According to Marc Brackett from Yale University, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your instinctive feelings as well as those of others. It allows you to read and label emotions as well as regulate and express them appropriately. Most people think they are able to do the above. But according to Brackett who is the founding director of the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence most people greatly overestimate their emotional intelligence.
EQ is crucial because according to psychological experts the ability to understand and respond to personal emotions and the emotions of other people is a key factor in determining future happiness, health and professional and personal success. Knowing this, it is clear that everyone should take some time and investigate the emotional intelligence strategies for success.
Breaking down emotional intelligence
First, let us take a crash course on emotional intelligence. The term emotional intelligence and the theory was introduced in 1990 by Peter Solvey and John Mayer of Yale University and University of New Hampshire respectively. Their work mainly demonstrated the impact emotions had on how individual thinks and acts. The current understanding of emotional intelligence has been built on their framework and the definitions have been refined to encapsulate the scope of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence has been defined as being smart about your feelings. It is the way an individual uses their emotions to inform how they think and use their thought process to inform their emotions.
It is being aware of how emotions influence the decisions you make and how you behave so that you can influence others and deal with them effectively. People who are said to be emotionally intelligent are often empathetic meaning they can look at a situation from another person’s point of view. This makes them open-minded and able to overcome any obstacles or challenges they encounter on the way to achieving success. People with a higher emotional intelligence are happier, healthier and more effective.
Success through developing emotional intelligence
In most careers today Emotional Intelligence (EQ) works to limit and influence success more than IQ. Consider some of these symptoms to check whether low EQ is halting your success whether in your personal, professional or school life.
You know you are gifted but you react impatiently or angrily with those you think do not get your brilliance. You have noticed that other people do not want to hear your stories or they do not seem to get your jokes or humor. Maybe the messages you communicate to your colleagues is not what you intended. If you suffer from any of these then you need to consider these steps to improve emotional intelligence.
1. Recognizing your emotions
Being aware of our emotions will require us to be in constant practice. For example, if a coworker suggests a solution that is obviously wrong in a meeting, it would be easy to forget yourself and call out the individual on his “stupid idea”. If you do this, you know that most people in that meeting will not take your views well even if you are right.
Recognizing your emotions and knowing when to hold your responses to yourself is a key step in developing EQ. Slow everything down and engage your mind to find a better response that will correct the mistake and preserve your relationship with your colleagues.
2. Manage your emotions
The method of any interaction on your way to success is to conduct it with respect and honor because these are the values of successful people. Check your tone and body language because they are two of the strongest communicators of a person’s emotions.
If you try and see everyone’s perspective you will realize many great ideas coming from others that will be crucial in your journey to success. Managing your emotions and maintaining your decorum is a sign of good emotional intelligence.
3. Recognize others emotions
Look at your teammates or workmates for any signs of being down or overwhelmed. If you are a leader it is important to push back your fears that you will not meet your project goals in order to understand what is affecting the productivity of your workers. Consider what they are up against in their personal and work lives and how these are sapping their energy and confidence. Everyone can agree that putting the screws on people experiencing low points is not an effective solution. The last strategy will consider what you can do.
4. Respond appropriately to the emotions of other people
You should focus on encouraging anyone who is feeling down instead of fear motivating them. If you are a teacher and you depend on your students to pass their exams for a promotion it would be better to give them an emotional boost. Show your students encouragement and empathy and tell them that you understand the pressure of exams is a lot and ask if there any ways you and the other teachers can help them after school.
You can use the same principles in any dealings you have including your marriage. Listen to your partner’s challenges and help brainstorm possible solutions. Finally constantly remind others of the good work they are doing and your confidence in their abilities.
People with a low EQ can be successful but they would be more successful if they had a higher EQ. How well you engage with others, how well you collaborate and influence others and the way you connect are some of the things that will set you apart in the race to success.
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