01 Oct Understanding Emotional Intelligence Can Make You Better
Emotional intelligence is a phrase that you will see in many self-help books and on numerous career websites. It has become an increasingly popular term in the last decade or so, trumpeted by authors and executives when discussing both personal and professional relationships.
We are all supposed to develop emotional intelligence to help us live a better life and achieve our ambitions. Learning and demonstrating emotional intelligence isn’t like learning to play a game, though; it boils down to being aware of other people’s thoughts and emotions – and being able to deal with them in an effective and positive way.
Emotional Intelligence in Life
Some people are more naturally skilled at this than others. We start learning to develop our emotional intelligence when we are very young and, as long as we interact with others and pay attention to their needs, we continue to improve our “EQ” as we get older. It isn’t just being able to sense others’ feelings, but also being able to control our own.
Having a high level of emotional intelligence can help us succeed in our personal relationships as well as in school, in our careers, in our hobbies, and as citizens. Everything from a card game or to a business conference demands that we work our emotional intelligence skills.
Examples of Lack of Emotional Intelligence
We all know somebody – and maybe it’s us! – who is smart with intellectual subjects or who has a great talent, but who shows a lack of awareness in social situations. Maybe your best friend just can never stop talking and doesn’t see that it makes people think he is selfish. Maybe your boss is always surprised by the results of meetings with clients, whether it is good news or bad. Or maybe your coworker can’t control her temper even when it hurts her not to.
These are all examples of very common issues that we wish we could improve for ourselves or for others – assuming that we have the emotional intelligence to be aware of what’s happening, of course.
Elements of Emotional Intelligence
Experts usually talk about five different elements of emotional intelligence. These are self-management, self-awareness, empathy, motivation, and general social skills.
These elements reflect what we all know as “good” behavior when working with others. The great thing is that
these elements are also essential for fulfilling our ambitions, so we can work towards our individual goals while also interacting with others in a sincere way.
The elements of emotional intelligence highlight that we should be aware of how we act and are perceived, be able to adjust our behavior to the situation we’re in, and be able to sympathize with others in the sense that we understand their emotions and needs, even if we are in disagreement with them.
Improving Emotional Intelligence
Developing emotional intelligence is best done by simply asking yourself how well you were able to demonstrate the five elements in a given social situation. Think back to your last interaction with someone that involved some sort of problem-solving or difficulty. Maybe the only reason you think about it now is that you found out afterwards that someone was upset or anxious. This is a good opportunity to think about why you missed being able to evaluate that person’s emotions. Do you focus too much on yourself? Did you get too annoyed to think about what the other person was saying?
Developing emotional intelligence doesn’t mean being fake or treating all your interactions with people like some sort of test. We can all improve our EQ by making an effort to be better family members, partners, friends, and workers. Identify which of the emotional intelligence factors you are weakest in and think about how you could improve. Don’t wait for a major challenge to help you improve your EQ. Learning to consciously think about others will allow you to make better decisions and live a more balanced life.
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