Most of us may not realize this, but emotional intelligence has quite an effect on our day-to-day life. Whatever be our profession, emotional intelligence plays a key role in maintaining relationships (professional and personal), doing well in our chosen field and feeling fulfilled at the end of the day.
During the course of a day, we experience a variety of emotions – happiness, sadness, disappointment, fear, doubt, etc. How we identify and respond to these emotions varies – it is something that is inborn and also dependent on one’s life experiences. Some of us may be open about our feelings while others may not be that comfortable expressing them. Either way, it affects the way we behave and this in turn affects the way our day unfolds.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
- Our everyday life is filled with meeting people – both near and dear as well as strangers.
- These interactions might be of short duration or otherwise but they all have an effect on us.
- They may leave us feeling happy and relaxed or the reverse is also possible.
- The other person too is affected in some way.
- The ability to recognize the emotion and to use it to make a difference for the better is called emotional intelligence.
- In simple terms, emotional intelligence is the ability to decipher our emotions and handle them while also understanding the emotions of the other person involved and using this to make a change in the relationship for the better.
- Happy, healthy relationships play a key role in our mental well-being.
While some people are more perceptive of emotions that others, this does not mean that emotional intelligence cannot be developed.
The Individual Elements of Emotional Intelligence
Today’s world requires not only job-oriented skills but also a good emotional quotient which will help people work with one another to achieve their goals.
Discussed below are the various aspects of emotional intelligence.
- This is the foundation of being emotionally intelligent.
- It refers to recognizing the emotions invoked in us and the effect they have on us as well as others.
- Our emotions impact our mood, the way we behave and the way we communicate with others.
- When we are aware of our emotions, we improve our decision-making skills, communicate better and thus improve our relationships with others.
- In the long run, this makes us more confident individuals.
- Being able to recognize emotions leads to the ability to manage them successfully.
- This is because once we understand what we are feeling and its cause, we are able to keep it under control and not let our mood affect our relationship with others.
- For example, consider that you have had a disagreement with a close associate. It does take some time to get over it. But a disagreement invariably puts us in a bad mood and this reflects on our behaviour. We might unintentionally end up snapping at others we meet during the course of the day.
- However, if we are emotionally intelligent, we will not only recognize that our mood is due to the disagreement but we will also be able to compartmentalize it so that no-one else is affected by it.
- When people regulate their emotions, they are able to stay calm in high pressure situations. This is indeed a prized characteristic which helps us navigate both personal and professional relationships with poise.
- In simple terms, social awareness translates to being empathetic of others.
- Having empathy refers to a person’s ability to understand what another person is feeling and wanting to help him/her.
- It is not about agreeing with what they are feeling but about understanding and accepting the other person’s emotions.
- Empathetic people are usually very kind but this does not mean that they are too soft to voice their own opinions or feelings.
- In fact, they are better at voicing their opinion without hurting others.
- These refer to the skills we use to communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally.
- The gestures we use while talking, whether we maintain eye contact, our tone of voice, etc. all contribute to what we are communicating.
- An emotionally intelligent person is aware of this and uses it to communicate clearly.
- It works to a great advantage in an organization where conflict resolution, teamwork and inspirational leadership all play a key role in the success of the organization as well as emotional fulfillment of the individual.
Improving Emotional Intelligence
As already stated, we can work on improving our emotional intelligence. Given below are some ways which will help us in our journey towards improved emotional intelligence.
- Take a few moments to think about what you are feeling and name the emotions.
- Try this in stressful circumstances.
- Breathe deeply and clear your mind.
- Think about how you would like to respond in such situations.
- Now, alter your response the way u think is appropriate.
Be Open to Criticism
- Ask people their opinion on how you handle situations.
- Think about their response and use it to see if you can alter the way you handle situations.
- It is a fact that people in positions of authority are often not as self-aware as they would like to be.
- One of the main reasons for this is that the higher you are placed in an organization, the lesser the feedback you get.
- Employees typically do not feel comfortable giving feedback as they do not want to step on their superiors’ toes.
- As a result, constructive criticism is reduced and without that people often forget that there is always room for improvement.
- Reading books gives us diverse viewpoints to consider.
- This is especially true for fiction where the way a character responds to situations can help us understand and develop our empathetic side.
An Emotionally Intelligent Environment
While this article has focused on developing an individual’s emotional intelligence, what is perhaps more important and maybe even more difficult to achieve, is influencing others to practice emotionally intelligent behaviour. To achieve this, we need to practice what we preach. When we display emotionally intelligent behaviour, others will follow as well. Also make sure to encourage others who demonstrate it and appreciate them for it.