Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

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When we talk about intelligence and how to measure it, you wouldn't be alone in thinking IQ is the most effective measure of our intellectual abilities.

Yet, there are many types of intelligence including physical, spiritual and emotional intelligence.

Today, we want to focus on one type of intelligence that is becoming increasingly relevant in society, in both work and personal contexts鈥motional intelligence also known as EI.

EI refers to the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

Not sure if you have good EI? Read on to find out more!

Signs of EI

There are several signs of an individual high in EI, including:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Ability to identify and name one's emotions
  • Ability to manage our emotions and help others do the same
  • Ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks such as thinking and problem solving
  • Awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses
  • Self-confidence and self-acceptance
  • Resilience

Components of EI

These abilities can be broken down into four components: emotional perception, the ability to reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotions, and the ability to manage emotions.

The first component involved in understanding emotions is the ability to perceive them accurately. This can include nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.

The next component involves reasoning with emotions: this involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. This step is essential to EI as emotions help prioritize what deserves our attention and reactions.

Another important component of EI is understanding emotions. Our emotions can carry a wide variety of meanings. For example, if our boss is acting angry, it may mean they are dissatisfied with our work performance or it could be because they got stuck in traffic on their way into the office and were late for a meeting. The key is interpreting the cause of the emotion and what it could mean.

Lastly, and most importantly is the ability to manage emotions effectively. Regulating our emotions and responding appropriately to our own and others emotions is essential for emotional management.

These skills are highly beneficial in all aspects of life including interpersonal relationships and work contexts as they allow us to think before reacting, have greater self-awareness and more empathy for others. These skills are also linked to better wellbeing and stronger communication skills.

While some of us may innately have better emotional awareness, for those that struggle with their emotional and social skills, this type of intelligence can be developed and improved.

Developing our EI

To improve our emotional intelligence, we can start by developing key skills such as listening, empathy, and self-reflection.

Listening

If we want to better understand the feelings of others, a good step in the right direction is listening. We can start by taking the time to listen and be aware of others' verbal and non-verbal cues (to the best of our ability). In listening, we may learn to sense when someone is feeling a certain way and we can consider the different factors that may be contributing to that emotion.

Empathise

Once we sense an emotion, the next step is putting ourselves in someone else's shoes to understand their point of view and empathizing with their situation. We can start by imagining how we would feel if we were in the other person's situation. This can help us build understanding in the situation as well as develop emotional skills in the long-term.

Reflect

Reasoning with emotions is essential for EI. To develop this skill, it can help to reflect and consider how our own emotions influence our decisions and behaviour. We can also think about how others respond and assess the role their emotions play. We can ask ourselves:

路 What emotions am I feeling and why?
路 How do my emotions influence my actions and decisions?
路 How do others' emotions influence their actions and decisions?

By reflecting on these questions, we can gain a better understanding of our own emotions and how they affect us and those around us. This can help us to better regulate and manage our emotions, as well as respond appropriately to others' emotions.

Additionally, we can practice mindfulness and self-regulation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and journaling to help us better manage our emotions. We can also seek out training and resources on emotional intelligence to further develop our skills.

Overall, emotional intelligence is a valuable skill that can benefit us in all aspects of life. By understanding and developing our emotional intelligence, we can improve our relationships, communication skills, and overall wellbeing.