It is often advised not to let our emotions get the best of us as it leads to unwise decisions and actions. And we also often hear people saying that a certain person is more emotionally intelligent than someone else. But what is actually meant by emotional intelligence, and can it be improved? If yes, then how? This blog addresses all these questions, so keep reading to find out the answers.
What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
It is the ability to assess, identify, and manage emotional information in oneself and others. It can be said that emotional intelligence has four main components: self-awareness, emotional management, social awareness skills and relationship management skills.
Emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional literacy is the ability of an individual to recognize and understand emotional information and the ability to use this awareness for regulating one’s behavior as well as a thinking process.
When you improve your emotional quotient, you are better able to understand how you feel about something or someone and what that means for your actions. You will also be more aware of other people’s feelings and emotions around you.
Importance of emotional intelligence
The one thing that people often fail to realize is that EQ is just as important as IQ (Intelligence Quotient). IQ and EQ both have to be used in sync to ensure success in life. You can ace a job test with IQ but working in a team to ensure career growth requires EQ. Just how important is EQ in life is explained through the many aspects in life that it affects:
1) Physical and Mental Health
Stress can cause various emotional and mental disorders such as panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings and depression. This is because high levels of emotional tension over a period lead to physical ailments like stomach ulcers or even heart diseases in the worst cases. It also leads to poor concentration and lack of attention which affects your daily tasks. So to lead a better life, meditation is a simple, fast way to reduce stress.
2) Performance at school and work
It is also vital in school life. It helps you understand the emotional needs of your teachers and fellow students, which allows for better communication with them, leading to improved academic performance and good relationships within the school environment.
It not only affects grades, but studies have shown that emotional intelligence can help you even after college or university by excelling in workplaces by being an effective team player and later on a good leader who is with their team at every step of the way.
It is also important in relationships. It helps you deal with the emotional needs of your partner and children, which allows for better communication within the family environment, leading to improved relationship quality and a happy household where everyone gets along together.
The EQ adds value in all areas of life, including friendships, love lives and professional relations at work, by having an insight into others’ feelings that help us understand them better.
4) Social Intelligence
Being socially intelligent is vital since our emotions are contagious, it’s essential to be aware of your own emotional state and of those around you to understand what they’re trying to say through their emotional expressions and body language.
Being emotionally intelligent can even make our time spent on social media meaningful since it strengthens our ability to empathize with other people’s posts instead of merely liking what we see without really understanding their thoughts or emotions behind each post.
How to improve Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
EQ is comprised of four components, and gaining a better reign over these components can help one improve their EQ. But simply learning how to do so is not enough; one needs to apply these learnings in their life to get any sort of positive result.
Component 1: Self-management
Self-management is all about how one handles their emotional reactions in different situations. It’s an integral part in improving one’s EQ as it helps us manage our emotions instead of being ruled by them. Self-control, optimism and confidence are some characteristics that can help improve this aspect of EQ.
One needs to understand what they really need at the moment when faced with a tough situation or during times when they feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Once you have identified your inner state, try doing something proactive to take care of yourself before things get worse for you mentally/emotionally speaking.
Component 2: Self-awareness
This skill is the ability to read oneself, understand one’s feelings and emotions. It is about understanding your strengths/weaknesses or what makes you happy/unhappy at work.
Self-awareness also requires self-honesty since it is about being authentic with yourself when facing difficult situations in life. Having an awareness of how others perceive us will help us modify our behavior accordingly so that we are able to get along better with them instead of causing conflicts due to emotional mismanagement. This quotient can be developed through introspection by making a commitment towards becoming more aware of ourselves on all levels – emotional, social and mental states as well as physical health status.
Component 3: Social Awareness
Social awareness is about being mindful of the emotional climate in your organization and having a good understanding of how the different emotional states impact overall performance. In order to improve social awareness, it is important that we become aware of what emotions are being expressed by whom as well as their individual level of intensity so that appropriate action can be taken within a group setting.
Component 4: Relationship Management
Relationship management is about being able to handle our interactions with others in a way that builds an emotional connection, loyalty and trust. Relationship Management is all about your ability to influence the emotions of those around you. It’s not just emotion management but also relationship building at the same time. When trying to manage relationships more effectively, it can be helpful if we are mindful of how open or closed people appear to be when they communicate as well as taking note of their body language – both their facial expressions and hand gestures.