Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control and express your feelings. It is the ability to manage one’s emotions and handle interpersonal relations with empathy and good judgement. People who are emotionally intelligent are:

  1. Self-aware
  2. Smart about feelings
  3. Self-regulating
  4. Socially savvy
  5. Influencers

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Uses of emotional intelligence

There are many ways emotional intelligent can be used to improve our personal lives and careers such as;

  1. Building relationships
  2. Change management
  3. Negotiations
  4. Conflict resolution
  5. Creativity and innovation
  6. Leadership
  7. Motivation
  8. Communication
  9. Performing under pressure
  10. Team building

Benefits of emotional intelligence

  1. Better mental health. People who are emotionally intelligent seem to bounce back easily from adversity, they are self –governing and live relatively stress –free lives.
  2. Improved job performance and the ability to maintain a positive mindset.
  3. Greater leadership skills, organisations run by emotionally intelligent people tend to be more productive and overally successful.
  4. Enhanced interpersonal relationships. Emotionally intelligent people are caring, compassionate and good listeners.

Characteristics of people who lack emotional intelligence

They tend to be judgemental, defensive, get offended easily, feel misunderstood, are negative and fearful. They stress easily, aren’t assertive, and are emotionally unavailable. They also don’t take rejection well; they will blame others, make assumptions and hold on to grudges.

How to improve your emotional intelligence

  1. Introspect (Self-reflect). Read and understand your own behaviour, analyse your strengths and weaknesses as well as how and why you react differently to various stimuli. Listen to your body and connect your feelings to your thoughts.
  2. Be observant of other people’s behaviour, analyse the environment and gather information.
  3. Interact with others, have an open mind, ask questions and solicit the perspective of others. Respond rather than react. Take criticism with grace. Analyse how your actions, attitude and personality affects other people, how they also affect you and what can be done differently to ensure a positive outcome.
  4. Solve problems. Be a focused, forward thinking person. Use life’s events and circumstances to learn and grow.

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