Talking and writing about managing your time or your stress is never enough, but rather than writing an article about them – as there are many out there – this time I want to talk E.I!
Having good Emotional Intelligence (E.I) is highly beneficial, especially during stressful situations in life. To reach that, one should develop and acquire E.I. skills.
The word Emotional Intelligence (E.I) or Emotional Quotient (E.Q) as most people may know it, has taken importance in the world today more than ever. Throughout this article you will discover what E.I. is, and how some activities may help you to better develop it, not only for the time being, but for the future as well.
We have all heard of I.Q or Intelligence Quotient, which indicates the reasoning and problem-solving capacity of an individual. However, E.I. refers to an individual’s capacity to perceive, process, and regulate emotional information – accurately and effectively – within both themselves and in others, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions towards others. It’s also worth mentioning that being emotional or emotionally inhibited as an individual, does not reflect one’s E.I.
It has been demonstrated through effective leaders and leadership that I.Q alone is not enough. E.I. plays a significant role in reaching success in life on both personal and professional levels. It is therefore important and valuable to read other people’s emotional and behavioral signals, in order to achieve healthier, happier, and more effective relationships with oneself and others.
For those of you who are interested in finding out your E.Q. score, tests and assessments are available.
Can you manage your emotions without having them swamping you? Are you able to recognize the emotions you are feeling? Do you sense the emotions of others and respond to them effectively?
If your answer is YES, it is likely that you have developed all or some of the skills that construct the basis of E.I. When you are entuned into your E.I., it will allow for more balanced, genuine, and healthier relationships, which will improve your overall happiness. After all, who doesn’t want that, right?
From a more scientific point of view, E.I forms the crossroad at which cognitions (mental processes) and emotions meet. It helps in our capacity to motivate, empathize, reason, manage stress, communicate, build resilience, and the ability to read and negotiate an abundance of social situations.
The key to E.I. is awareness of one’s emotional states and those of others.
If a person is highly conscious of their own emotional states – even when they’re negative – and is able to identify and manage such emotions, then that person will be very likely well entuned and aware of other people’s emotions and act accordingly. This will undoubtedly give place to the possibility of being a better friend, parent, leader, or romantic partner.
Subsequently, to better empathize, negotiate, and understand others, one must develop the appropriate E.I. skills. A renown psychologist, Daniel Goleman talked about 5 categories of E.I. (and their corresponding skills):
- Self-Awareness(Skills: emotional awareness and self-confidence);
- Self-Regulation(Skills:self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and innovation);
- Motivation(Skills:drive for achievement, commitment, initiative-taking, and optimism);
- Empathy(Skills:services orientation, developing others, leveraging diversity, political awareness, and understanding of others);
- Social Skills(Skills:Influence,communication,leadership, collaboration and cooperation, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, and team capabilities).
It is not just important to develop these skills as adults, but also as children and teenagers, so that they learn how to better deal with stress, develop meaningful relationships, and handle whatever else life throws their way.
How do you do that?
Well – for starters – you can develop and acquire these skills by:
- Practicing mindfulness;
- Asking yourself why do you do the things you do;
- Visiting your values;
- Reflecting on how you feel at the moment;
- Counting till 10 in stressful situations;
- Making a list of your daily emotions;
- Being in the now;
- Explaining your decisions, and not just making them;
- Caring, and showing it.
Developing our E.I. will invariably lead us to have a better relationship with ourselves and with others, to better cope with stressful or difficult situations – such as the situation we’re currently experiencing with the outbreak of COVID-19 – and will help us improve our overall levels of happiness.
Stay Safe and Take Care of Yourself and Others.
By, Hala El Chemor, Counselor, CBT & Mindfulness practitioner.