What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to know, identify and manage how you and others are feeling. Most people are able to identify how they are feeling but knowing or being able to recognise how others are feeling is not always so easy. It has been suggested that emotional intelligence can be more important than your IQ in helping you to be successful in life and to achieve your goals and happiness. This suggests that you must be able and willing to develop and mature emotionally as you grow older.
The five categories of emotional intelligence
Being able to recognise your own emotions as they are happening and knowing how to deal with them. This is said to be one of the most important categories of emotional intelligence and is key to how you are able to grown and mature emotionally. Being self-aware with your emotions means that you are able to tap into how you are really feeling and be 100% honest with yourself. This does not mean just being able to recognise your emotions but also how you can manage them, evaluate them and react to them. There are two elements of self-awareness. Firstly, emotional awareness, how you are able to recognise your own emotions and how they directly affect you and secondly, self-confidence which is your ability to be confident about your self- worth and capabilities.
None of us has any control of when we experience certain emotions or what they may be but what we can control is how long we let them last for and how we react to them. Looking back over a situation and trying to recognise the good that can come from it or using alleviating techniques, like taking a long walk or meditating, can help to reduce any anxiety, sadness or other emotions about a situation.
So what does self-regulation involve?
- Self-control – The ability to manage and handle disruptive impulses
- Trustworthiness – Being able to keep honesty and integrity to yourself and also others
- Conscientiousness – The ability to be able to take responsibility for your own actions and performance
- Adaptability – Being able to handle change and be flexible
- Innovation – Being open to new ideas
You must be able to motivate yourself with positive and clear goals of what you would like to achieve and when. We all have a predisposition to either a positive or negative attitude. If you have a negative attitude it is not as good as having a positive one but it is not impossible to swap from a negative to positive it just takes some practice and some time.
Motivation is made up of:
- Achievement drive – Your own personal drive to achieve excellence and the best that you possibly can and strive for excellence;
- Commitment – Being able to align your goals and stick with them;
- Initiative – Being able to act and be ready to accept opportunities when presented to you; and
- Optimism – Not letting obstacles and setbacks affect you chasing and achieving your goals.
Being able to recognise how another person is feeling or how your actions or decisions may affect someone else’s feelings is really important if you want to be successful in your life or career. Being able to show empathy to others will help you to excel.
Having good interpersonal skills is so important when you are looking for a successful career and personal life. In a world that is now so full of technology and where we are always connected, being able to talk and communicate with people is even more important than it has ever been. It has been suggested that people nowadays, especially those of the younger generations, are finding communicating with other people more and more challenging. This is a worrying thought. Being able to communicate well with others allows us to be able to influence, lead, inspire, build bonds and work as part of a team.
From the above it is clear that having good emotional intelligence is so important in everyday life, being successful at work, in relationships and friendships. Being able to understand how you and other people are feeling is very important in being able to read, react and deal with situations that life may bring upon you.
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far” – Daniel Goleman