inspire people
- Establish a collaborative culture
- Enhance team psychological safety
Attributes of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by four attributes:
- Relationship management
You understand how to establish and maintain positive relationships, speak clearly, motivate and influence people, collaborate effectively with others, and handle conflict. These abilities, which include persuasion, dispute resolution, cooperation, and the capacity to motivate others, enable you to establish and preserve wholesome connections in all spheres of your life. Because they are able to comprehend others and utilize this understanding to influence others, persons with great social skills may significantly impact teams and organizations.
You have the ability to restrain impulsive thoughts and actions, regulate your emotions in positive ways, exercise initiative, keep your word, and adjust to changing situations. Strong self-regulators may pause and take a deep breath to help them stay cool and think things through before speaking or acting in tight or stressful situations. These folks have a propensity for optimism and can adjust to a wide range of conditions. On the other hand, persons who are unable to control their bad feelings and impulses frequently cause a domino effect of negative feelings in others.
- Social awareness
You’re compassionate. You are able to discern emotional indicators, comprehend the wants and worries of others, feel at ease in social situations, and comprehend the power relationships in a team or organization.
You are aware of how your own emotions impact your ideas and actions. You are confident in yourself and are aware of your talents and flaws. Self-aware individuals typically possess greater self-assurance and creative flair. They also communicate more clearly and effectively, make wiser judgments, and forge stronger bonds.
“It all starts with self-awareness, which is the foundation of EI, and it builds from there. If you’re aware of your own emotions and the behaviors they trigger, you can begin to manage these emotions and behaviors,”
Emotional Intelligence: Signs
A group of abilities and conduct known as emotional intelligence may be cultivated and learned. Here are some characteristics of persons with high and low EQ.
Signs of People with low EQ:
- Feels misunderstood frequently
- become easily irritated
- Become emotionally drained
- difficulty being assertive
Signs of People with high EQ:
- Recognize the relationships between their feelings and behavior.
- Keep your composure and composure in challenging conditions.
- possess the capacity to persuade others to share their goals
- Use diplomacy and tact to deal with challenging people.
A spectrum of emotional intelligence exists. Here are some typical examples that contrast having a higher EQ with having a lower EQ.
Situation: Your employer is criticizing you in front of your coworkers at a meeting.
Higher EQ: You remain calm and then formally excuse yourself so that you may process your feelings in a secure setting.
Lower EQ: You could become angry and leave the office.
- Social awareness
Situation: Despite your agreement, you forget to take out the garbage, and your roommate complains that it makes them feel bad.
Higher EQ: You explain why you messed up and let them know you understand why they’re upset before working with them to create an action plan that will meet both of your requirements.
Lower EQ: You have a hard time comprehending their angst and sense of assault from your critique.
Situation: Your coworker who was up for the same promotion as you received it.
Higher EQ: Upon reflection, you come to the realization that, if you’re being completely honest with yourself, you weren’t working as hard as your coworker and that their promotion was merited.
Lower EQ: You could send your boss an irate email demanding an explanation or threatening to resign.
How to improve emotional intelligence
A person with a high EQ has an inherent gravitational pull. Their effortless rapport puts us at rest and comfort. It seems as though they have a superhuman capacity to interpret social signs. Perhaps they have some capacity for mind-reading others’ emotions. In the workplace, in social situations, and at home, this effortlessness is welcomed. They wouldn’t want a supervisor who understood how they felt and what they were striving to achieve. Some people possess EQ naturally, while others may view it as a skill set that must be learned. It may be improved or strengthened through practice.
Developing emotional intelligence in kids and adolescents is very important as it enables us to manage emotions effectively and avoid being derailed. Children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are more engaged in school, have more positive relationships, and are more empathic.
Here are 12 strategies to do that:
- Practice self-awareness
Think about scheduling a regular day or time to journal. This gives you the chance to think back on how you conducted yourself in conversations and to write down any issues you had. You may periodically go back and read them again to “study” for yourself. You can contemplate while keeping an eye on your ideas.
- Practice gratitude
For good reason, gratitude is one of the most popular positive psychology practices which helps in enhancing emotional intelligence as well. People who practice thankfulness on a daily basis report feeling more alive, sleeping better, expressing more compassion and generosity, and even having stronger immune systems.
- Practice ways to maintain a positive attitude
Never undervalue the influence of your attitude. If one permits it, a bad attitude may readily spread to others. People with emotional intelligence are aware of the emotions of those around them and adjust their attitudes appropriately. They are aware of what must be done in order to have a successful day and a positive mindset. This can be eating a delicious breakfast or lunch, praying or meditating during the day, or posting encouraging words near their workstation or computer.
- Practice self-regulation
Regular deep breathing techniques, especially during times of conflict, may be beneficial. You can learn to view difficulties as veiled opportunities and “failures” as teaching moments. When emotions arise, try to exercise radical acceptance of them and express your feelings.
- Utilize an assertive style of communicating
Gaining respect requires assertive communication that doesn’t come out as overly pushy or passive. People with emotional intelligence are able to state their demands and ideas clearly while yet showing respect for others.
- Stay motivated
Consider taking a break and acknowledging each of your accomplishments. It’s a good idea to determine your “why” when you decide to try anything new. Break down your to-do list into manageable, or “micro,” chores might also be helpful.
- Respond instead of reacting to conflict
Emotional outbursts and sentiments of wrath are frequent during times of conflict. The emotionally intelligent individual is skilled at maintaining composure under pressure. They avoid making hasty judgments that can cause even larger issues. They decide to concentrate on making sure that their words and actions are consistent with the understanding that the aim of conflict resolution.
- Be empathetic
Try becoming more perceptive of your environment to develop empathy. Check to see if you can sense the “energy” of your surroundings. You might also try making new friends or helping out with a cause that matters to you. If you’re caught in traffic, think about observing the people that are seated in their vehicles and seeing what you can learn about them.
- Take criticism well
To develop your emotional intelligence, you must be able to handle criticism. High EQ individuals take a minute to consider the criticism’s context, how it could affect other people or their own performance, and how they might be able to handle any problems in a positive way rather than becoming defensive or upset.
- Develop social skills
Try to immerse oneself in novel circumstances. Try to be aware of your body language and keep eye contact when doing so. Active listening exercises might be helpful as well. Gandhi said, “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” Take that into consideration.
Effective leaders must train their minds for strength just as great athletes train their bodies for strength. Meditation and regular mindfulness practice are the most effective ways to increase Emotional Intelligence and a healthy lifestyle.
Meditation will concurrently improve the mind across all four of the aforementioned emotional intelligence abilities, which enables emotional intelligence and successful leadership to occur. Meditation alone will not, however, generate a well of emotional intelligence.
- Utilize leadership skills.
People with strong emotional intelligence are terrific leaders. They hold themselves to a high level and serve as role models for others. They take initiative and have great decision-making and problem-solving skills. This makes it possible to function at a higher and more effective level both at work and in daily life.
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