Emotional Intelligence: What It Is and How to Use It?

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, is described as the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways. The concept of EQ explores how emotions and cognitive processes interact and influence overall behavior. For instance, consider how emotions such as anger, happiness, and fear influence how individuals behave and make decisions.

The Four Attributes of Emotional Intelligence

Beyond recognizing and understanding emotions in oneself and others, emotional intelligence also involves utilizing this knowledge to communicate, make decisions, and solve problems. Researchers typically classify emotional intelligence into four attributes: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management.

  1. Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize personal emotions and how they impact thoughts and behavior.
  2. Social Awareness: The ability to empathize, recognize emotional cues from others, feel comfortable socially, and understand the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  3. Relationship Management: The ability to create and maintain healthy relationships, communicate thoughtfully, play nicely among a team, and balance conflict.

How Can You Apply Emotional Intelligence?

From the office to your social life, emotional intelligence plays a significant role in every aspect of your relationships. Having a high EQ allows you to understand your own emotions first and foremost, so you can conduct yourself in a manner that represents how you’d like to be perceived. It also helps you forge strong relationships personally and professionally.

In Your Personal Life

Emotional intelligence allows you to control your attitude and behavior better. When you can stop and recognize feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness, you can better control how you respond to a situation — just a few moments of reflection to consider why you react a certain way. If there is a more constructive method, you can drastically improve personal relationships with friends, loved ones, and colleagues. The more we understand ourselves, the better we can understand and assist others.

In Your Professional Life

Emotional intelligence in the workplace is a highly-necessary skill. Emotionally intelligent employees have the hindsight to not be bothered by criticism and feedback but rather remain focused on outcomes instead of becoming offended. Likewise, those with higher EQ contain more self-awareness to adhere to deadlines and understand how their actions could impact the team as a whole.

In the Leadership Suite

Founders, executives, and CEOs must be emotionally intelligent. Understanding and managing emotions allow leaders with high EQs to remain open to creativity in the workplace. An emotionally intelligent leader can recognize when an employee is invested in a concept or project and spot signs of burnout in over-worked employees.

Improve Emotional Intelligence, Improve Your Life

Despite hard skills like time management or technical expertise, an employee that lacks emotional intelligence cannot fully succeed in the workplace. Whether you’re turning a new page in your career or trying to better connect with employees, a high EQ can help you forge stronger relationships, successfully communicate ideas, and resolve conflicts. When you take steps to improve your emotional intelligence, you’re taking the initiative to improve your life.

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