Emotional intelligence (emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to identify, use and manage one’s emotions in a positive manner. A high EQ is important because it helps one communicate effectively, build relationships, relieve stress, defuse conflicts and overcome challenges. Employers also look for employees with a high EQ to promote team productivity and staff retention.
Strong social skills are an indicator of emotionally intelligent people. Females tend to possess higher EQ than males based on common ability tests such as the MSCEIT, along with various physiological and behavioral tests. Emotional intelligence is a strong skill to have as it helps in many areas in life.
BENEFITS OF POSSESSING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS
Empathy is a powerful tool of emotionally intelligent people as they can connect with other individual’s feelings easily. You will be able to anticipate others’ needs and reactions effectively. It helps you to solve problems with others and come up with innovative ways to maintain good terms.
Empathy is also helpful at the workplace as it can assemble diverse team members and build harmony amongst them. Emotionally intelligent managers are an asset to help make a happy work culture.
An individual with a high EQ is able to recognize their emotions, emotional triggers, weaknesses, strengths and values. This will help a person understand their behavioral pattern and why they said or did something in a particular situation. This can also help in finding out the exact reason behind their chronic stress and anger by tracking the timings when they feel a strong emotion and taking notes about what caused that feeling.
Every individual, irrespective of their level of emotional intelligence skills, will experience bad moods, impulses and negative emotions sometimes. Self-management is the ability to control these emotions. For example, a stressful meeting at the office can be managed by spending some fun time with your kids at the park or watching a comedy movie with a friend. However, sleeping or eating junk food after a heated argument can take a toll on your wellbeing if left unresolved.
Motives give you strength to push yourself out of your comfort zone and help you take action. Lack of motivation is what can make someone anxious and stop them from moving forward. They may express negative thoughts and demotivate other team members. While people who are self motivated will continually improve their skills, knowledge and output.
If you are good at managing relationships, your relationships last long. To achieve this, trust, respect, love, care and communication play a vital role in having healthy relationships. The individual with emotional intelligence skills will be on the upper hand here as he or she is aware of other family member’s or colleague’s feelings. For instance, a good manager will be able to inspire, guide and build a harmonious team.
DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS
Emotional intelligence may seem to be acquired naturally by some but it doesn’t mean that it cannot be developed. Your brain’s plasticity can increase your EQ, if you are willing to put in the effort. Use the following steps to be the master of an emotionally intelligent mind.
- Practice active listening
Making the other person feel unheard is the worst you can do in a relationship. Show them you are present in the conversation by asking questions, repeating important points and nodding. This will not only help you understand them better but also shows a level of respect that can form the foundation for healthy relationships. It will create multiple channels for your colleagues and family members to communicate their feelings with you at no hesitation.
- Observe your emotions
In today’s hectic life, it is easy to lose connection with your own emotions. So, try setting a timer during the day and take a few seconds to notice how you are feeling emotionally. At times, this emotion may also be related to some physical feeling in the body. The more you practice it, the more self-driven it becomes.
- Positive outlook
Developing a negative feeling is the easiest way of reacting to any situation but it is wise to stay positive and focus on solutions rather than problems. So, to develop a high EQ, work on understanding the power of a positive word, an encouraging mail or a kind gesture. Celebrate the positive moments in life. Your positivity can help others stay calm in a stressful situation and encourage problem solving.
- Value other’s emotions
You have to be very considerate and non-judgemental when it comes to the feelings of your partner or team members. Try to step into their shoes so that you can understand how you might feel and react if it was you in their situation. This will help you respond in a respectful and comforting way to them and help maintain this relationship.
- Develop acceptance
Being a good listener and being considerate. means you are open to welcoming new ideas and perspectives It also means you are happy to learn new things and accept the change by implementing it into daily work.
Being an open-minded person is a great trait to have. It means you are ready to take responsibility for your actions and improve even if it is challenging. Try to think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally.
- Take out time to breathe
Humans were not meant to work all the time. Outburst is the outcome of overstressing your mind and body and thus, will not let you manage your emotions effectively. So, call a timeout and splash some cold water on your face or go outside to breathe in fresh air. This will be your ME time and give you a chance to hold on to what’s happening and how you should respond. Eating a balanced diet is also an important aspect of your emotional state so, don’t ignore it.
By understanding and applying emotional intelligence skills in your life, you can reach your full potential and achieve your goals. Moreover, you will be skilled at navigating social environments, building strong relationships, and coping with difficulties.
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