What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence – also known as EQ - is the ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. The concept was developed in the 1990s by Salavoy and Mayer. Psychologist Daniel Goleman expanded the concept and highlighted the five key elements of emotional intelligence:
1- Self emotional awareness: understanding and being aware of your own emotions and understanding how these and your actions can affect others.
2- Self-regulation: the ability to control oneself.
3- Motivation: the ability to work hard with great mental health and at a high standard with minimal external influence.
4- Empathy: being able to put oneself in another’s shoes and understand how they might be feeling.
5- Social skills: communication, diplomacy, and conflict resolution.
It is important to recognize that manage emotions is not separate from intelligence. In the words of the psychologist David Caruso, “it [emotional intelligence] is not the triumph of heart over the head – it is the unique intersection of both.”
What are the different levels of emotional intelligence?
There are four levels of emotional intelligence:
1- Personal competence:
This is the level where you develop self-awareness and self-management skills to develop emotional competencies.
2- Social competence:
At this level, you work on developing social awareness and relationship management skills.
3- Organizational competence:
Here you focus on developing organizational awareness and change management skills.
4- Collective competence:
At this level, you work on developing global citizenship and collaboration skills.
Why does emotional intelligence matter?
Because emotional intelligence helps us understand and control our emotions more effectively, being high emotionally intelligent can help us succeed professionally and personally. The Harvard Business School found that EQ is twice as important as IQ and technical skill in determining future success.
In a professional environment, an emotionally intelligent person can help you motivate others and help them develop interpersonal skills, collaborate and partner with other people in a team, and resolve conflicts more effectively.
It is also linked to more satisfying personal lives because it can help you improve relationships with others and manage your emotions when feeling stressed.
How to use emotional intelligence in the workplace?
There are several things you can do to work on your emotional intelligence:
1- Be aware of your emotions:
Check in with yourself regularly to see how you are feeling and why. This will help you understand your triggers and learn how to evaluate emotions and manage them.
2- Manage your reactions:
When you are feeling stressed or emotional, take a step back and count to 10 before responding. This will help you avoid saying or doing something you might later regret.
3- Communicate effectively:
Learn how to communicate assertively without being aggressive. This involves being clear about what you want and asking for it in a way that doesn’t make the other person feel defensive.
4- Be empathetic:
Try to see things from the other person’s perspective and understand how they might be feeling. This can help you build stronger relationships with others.
5- Develop your social skills:
Practice active listening, turn-taking, and giving and receiving feedback. These skills will help you build better relationships with others and be more effective in team environments.
How can you measure emotional intelligence?
There are several ways to measure emotional intelligence. These include :
- Emotional Quotient Inventory: This is the most commonly used test and is available to complete online for free. It will give you a topline indication of emotional understanding.
- Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligent Test (MSCEIT): This complex test takes up to 45 minutes to complete and provides a range of scores.
- Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI): This test was co-developed by Daniel Goleman and Aims to identify the emotional skills that indicate an outstanding leader.
How can you improve emotional intelligence?
Unlike IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) can develop over time. Our experience as human beings informs the way we react to different situations and helps fine-tune our emotional perception. In addition to life experience, there are some methods of building a technical ability to have social intelligence.
Emotional intelligence training is a big industry; many subject matters are hired for their expertise, and then they need to develop their emotions to thrive as managers, team players, and leaders.
There are organizations dedicated to emotional intelligence training, but individuals can strengthen their own emotional intelligence by following some simple advice which includes :
- Learning to identify negative emotions and taking time to understand why you are feeling a certain way before leaping in to react.
- Developing a sense of self-evaluation by asking yourself questions such as “should I have used those words?” or “is there another way of looking at this situation?”
- Learning how to manage stress's effects better, such as proactively taking a break when feeling stressed or avoiding caffeine during especially stressful periods.
What is emotional intelligence in leadership?
Leadership is all about emotional intelligence. And it is the capacity to be aware of and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. The best leaders are those with high emotional abilities, which allows them to be successful in their relationships with others.
A leader with high emotional intelligence can:
- Empathize with others
- Respectfully challenge the status quo
- Inspire and motivate others to achieve their best
- Communicate effectively
- Foster a positive and productive work environment
Managing emotions is not always easy, but it is a key part of being an effective leader. Leaders who can effectively manage their emotions are more likely to be successful in achieving their goals.
Example of emotional intelligence:
You are a team leader, and one of your team members comes to you with a problem.
If you have high emotional intelligence, you will:
1. Listen to the team member and try to understand their perspective.
2. Empathize with the team member and offer support.
3. Help the team member to find a solution to their problem.
4. Follow up with the team member to see how they are doing.
If you have low emotional intelligence, you will:
1. Ignore the team member or tell them to deal with their own problem.
2. Get angry with the team member and tell them they are causing problems for the team.
3. Yell at the team member and tell them they are not doing their job correctly.
4. Do nothing and hope the problem goes away on its own.