We all have two kinds of intelligence: rational and emotional. Both rational and emotional intelligence determine how we thrive. It’s not just IQ that matters, but also emotional intelligence (EQ). Intellect can’t work at its best without emotional intelligence. To harmonize and balance head and heart, and to take control over our lives, we need to use our emotions rationally.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, understand, and manage your own emotions in positive ways. It helps you relieve stress, communicate well, empathise with others, and defuse conflict.
To understand how emotions influence you, you must connect to your emotions. When you do, reconnecting to strong or unpleasant emotions will be more comfortable.
EQ also helps you recognize and understand others’ emotions non-verbally. This determines how well you can connect with others.
Many of us find it increasingly difficult to connect today, whether with ourselves or others. EQ is an important factor in this. If you want happiness and success in your relationships, career, and personal goals, give EQ the same attention as IQ.
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
We need EQ to turn intention into action. We need it to make informed decisions about what matters. And, of course, we need it to connect to others in productive ways.
Here’s a fact that it takes years for some to learn. The smartest people are not necessarily the most successful or fulfilled. All of us know a straight-A student who is socially inept and unsuccessful at work or personal relationships. Yes, your IQ can help you land a higher degree. But your EQ will help you manage stress and emotions. IQ alone isn’t enough to be successful.
Emotional Intelligence affects:
1. Your Physical Health
If you can’t manage emotions, you probably can’t manage stress either. High levels of stress can lead to serious health problems. Stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase risk of heart attack, and speed up ageing. To improve your EQ, you need to relieve stress.
2. Your Mental Health
Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also make you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you can’t understand, accept, and manage your emotions, forming strong relationships can be difficult. Without strong relationships, you may feel loneliness and isolation.
3. Your Relationships
When you understand your emotions and learn to control them, you’ll be able to express how you feel and understand how others feel. This allows you to communicate better and build stronger relationships.
4. Your Performance At Work
Emotional Intelligence helps you excel in your career. It helps you navigate social complexities. And it helps you lead and motivate others.
Success is affected by personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control, and ability to work with others. No matter how many paper qualifications a person has, if they don’t focus on their emotional qualities, they are unlikely to succeed.
Previous generations viewed a job only as a vehicle to earn an income. But today, most workers want more from their jobs than a simple paycheck. As the workplace continues to evolve, workers need to adjust to change. They need to be flexible.
Decision-makers, emotional intelligence shouldn’t just be something you look for in new hires. It’s also vital for you, as a leader, to operate in emotionally intelligent ways. This is how you will drive your team forward.
Emotional intelligence is about social and emotional abilities. There are 5 core abilities needed to thrive in your workplace.
You recognise your emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. Self-awareness also means understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how your actions affect others. A person who is self-aware is better able to accept constructive criticism. This is because self-aware people are also self-confident.
Self-management means controlling impulsive feelings and behaviours, managing emotions in healthy ways, and adapting to changing circumstances. It means you can express emotions with maturity or restrain them when needed. Instead of suppressing emotions, an emotionally intelligent person expresses them with control.
An emotionally intelligent person is not motivated by money or titles. Inner ambition is what drives them. They’re also more resilient and optimistic when faced with obstacles.
4. Social Awareness (Empathy)
An empathetic person has compassion and understands human nature. This allows them to understand other people’s emotions and needs and recognize power dynamics. They also tend to provide great service by responding genuinely to others’ concerns. This means a person with EQ is more comfortable socially.
5. Relationship Management (Social Skills)
EQ makes it easier to build rapport with others. Specifically, it makes it easier to develop and maintain good relations, communicate clearly, and avoid power struggles and backstabbing. It becomes easier to work in a team and manage conflict.
Good news: there’s hope for everyone.
“Emotional Intelligence” is learned, not acquired. This learning can take place at any time in life by anyone. So EQ is something we can all have.
However, it’s important to know that there’s a difference between learning about EQ and applying it to your life. This is especially true when you become overwhelmed by stress, which can override intentions. So in order to permanently change behaviour in ways that stand up under pressure, you need to learn how to overcome stress in the moment and in your relationships in order to remain emotionally aware.