Emotional Intelligence is a balance bringer, and a coping mechanism all rolled into one. What is emotional intelligence, and why is it so important? In todays hectic life we are expected to do it all. As ultra capable humans we should excel at everything from vacuum cleaning to leadership. We move from private to professional with a swipe on a screen, and find it hard to get balance in our lives. We buy health magazines, and promise ourselves to eat better, exercise more and spend time with our loved ones. How much is too much? Why do we tend to overspend our energies in one area, and leaves others on a back burner? Emotional intelligence is a way to bring back what is important to the forefront. Emotional intelligence brings clarity to what is priority, and what is not. Read on to see how you can benefit from emotional intelligence in your life.
Emotional Intelligence: What is it?
Emotional Intelligence has been defined by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions“.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. When you are able to see, use, understand and manage emotions you impact your life positively – at home, at work and in all your relationships.
The ability to positively use your emotional intelligence will relieve stress, allow you to communicate more effectively and overcome challenges. You are also able to see others, empathise with them and avoid conflicts.
Overall understanding your emotions, and those of others better will improve your relationships, increase professional achievements and give your peace of mind. It is a balance bringer as it helps you lead a more fulfilling life.
Read: Emotional Intelligence: Boosting Your Emotional Quotient (EQ) , Cleverism.com
Emotional Intelligence: How Can We Learn?
Emotions come from our senses. Our brain signals heat, cold, good and bad. If the information is overly stressful or emotional, our instinct takes over and we resort to flight, fight or freeze response. To make a clear, informed and rational decision we need to learn how to recognise our emotions, stress triggers and how to communicate in given situations. By increasing your emotional intelligence levels, you enable a wider range of choices when placed in a situation – and thus make better decisions. To get started try: EQ Tool kit by HelpGuide.org .
Four Step Process: Emotional Intelligence Basics
- Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to translate their meaning correctly. This is also called self-awareness, and by understanding how you react allows you to interpret the emotions of others better. Non-verbal communication is a key skill. This means reading body language, and facial expressions – which of course differs from culture to culture. Non-verbal signals are powerful triggers and learning more about where you are, and what these mean are helpful to your interpretation and emotional response.
- Communicating Our Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. By controlling the way our emotions come out, we are able to get a wider variety of responses. If you manage your emotions in a healthy way, take initiatives and allow for changes to take place you are in a better place yourself to contribute to joint stronger decisions about a given situation. If you allow stress to take over your become an unwilling victim, and not very useful to yourself or others. Why is that? Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
- Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. Anger provokes reactions, and worry. If your colleague acts angrily it may mean that you did something, or that s/he had a traffic incident on the way to work. By understanding emotions, needs and concerns of other people you are able to pick up on emotional clue, communicate clearly and feel more socially comfortable. It also helps you at work to see power dynamics, groupings and team work opportunities.
- Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a crucial part of emotional intelligence. Knowing how to react in a given situation give you control over yourself and the outcome in a stronger way that if you fly off in a rage. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.
Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness
Mindfulness and emotional intelligence has linkages. Mindfulness is an acceptance of emotions as they enter into our experience of the world. During mindfulness, you accept the emotion as it arises in the moment. This is often referred to as “equanimity,” which describes a kind of centered, balanced, and “calm” awareness of fleeting emotions and mental states. Emotional intelligence is a term related to qualities that can be measured as either a trait or ability. You are trained or have qualities that allow you to recognise, process, and effectively utilise emotional information.
Mindfulness is a powerful technique to find stillness, calm and accept feelings and emotions as they come. Mindfulness techniques are a good way to become more aware, and raise your level of emotional intelligence. Read this article for more information on how mindfulness can help you raise your EI: Benefits of Mindfulness
Emotional Intelligence: Why Do You Need It?
We need emotional intelligence to keep balanced. It has very little to do with actual intelligence. Intelligence will help you academically, but not how to succeed in your job if emotions and stress overtakes you. Emotions will allow you to feel, sense and communicate — but without the intelligence the risk is over thinking, hypersensitivity or underestimating how your own re/actions get interpreted.
Emotional intelligence helps you with the social complexities of home and workplace; allows you to have a healthier reaction when placed in stressful situations and as such impacts your overall health; your mental health is as important and by reacting appropriately you can manage how you feel in a very different way.
Emotions, feelings and moods are sometimes hard to differentiate. This article by 6seconds.org gives a good explanation of the differences: What’s The Difference Between Emotion, Feeling, Mood? If an emotion is said to last 6 seconds a mood can linger for hours, days and longer.
The trick with emotional intelligence is therefore to capture how to deal with those six seconds. Do we fly off in a rage, or choose to ignore the person that gives you a finger in traffic? Six seconds can mean life or death in traffic, and also give you a healthy release from a stressful situation.
You need to choose what works best in the given situation by knowing how you react, understanding what a sign means, and the consequences of your response. Therefore – rather than reacting straight away, taking six seconds to process will allow you to make a more rational, informed and probably lifesaving decision. You are being emotionally intelligent in this situation.
Emotional Intelligence At Work
Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require so-called EQ testing before hiring.
Job Performance and evaluation are today composed of values of competencies, skill measurements and assessments of a job holder abilities. Emotional intelligence has become a key indicator for leadership, and managerial abilities in private and non-governmental, humanitarian organisations.
This article on forbes.com : Emotional Intelligence Predicts Job Performance relates clearly how emotional intelligence and job performance are strongly linked – so much so that a high level of EI can predict your ability to perform and succeed.
The University of Maryland’s Online MBA Program has published this infographic which give a very clear indication of how key EI is in todays’ professional world:
University of Maryland’s Online MBA Program
Emotional Intelligence At Home
By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.
When you choose to listen, interpret nonverbal signals, use humour, and pay attention to your partners stress triggers, you allow for deeper, real communication. This is important since you may well be emotionally connected, but not necessarily emotionally intelligent in your relationship,
You will not always agree in relationships. Conflicts can arise, as two people are not actually one. You do not have the same needs, opinions, and expectations at all times. This does not need to mean that you must have a disagreement.
By resolving a perceived or looming conflict in a healthy, constructive way you come out stronger and increase the deep trust that a strong relationship is built on.
Instead of interpreting a word, a non-verbal sign or action as conflict — you can talk, have a dialogue and resolve any difference. Together you bring freedom, creativity, and safety into your relationship.
Once you know how to manage stress, stay emotionally present and aware, communicate non-verbally, and use humour, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotionally charged situations and catch and diffuse many issues before they escalate. by HelpGuide.org
Emotional Intelligence: A Way Forward
By becoming self-aware, able to manage our emotions, motivate ourselves and others, and relate to how other feel — we build better relationships at work and at home, increase our team working capabilities and allow for leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution.
A good level of fitness, healthy nutrition and mindfulness contribute to making you feel good. Add emotional intelligence and you will go further.
EI is key to good, strong relationships and promotes international cultural exchanges as it weeds out judgement, misperceptions and prejudice. Our ability to stay open to the feelings and signals of others brings about creativity, freedom of thought and expression. By controlling 6 seconds you can have a new lease on life. I am testing my EQ levels, and am eager to learn more. Tell me — how emotional intelligence can improve your life?
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Recommended and Related:
- Emotional Intelligence: Key Skills For Raising EQ – HelpGuide.org
- Boosting Your Emotional Quotient (EQ) – Cleverism.com
- Emotional Intelligence: Why Is It Important? – Life hack.org
- How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? – Third Metric Huffington Post
- Emotional Intelligence Test – What is Your EQ? – queendom.com
- Books from Amazon.co.uk :
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