What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence or EQ is the capacity to identify, understand, use, control and express your emotions in an effective and positive way. People with a high EQ have the abilities to communicate better and navigate relationships with empathy and good judgment. EQ helps reduce anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others and overcome challenges.
To some, Emotional Intelligence sounds like an oxymoron. Understandably so. We tend to think of emotions and intelligence as two separate issues. But put them together as Emotional Intelligence, and it is essentially a different way to be smart. The term was made popular by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.”
What are the elements that shape Emotional Intelligence?
The ability to identify, recognize and understand your own emotions, being aware of your emotional feelings and not avoid negative emotions, such as anxiety, fear and sadness. To be conscious of your own state of mind and how it affects your thoughts, behaviors and decisions, are the keys to nurture self-awareness.
The ability to control strong emotions by not immediately acting on first impressions and strong feelings in an impulsive or destructive manner. The ability to let displeasing feelings sink in, take a breather and take the time to decide how to alleviate or reduce negative feelings, cultivates self-confidence. Emotional control also helps to develop the ability to consider various solutions to one specific situation or problem. Not reacting solely from an emotionally charged state, results in better decision-making outcomes.
The ability to recognize how and why people feel the way they do. Showing empathy develops a deeper, more intimate relationship. Empathy allows to anticipate how your actions and behaviors influence other people as well as your own. Developing empathy skills enhances self-awareness and understanding others.
People with a high EQ tend to be highly motivated as well, which makes them more resilient and optimistic.
The ability to communicate in a clear, concise and courteous manner. Good social skills are the summation of all of the above components of EQ: self-awareness, emotional control, empathy and motivation.
Emotional Intelligence improves naturally over time as we age, but only if you pay attention to its development and applications. As the years roll by, EQ will help build and sustain satisfying relationships and achieve success.
Not surprisingly, the types of individuals that score the lowest in EQ are dictators, terrorists, murderers, racists, rapists, sexual predators, drug dealers, human traffickers, extortionists, racketeers, narcissists, bossy bosses and offensive people.
During the COVID-19 pandemic no skill has shown to be more important than managing and applying the elements that shape Emotional Intelligence, not only on a personal level, but in your professional environment as well. People with a high EQ proved to be more resilient, relaxed and inventive during isolation or lockdown, and have shown to be more disposed to help those around them that needed help.
On the Internet there are several sites with online EQ tests. Some are very basic and simple, others complex and exhaustive. Challenge yourself to determine your degree of Emotional Intelligence. Doing a test is already a learning experience.