You’ve seen them: The people who appear to be cool as a cucumber on deadline.
Those who handle awkward family dinners with grace.
The ones that get where you’re coming from, without you having to say a lot.
That’s because they may possess a certain skill set in spades- Emotional Intelligence.
Intelligence, in the general sense, is the ability to learn new concepts and apply your knowledge to problems. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is similar. A person is emotionally intelligent when they demonstrate the capacity to identify their own emotions, regulate them and make responsible choices accordingly.
Today’s in-demand skills are increasingly technical in nature.
It can be more easily understood by exploring its five components:
1. Self-Awareness: This is the understanding of one’s emotions, thoughts, and intentions. One is self-aware when they can pinpoint what they are feeling and why.
2. Self-Regulation: This is the capacity to manage one’s behavior in various environments. One is managing themselves well when they avoid being overtaken by emotion and making poor choices.
3. Empathy: This is the ability to value and understand the experiences of another. One is empathetic when one can appreciate the perspective of others, even when they differ from one’s own.
4. Decision-making: This is the capacity to identify and make responsible choices. Good decision-making involves taking action while understanding and accepting the outcome.
5. Social Skills: The means required to build and maintain healthy connections with others. One is socially right when they have the understanding of what it takes to create bonds with others and preserve them.
How to increase Emotional Intelligence?
One should take time to evaluate and acknowledge the emotions he/she is experiencing. It helps to build self-awareness and understanding.
Should ask questions to self like:
· Am I stressed?
· What is the cause of it?
· How do I respond to conflict?
· Do I manage my emotions well in stressful situations? ·Do I consider others before taking action?
These simple asks are helpful when combating stressors and are helpful in assessing the empathy and decision-making one is exhibiting.
Now let us see the difference between people with low EQ and those with high EQ.
People with low EQ:
· Often feels misunderstood
· Get upset easily
· Become overwhelmed by emotions
· Have problems being assertive
People with high EQ:
· Understand the links between their emotions and how they behave
· Remain calm and composed during stressful situations
· Are able to influence others toward a common goal
· Handle difficult people with tact and diplomacy
Some people have emotional intelligence naturally, while others need to work a little harder at it. It’s well worth the effort you put in, though, as it can improve many areas of your life.
As you navigate where you stand with your own EQ, taking an emotional intelligence assessment test or reviewing an emotional and social competence inventory may be helpful before seeking support.
If you’re ready to take the next step, ask if your workplace has emotional intelligence training available. You can also enroll in training online, like the one through the Institute for Health and Human Potential.
If you need a starting point, take a free EQ quiz here. This may give you a good idea of where you’re excelling and what areas you could improve on.
EQ measures a person’s positive emotional response and ability to recognize and understand another’s emotions. While it may have been overlooked in the past, emotional intelligence is now commonly recognized as an important part of a person’s personality.
EQ can be beneficial in the workplace, especially when it comes to managing stress and working with others. High emotional intelligence may be particularly helpful for those in leadership roles who manage others.
If you feel like you may need to improve your EQ, know that you are not alone. Emotional intelligence doesn’t always come easily for every person or personality type, but cultivating higher EQ is possible.
Strategies like maintaining emotional self-awareness and enhancing empathy are a few ways you can achieve higher EQ.
Like most self-improvement strategies, you may have to try different things before you find what is most helpful for you. Often, trying multiple things together can be effective in improving EQ.
The bottom line is: You’re the one who gets to control your emotions, so they don’t control you. Once you learn this useful skill, your quality of life may improve. The better it gets, the better it gets.