Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to identify, understand, use, and manage our own emotions in positive and beneficial ways to relieve stress, listen and communicate effectively, empathize with others, resolve conflicts and overcome challenges.
A high level of emotional intelligence can help us navigate the social complexities of the workplace environment, encourage and motivate others, and excel in our career. In fact, when it comes to recruiting important job candidates, many organizations now rate emotional intelligence as an important requirement for selecting suitable employees, and employ EQ testing before hiring. Thus, in this article we are going to talk about the concept of emotional intelligence.
Building Emotional Intelligence Skills at Workplace
The concept of emotional intelligence is simple. Emotional intelligence is not an innate ability, rather, it can be built by working on the following five key elements –
Being able to connect with our emotions and paying moment-to-moment attention to our changing emotional experience is the key to understanding how emotion influences our thoughts and actions, and increase self-awareness. In order to build EQ and become emotionally healthy, we must reconnect with all our emotions, good or bad, accept them, and become comfortable with them. This can be achieved this through the practice of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing our attention on the present moment—and without judgment of the thoughts or emotions that cross our mind.
In order for us to build our emotional intelligence, we must be able use our emotions to make constructive and healthy decisions about our behavior. When we become too stressed, we can lose our emotional cool and the ability to act rationally and appropriately. Emotions are important sources of information that tell us about ourself and others, but in the face of stress, we can become overwhelmed and lose control over them. With the ability to manage stress and stay emotionally present, we can learn to process upsetting information without letting it interfere with our ability to think rationally and respond correctly. We’ll be able to make choices that allow us to control impulsive emotions and behaviors in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing environments.
Social skills –
Social/interpersonal awareness enables us to recognize and interpret what others are trying to communicate to us. These cues let us know how others are really feeling, thinking, and what’s truly important to them. In short, we become empathetic and feel socially comfortable. Working socially well with others is a process that begins with emotional awareness and our ability to recognize, label and understand the emotions other people are experiencing, besides our own. Once emotional awareness is in play, we can effectively develop additional social/emotional skills that will make our relationships more effective, fruitful, respectful and fulfilling.
Motivation is a psychological process that drives/energizes us to something. People who have high emotional intelligence also generally possess more intrinsic or internal motivation. In other words, people high on emotional intelligence are motivated for internal reasons, such as personal satisfaction or happiness, rather than external rewards like wealth, material benefits or fame. Such persons are motivated for their own personal reasons and work hard to achieve their goals for happiness.
Empathy can be defined as the proficiency of understanding how other people are feeling and recognize, on an intimate level, how we would feel if we were in their situation. It does not mean we sympathize with, accept their behavior or validate, but that we can see things from their perspective and feel what they feel, by putting oneself in their shoes.
Emotional intelligence helps us build stronger and respectful relationships, succeed at work, and achieve our career and personal goals. Emotional intelligence helps us to become more in tune with our feelings, turn good intention into action, and make careful decisions about what matters most. The concept of emotional intelligence includes the primary five competencies described above. By simply working on these abilities, an individual can become emotionally intelligent and acquire far-reaching benefits for both, personal life and the organization one works for.