It’s not their networks and connections. It’s not their specialized knowledge. It’s not their inheriting vast sums of fortunes.
What is it?
What’s that? Why is it important?
Emotional Intelligence (or EI for short) refers to an individual’s ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. EI involves abilities and skills such as; being cognizant of others’ nonverbal signals and facial expressions, understanding emotions and why they are being expressed, and lastly, managing emotions. That is, to properly regulate and respond appropriately to feelings.
Ok, so now why is EI significant?
Numerous studies over the years have shown that people with a higher than average Emotional Intelligent tend to; possess greater mental health, have exemplary job performance and demonstrate superior leadership skills.
It’s a sweltering day in August and you have just finished an exhausting day at work. You are dead-tired, hungry, stuck in traffic and to top it off your vehicle’s AC has broken!
A couple of cars down you notice through your foggy rearview mirror a small, light-blue car incessantly honking and swerving in and out of traffic. Finally, he stops behind your car and blares his horn at what seems like a million decibels.
What is this guy’s problem?!! What a JERK!
You become enraged with anger and step out of your vehicle. You are too ensconced in fury to notice this guy’s mouth is moving. He needs to be taught a lesson for his rudeness, and you will be the one to teach it to him.
Except….you were too angry to notice his nine-month old pregnant wife in his backseat, looking to be experiencing quite painful labor.
Perhaps had you had a higher Emotional Intelligence level, you would have been able to firstly, better control your own emotional response and secondly, to better realize and understand why he was acting the way he was.
So, Emotional Intelligence is important. What can I do about it?
The great news for you is that Emotional Intelligence, like other things, is a skill in life that can be developed. Here are XXX practical ways to effectively improve your EI.
1. Practice being aware of your feelings. One of the most immediate and pragmatic actions to developing a higher EI is through observation. Take ten minutes each day to sit in a quiet place and reflect on the day’s events. Take careful notice of how you feel as you relive the day. Or, set a timer on your watch or phone and record how you feel in reaction to things for a set time each day.
One of the benefits to this exercise is in learning to trust your emotions, that in turn learns to better management.
2. Practice empathy. Empathy is truly one of most practical of emotions in developing bonds with others, as it stands on a common understanding of what others may be going through. Notice how you feel when you notice a homeless man, or when another is going through a bad day. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do?
3. Take responsibility. This is incredibly difficult, and yet incredibly important. Realize that at the end of the day, your emotions come you. They come from somewhere deep inside your soul. They do not come from others. If someone makes a snide remark about your appearance, and you belt out something hurtful in response, take ownership.
Taking ownership is hugely important as it will force you to recognize and change your behavior, as you realize that it is you that has ultimate control over the emotional switches and buttons in your life.
Similar to other skills, Emotional intelligence has quite a profound effect on the course one takes through life. To better manage and control your emotions, click here.