Can you really improve your emotional Intelligence? We often wonder whether or not emotional intelligence can be taught and it’s a good question to ponder because when we lack EQ (emotional intelligence skills) it can sabotage not only our careers but the most important relationships in our personal life too. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how you can increase your emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI; EQ) has been accorded various meanings since the first inception of the word in a paper by Michael Beldoch in 1964. However, an article by the Institute for Health and Human Potential defines Emotional Intelligence” as the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions; Recognize, understand and influence the feelings of others.” This definition conveys in a precise manner what Emotional Intelligence is all about.
American psychologists and major researcher on EI, Daniel Goleman, in his book Working with Emotional Intelligence defines EI as “The capacity for recognizing our feelings and those of others, for maintaining ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.”
According to Daniel Goleman, Emotional competencies are not inborn talent or skills; instead, they are to be consciously learned, consistently improved upon, and applied.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Work & Life
Emotional Intelligence is just as relevant in our everyday life as it is in our work life.
Our daily activity involves moments of social interactions, which sometimes may be provocative and at other times, may require we show empathy to others. Our understanding of our emotions and that of others helps us navigate through the challenges with our sanity and reasonability still intact.
According to Goleman, 80% of our success in life is the result of emotional Intelligence. He further reiterated a Harvard Business School research that asserts that EQ is twice as important as IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and technical skills combined in determining success and promotion.
In this video below, Daniel Goleman states that while IQ could help you get into a profession, EI is what you need to stay in the top 10% of your profession.
Further research has also shown that organizational performance and success is highly dependent on the Emotional Intelligence of staff and leaders.
According to a Harvard Business review, training in EQ by Motorola for some staff in a manufacturing plant, yielded in an increase of productivity of more than 90% of those trained; likewise a French pharmaceutical company recorded a 12% increase in annual sales and performance after focusing on the Emotional Intelligence skills of its sales staff.
From all indications and following scientific research, employees with better EQ skills, outperform their colleagues who are rated low on Emotional Intelligence.
In a particular survey of employers, about 75% of the responders said they value an employee’s EQ over his IQ.
A High Emotional Intelligence Skill Makes You;
A better team player
It helps you manage stress better, improving your overall physical health and mental well-being.
It helps you understand other people’s emotions
Gives you the ability to remain calm and rational even under immense pressure
Helps you make better decisions void of sentiments
It helps improve your social skills
It makes you a better leader
How to Develop Emotional Intelligence?
EQ is not an innate skill or talent that is inherited; instead, it is learned and developed through conscious efforts. No doubt, some people are naturally better at conflict resolution or negotiation; however, Emotional Intelligence goes beyond that; EQ is about you as it is about others.
In your quest to build better EQ skills, here are some points to note:
Become conscious of your emotions and reactions to things and events
Be mindful of other peoples’ feelings and emotions. (sometimes you don’t just stop at treating others how you want them to treat you, treat others how they wish to be treated and importantly, treat others reasonably and respectfully)
Show empathy towards others
Your emotions should not influence your response and reactions. Always take your time to think your actions through before reacting. If necessary, use way included keeping a journal as the most important part of notes on all the reactions earlier. And summarize everything after reading of these notes
Sometimes it’s not wrong to share your development stories because they remind you of your shortcomings and encourage you to keep striving towards achieving EQ excellence. And you never know who gets motivated by your stories. And even if language would be a barrier, online translation services like The Word Point is sure to cover you with their excellent translational services while you share your stories.
According to Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence has five major components, and they are;
Self-regulation is all about self-control, been able to restrain yourself even in the face of provocation. It means having the ability to manage conflict well.
This refers to the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, feelings, and mood and becoming conscious of one’s mood changes and the factors that trigger these changes. Becoming self-aware is one of the fundamental requirements for attaining Emotional Intelligence.
Strong social skills are the bedrock of societal relationships and harmony. It involves having excellent interacting skills, good listening skills, and leadership skills.
Empathy is being able to understand other people’s feelings, thoughts, and emotional state and acting on it appropriately. It also refers to the ability to understand those factors that affect other people’s feelings and behaviors.
Motivation, in this sense, refers to intrinsic motivation; that is, the ability to stay motivated, committed, and driven to meet personal goals. It means that you can maintain the right level of mental health.
So can you really improve your emotional Intelligence? Yes, you can.