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EQ: Emotional Intelligence Capabilities

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Usually, when we think of “intelligence,” we associate it with things like logic, math, and science.  However, according to psychologist Daniel Goleman in his monumental book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, “emotional intelligence” (EQ) is another aspect of intelligence that is often overlooked.

The first view of emotional intelligence is that emotions aren’t necessarily the opposite of thinking, but a different way of thinking about different types of problems that exist in our world.

Emotions can be a valuable tool in guiding our choices and decision-making.

What exactly is emotional intelligence? Can it be learned or developed, or is it innate? Emotional intelligence is a new concept. Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

It helps to break it down into five main categories when trying to understand it. The five main sets of skills are self-awareness, self-management, self motivation, social awareness, and relationship management.

1. Awareness of Self

Selves Awareness: self-esteem, self-awareness, self-perception, self-knowledge and self-concept

Self-Identity: Personality type, skills, strengths and weaknesses

2. Self-Management

Self-Control: an essential part of emotional maturity, controlling your feelings and impulses, expressing feelings in the appropriate settings is a crucial skill.

Adaptability: showing resilience and the ability to change course when necessary, problem solving

Transparency: being honest and open, interacting with integrity, and being trustworthy.

Conscientiousness: having standards and being accountable

Stress Management: good coping skills and ability to self soothe

3. Self Motivation

Achievement Drive: being goal-oriented and being able to work toward your goals, striving for excellence and having ambition

Initiative; seize opportunities and taking risks, being self-motivated and having the ability to keep working despite setbacks.

Optimism: having a positive outlook, hoping for the best, and preparing for success, passionate

4. Social Awareness

Empathy is one of the pillars of the ability to form connections with others, understanding and acknowledging others’ emotions.

Service Orientation: being helpful, contributing to the group effort, and displaying excellent listening skills

Social Responsibility: having tolerance of different views, being non-judgmental

Social Awareness is the ability to explain yourself well and be aware of how you are being understood, as well as sensing the level of comprehension of your audience.

Open Communication: good rapport, assertive with needs, excellent engagement – effective listening skills and observing body language

5. Relationship Management

Inspirational Leadership; being a good mentor, role model, and authority figure

Influence, articulating points in compelling, clear ways that effectively motivate others.

Conflict Management: having the skills to improve relationships, negotiate, and lead

The ability to settle disputes, differences of opinion, and misunderstandings.

Change Catalyst: recognizing and supporting the need for change, and making it happen

Developing Others: helping others build their skills and knowledge

Teamwork and Collaboration: effectively working with others

Why is Emotional Intelligence so Important?

As we know, it’s not the smartest people who are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. The intellectual ability or your intelligence quotient (IQ) isn’t enough on its own to achieve success in life. Yes, your IQ can help you get into college, but it’s your EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions when facing your final exams. IQ and EQ exist in tandem and are most effective when they build off one another.

Emotional intelligence affects:

Your performance at school or work. High emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. When it comes to gauging outstanding job candidates, many companies now rate emotional intelligence as important as technical ability and employ EQ testing before hiring.

Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your emotions, you are probably not managing your stress either. This can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, contributes to infertility, and speeds up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to manage stress.

Your mental health. Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand, get comfortable with, or manage your emotions, you’ll also struggle to form healthy relationships. This, in turn, can leave you feeling lonely and isolated and further exacerbate any mental health problems.

Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.

Your social intelligence. Being in tune with your emotions serves a social purpose, connecting you to other people and the world around you. Social intelligence enables you to recognize friend from foe, measure another person’s interest in you, reduce stress, balance your nervous system through social communication, and feel loved and happy.

When it comes to happiness and success in life, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability.

We don’t have a fixed profile of emotional intelligence – it’s an ability that can change throughout life.

Plus, it’s never too late to get better – if you are motivated. That’s good news for anyone who wants to get better at this set of success skills.