Emotional Intelligence: Dimentions, Signs and ways to achieve it

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“People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. Ability is not a fixed property; there is huge variability in how you perform. People who have a sense of self-efficacy bounce back from failures; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong.”– Daniel Goleman.

Emotional intelligence is defined as one’s ability to understand, use and manage his/her feelings in a positive way. It is otherwise known as Emotional Quotient or EQ. Emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, but in some, it is also an inborn characteristic. It is extremely important to express and control emotions and to understand and interpret the response of others. For example, just imagine a world where you cannot understand whether your parents or partner is feeling sad or angry, or happy. It becomes a nightmare to even imagine that state. Emotional intelligence matters the most to lead a happy and successful life. People with this trait can get along better with others and be more empathetic and compassionate. 

Goleman (1998) defined Emotional intelligence as ‘the capacity for recognizing our feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.”

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Why Emotional Intelligence is Important?

It is important to have a good Intelligence Quotient (IQ) but more than that, EQ is required to manage stress and emotions. IQ is important to get into a job, but EQ helps to manage emotions when faced with stress at work. Since today people work largely in teams rather than in isolation, so recognizing emotions can lead to a healthier environment. It even helps to build a stronger relationship with the people at work. People with better emotional intelligence can adapt easily to the changes. Strong EQ can make lots of differences in one’s life.

It can help a person build a stronger relationship. It is necessary that each person controls and understands emotions. At the same time, one should know how to express their feelings as this can help to communicate more effectively with the partner. Emotional intelligence also helps one to succeed at school or in the workplace. If the person is high in EQ, it helps them to lead, motivate others as well as excel in their own career. Mental and physical well-being is considered major asset for the same reason. Controlling anger, and stress can prevent various health issues. In terms of mental health, controlling anxiety and depression, and an understanding of emotions make people successful in life.

Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

The movie – Pursuit of Happiness displayed brilliant emotional intelligence. The characters showed the concept of Emotional Intelligence protruding self-management, commitment, empathy, social skills, and relationship throughout the entire film. Ultimately the main character’s ability to overcome circumstances showed incredible perseverance.

Emotional intelligence can be learned at any time in life. However, it is important to understand that the knowledge of emotional intelligence should be applied throughout life. It helps to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and help to reach a clear decision.
It is defined by four attributes-

  • Self-awareness: The first step in building emotional intelligence is by managing stress. Quite often, the present emotional experience is because of the early life experiences. If the emotions are well-attended to, during childhood then the emotions become valuable assets in life. If the emotions are confusing, threatening, or painful, it makes a person to avoid experiencing emotions. When one has a good connection with emotions, that makes the person understand the emotional influences on thoughts and actions.
  • Social awareness: It majorly involves the recognition and interpretation of nonverbal cues to communicate with others. This understanding helps us to know about their emotional state and how they feel. It makes the person socially comfortable. Staying mindful builds social awareness. It is not easy to understand a person through a call unless they show their presence. Paying attention and making an effort for others makes one gain insight into their emotional state and values.
  • Relationship management: In most situations, it is essential to manage many relationships among people. So, working well with others is considered emotional awareness. It is the ability to recognize the thoughts of others. If the person is good at emotional awareness, then it becomes easy to develop a social and emotional bonding with others. It is always good to understand nonverbal communication, as the saying goes “ Action speaks louder than words”. It can also help to develop a huge part in improving relationships. Staying calm and happy makes everything balanced. It reduces stress and sharpens the mind and makes one more empathetic. Understand the situation and make it an opportunity. Having conflict is common, however taking a step back, and choosing how to respond after managing your emotions can lead to building trust between people. If the relationship is not threatening, then it fosters creativity and safety.
  • Self-management: Using emotional intelligence to make decisions about the behavior. If the person is stressed, they lose control and the ability to act thoughtfully. Stress takes control over emotions and causes more problems. Staying emotionally aware and managing stress leads to self-control.

The 7 Signs of Emotional Intelligence

An emotionally intelligent person has certain qualities and some of them are mentioned below.

  • Self-awareness: Emotionally intelligent people can be self-aware and self-confident most of the time. They are the ones willing to learn and seek feedback regarding their weaknesses. This keeps their focus on self-improvement.
  • Ability to manage distressing emotions: People good at managing emotions keep themselves away from distressing emotions. So, they are confident enough to overcome stressful situations easily. 
  • Good at relationships: People with good EQ tend to be active listeners and comfortable talking to strangers. At the same time, they are good at reading people, i.e., taking cues from body language, facial expressions, etc.
  • Staying focused: Individuals with high EQ stay strong in terms of being solution-focused and present-minded. They tend to solve problems easily. 
  • Self-motivated: Mostly the top performers in any field, have a high EQ. They drive to achieve, commit to reaching their goals and seek opportunities. 
  • Operating with integrity: These individuals take responsibility for their actions and are highly ethical in business and relationships.
  • Well-placed boundaries: These people are skilled at determining the real-time and energy required to complete the task. They know their limits and know when to say “No” assertively.

Ways to Increase the Emotional Intelligence

  • Practice self-awareness: Being self-aware and intuitive is a must. First of all, one should be aware of their own emotions and how they can affect those around them. 
  • Practice mindfulness: It is the key tool in understanding one’s own thoughts and feelings. It can help to develop self-awareness. It also helps to develop all the other emotional intelligence skills.  
  • Utilize an assertive style of communication: It is about earning respect without being too aggressive or too passive. Learn to communicate opinions and needs directly while still respecting others.  Use more ’I’statements than ‘you’ statements.
  • Respond instead of reacting to conflict: Having emotional outbursts and anger are common during conflicts.  Staying calm during a conflict situation prevents you from bigger problems.  
  • Utilize active listening skills: Before talking or responding listen carefully to get clarity. Try to pay attention to nonverbal details. 
  • Practice ways to maintain a positive outlook: Don’t underestimate the power of your attitude. Emotionally intelligent people will have awareness of the moods of those around them. So they can handle the situation and guard their attitude accordingly.
  • Take critique well (Let go): Instead of getting offended or defensive, take the critics in a good way to improve emotional intelligence. It is better to understand the cause of the critiques and their effect on the performance.
  • Empathize with others: It is emotional strength, not a weakness. It helps to have a mutual understanding between people having different opinions and situations. 
  • Be approachable and sociable: People with high EQ are easily approachable. They create a positive environment around them. They have good interpersonal skills and communicate clearly.

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl

Emotional intelligence is more than just controlling your feelings. It is the key to better relationships, improved well-being, and stronger communication skills. Unlike IQ, which remains constant throughout your life, EQ can be developed and honed over time. This is all the more reasons to start working on our EQ!


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