What is emotional intelligence, and how important is it in everyday life?
We, humans, are social beings. We want to be in the company of friends or family and share our lives with them. On a daily basis, we interact with a broad range of people at work, in the supermarket, on the subway, etc. All with different personalities. We also all experience and feel things differently; our moods and attitudes can shift throughout the day.
So, how can we communicate effectively? How can we engage in a way that draws people to us regardless of our or their emotional state?
Enter emotional intelligence. According to Wikipedia, emotional intelligence is “The ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognise their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments.”
Having high emotional intelligence enables us to recognise our own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to us. We can use this understanding of emotions to better relate to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.
In fact, companies worldwide have started to value the emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) as much as the intelligence quotient (IG) in their hiring processes.
Ready to level up your EQ? These three major competencies of emotional intelligence will help you in everyday life:
A person with high emotional intelligence is not impulsive in their actions. They are highly aware of their emotions, positive and negative – from frustration to excitement and anything in between. They can analyse them and are able to name them, hence, manage them even better. Those with high EQ understand their strengths and weakness and have self-confidence.
Emotional intelligence can come in handy, even when we are caught by surprise. Because we will think before we act or speak, and our self-regulation will help us manage conflict and diffuse tense or difficult situations.
For example. Suppose you are in a middle of a conversation and are taken aback by a comment. If you have low self-control and emotional regulation, you might lash out and say or do something that can ruin your relationship, personally or professionally. But, if you have self-control, you can maintain your calm and thus respond in an appropriate manner.
Empathy for others
Empathy allows us to understand how others are feeling and is absolutely critical to emotional intelligence. Being empathetic helps respond appropriately. It also allows us to understand the power dynamics that often influence social relationships, especially in workplace settings.
People with high EQ can determine why the other person is behaving the way they are. Empathy allows us to consider how we would respond if we were in a similar situation.
Social and interpersonal skills
The third competency of emotional intelligence is extraordinary social and interpersonal skills. Many psychologists suggest that EQ can be more reliable in determining life success than IQ alone.
Understanding the emotions of others can be the key to better relationships because you are making them feel seen and heard. This ability will ensure they feel valued and believe that you are invested in the relationship, and sometimes, that’s all that matters.
In a nutshell, emotional intelligence can be used in many different ways in our daily life to become more successful. Some different ways to practice emotional intelligence include:
- Become able to accept criticism
- Become accountable and responsible
- Being able to move on after making a mistake
- Being able to say no when you want to
- Being able to share your feelings with others
- Being able to solve problems in ways that work for everyone
- Have effective listening and helping skills
- Being aware of your cause and course of action i.e., knowing why you do the things you do
- Not being judgemental of others
High EQ can also bag you improved wellbeing and stronger interpersonal skills. Beyond these perks, there is one more – you can learn to develop and improve your emotional quotient.
Here are three pointers or, say, a crash course on how to boost your EQ:
- Reflect, and y ou will get there!
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