What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence or EQ is an ability to manage one’s emotions and the emotions of other people. Some people regard emotional intelligence (EQ) as a more important skill than Intelligent Quotient (IQ).
The reason is that most jobs require a good interpersonal relationship. And good relationship stems from the ability to handle one’s emotion and feelings of others.
Thus, your success in your career is pretty dependent on how well you respond others’ emotional demands. As the businesses become global, one should learn to handle and respond different emotions.
Therefore, people should have an ability to deal with complex emotional responses to be able to fit them in any culture appropriately. In fact, Howard Gardner the proponent of emotional intelligence said: “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”
However, we do not learn this skill in school. Schools teach us what is EQ but never show us ways on how to develop it. But this does not mean that we can not learn emotional intelligence.
The five major categories of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence comprises several areas. To be able to master this skill, you need to develop each one of them.
Self-awareness is one of the most important components of emotional intelligence. It allows you to evaluate and become aware of your current emotional state. A person who knows how he feels will be able to manage his feelings.
Self-awareness has two elements: emotional awareness and self-confidence. The first one is your ability to recognize one’s emotions. And the latter is the ability to assess one’s self-worth and abilities.
Why is it important to understand your own emotions? Well, the reason for this is that no one can understand others if one does not understand how s/he feels.
Self-regulation is your ability to control your emotion. Sometimes, controlling your own feelings can be the hardest task. As a result, most people easily get angry and end up in chaotic situations. But if you want to regulate your own emotion, you need to develop the following:
- “Self-control“. Obviously, without self-control, you can not manage your anger impulses. People who have poor self-control found it hard to stay calm and concentrate. These people are often caught in problematic situations.
- “Trustworthiness“. Honesty and integrity are two factors of trustworthiness that are important in self-regulation. People who value honesty and integrity would never do things that can compromise their social image.
- “Conscientiousness“. People who have high EQ are conscientious. Meaning, they make themselves accountable for their actions. The sense of responsibility makes them maintain the harmony in their lives.
- “Adaptability“. You can not control yourself if you are not flexible with any form of change. Being able to handle change it will be easier for you to adapt people’s behavior.
- “Innovation“. Liberating yourself allows you to accept new ideas that could help you develop a sense of flexibility.
Motivation is your only fuel to succeed in your undertakings. With clear purpose and attitude, you’ll meet great achievements in your life. To stay motivated means that you don’t allow your mind to have negativities such as doubts and fears. Try to reshape your thoughts and fill them with positive things.
And to stay motivated, you need to have the following:
- “Achievement drive“. This is a force that will help you reach excellence.
- “Commitment“. Being committed to your goals helps you stay focus until your goals are achieved.
- “Initiative“. If you are a person with initiative, you don’t’ wait for others to act on your behalf. Instead, you do what is necessary to be done by yourself.
- “Optimism“. This might be the most important component of motivation. People who are optimistic are able to gain perseverance in the face of failures and setbacks. Thus, optimistic people often become successful in life.
Empathy is the ability to recognize other people’s feelings and emotions. If you are good enough in anticipating others’ emotional responses, the better your chances of relating to them effectively.
If you are an empathic person, you have the following characteristics:
- “Service orientation“. The ability to anticipate, recognize and meet other people’s needs.
- “Developing others“. The ability to help others recognize and develop their potentials.
- “Leveraging diversity“. Recognizing unity in the realm of differences.
- “Understanding others“. Being able to relate others to responding to their emotional needs effectively.
5. Social skills
Social skills are undoubtedly one of the most important skills you need to have in order to succeed in your career. We are living in a fast facing global economy. This means that you need to develop social skills that can help you adapt to a constant change. Thus, you need to possess high EQ to better fit yourself into the world.
Here are the skills you need to develop:
- “Influence“. It involves the ability to persuade others.
- “Communication“. The ability to send and accept information clearly.
- “Leadership“. The ability to lead and guide people towards a common goal.
- “Change catalyst“. The ability to accept change.
- “Collaboration“. The ability to cooperate with others to achieve a common goal.
Most people would subscribe to a common belief that those who have high IQ would more likely to succeed in life than those who have lower IQ. But it’s not always the case. In fact, some average people tend to outperform people with higher IQ both in academics and in real life.
Success, therefore, can not be solely attributed to IQ. Emotional intelligence also plays an important role. If not more important.
The good thing about EQ is that, unlike IQ, it is easier to develop. Everyone can have it. Thus, everyone can be successful in life.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.