What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. This ability also allows us to recognize and understand what others are experiencing emotionally. This recognition and understanding is, for the most part, a nonverbal process that informs thinking and influences how well you connect with others.
Emotional intelligence differs from how we think of intellectual ability, in that emotional intelligence is a learned—not acquired. This learning can take place at any time in life so the social and emotional skill set, known as emotional intelligence, is something we can all have.
It is important to remember that there is a difference, however, between learning about emotional intelligence and applying that knowledge to your life. Just because you know you should do something doesn’t mean you will—especially when you become overwhelmed by stress, which can override your best intentions. In order to permanently change behavior in ways that stand up under pressure, you need to learn how to overcome stress in the moment, and in your relationships in order to remain emotionally aware.
Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by four attributes:
- Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
- Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
- Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Why is emotional intelligence so important?
As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence (IQ) isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. Yes, your IQ can help you get into college, but it’s your emotional intelligence (EQ) that will help you manage the stress and emotions when facing your final exams. IQ and EQ exist in tandem and are most effective when they both are elevated and building off one another.
Emotional intelligence affects:
- Your performance at school or work. Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and use EQ testing before hiring.
- Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your emotions, you probably are not managing your stress either. This can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
- Your mental health. Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand, be comfortable with, and manage your emotions, you’ll be at risk of being unable to form strong relationships which can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
- Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.
Read More http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm