Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence; for decades now, researches have tried finding reasons as to why IQ isn’t the only thing required to lead a successful life. They concluded that EQ, also known as, Emotional Intelligence is also required for one to live a successful life.

What is emotional intelligence? It is the ability to be able to understand and manage ones emotions and feelings as well as that of others. According to Mayer, Salovey & Caruso (2004) emotional intelligence is built from the interaction and combination of intelligence and emotion. Thus it is important that we learn to enhance our emotional intelligence in order to live a successful life in this world; to be able to interact and negotiate with other individuals.

There are four different levels of emotional intelligence, also known as the Mayer and Salovey Model of Emotional Intelligence:

The ability to perceive emotions

The ability to reason with emotions

The ability to understand emotions and signals conveyed through them

The ability to manage emotions

What does it mean to be emotionally intelligent?

Through the help of the definition, we can conclude that an emotionally intelligent individual is one who can not only understand and handle their own emotional states, but also understand the feelings of others. With the work of many researchers on this, emotional intelligence can be divided into five major categories which were introduced by Goleman who enhanced it from the Mayers’ and Salovey’s four-branch system:

1. Self-awareness: Knowing and understanding what one is feeling at a given time and the impact of those given emotions on others. Major elements of self-awareness include emotional self-awareness and self-confidence.   

2. Self-regulation: To regulate one-self; to have the ability to be able to redirect or control ones emotions at a given time. It involves self-control, adaptability, trustworthiness, innovation and conscientiousness.

3. Motivation: Using emotions to prompt one-self in order to achieve goals in life. It involves achievement drive, optimism, initiative and commitment.

4. Empathy: the ability of sensing and understanding what other individuals are feeling. An empathetic person is good at understanding and developing others, leveraging diversity and creating political awareness.

5. Social Skills: to be able to manage relationships through interaction. It includes influencing others, well leadership and communication, building of bonds and forming collaboration and conflict management.

If one starts to develop these habits mentioned above, one can achieve high EQ and can lead a successful life.

Emotional Intelligence In Daily Life

You are in a library studying for this test that is to be held in the next class. Near you on the same table, there are some people who are constantly giggling and talking. You are constantly loosing focus and are starting to feel cross. What would you do?

A) Call them politely and with a sweet smile say, “please could you be quieter, I have a test to study for”.

B) Get angry and loudly say Shut Up!

C) Try to ignore the noises and completely try to focus on the studying.

If you chose A, that’s the assertive behavior, probably the optimal solution to such problems. Assertiveness refers to the ability to express your thoughts clearly by stating your feelings and needs in a straightforward manner. These are basically the I-statements and include proactive behavior.

If you chose B, that’s aggressive behavior. It is an in-built flight response which can be easily developed depending how you have lived your life. It involves prioritizing the retention of your rights, attempting to control others, ignoring others’ needs and feelings, winning at all costs and even fighting.

If you went with the C option, that behavior is called passive or submissive behavior. This is also an in-built flight response that can be developed easily depending on your surroundings. It involves putting others’ needs and feelings above your own, allowing others to control you, indecisiveness and not communicating well.

This shows exactly how, if one is highly emotionally intelligence, he/she can handle such situations in a proper mature manner. It helps even in one’s workplace since EQ is highly recognized as a valuable skill at work and is encouraged for improvement if needed through training and practice. Having high emotional intelligence can help in:

Resolving conflicts

Making better decisions

Keeping cool headed under pressure

Understating of other employees’ feelings

Accountability and responsibility

Open minded

So, from this we can clearly see how important emotional intelligence is order to perform our daily tasks perfectly.

If you want to know more about intelligence, read 8 Intelligence Types