When you think of an exceptional leader, what do you think of first? You can think of someone who is completely trusted by the people around him, easy to talk to, and always makes careful and informed decisions. These are qualities of someone with emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence or EQ?
Emotional intelligence (also called Emotional Quotation or EQ) is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in a positive way. This helps us to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and resolve conflicts. Emotional intelligence, in this way, helps us build stronger relationships, be successful at school and work. It also helps us achieve our professional and personal goals.
Emotional intelligence in turn contains four attributes:
Self-management: Referred to controlling impulsive feelings and behaviors, managing our emotions in a healthy way, taking initiative, fulfilling our commitments and adapting to changing circumstances.
Self-awareness: Related to the recognition of our own emotions and how they affect our thoughts and behavior. In the same way, it is related to the knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses and the development of self-confidence.
Social conscience: Referred to empathy. It is related to being able to understand the emotions, needs and concerns of other people.
Relationship management: Related to developing and maintaining good relationships in all areas as well as communicating clearly.
What aspects affect emotional intelligence
Physical Health. If we can't control our emotions, we probably aren't controlling our stress either.
Mental health. Out-of-control emotions can also affect our mental health, causing anxiety and depression and difficulties in forming strong relationships. This, in turn, can make you feel lonely and isolated and further aggravate any mental health problems.
Relationships. This will allow you to communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.
Social intelligence. Being in tune with your emotions has a social purpose, it connects you with other people and the world around you. In addition to feeling loved and happy.
Develop emotional intelligence
The key skills for developing your EQ and improving your ability to handle emotions and connect with others are:
In order for you to activate your EQ, you must be able to use your emotions to make constructive decisions about your behavior. With the ability to manage stress and remain emotionally present, you can receive disturbing information without letting our thoughts and self-control slip away.
Managing stress is only the first step in developing emotional intelligence. Your ability to handle basic feelings like anger, sadness, fear, and joy often depends on the quality and consistency of your early emotional experiences. If your primary caregiver as a baby understood and valued your emotions, these have likely become valuable assets in adult life. But if your emotional experiences as a baby were confusing, threatening, or painful, chances are you've tried to distance yourself from them.
To develop emotional intelligence and become emotionally healthy, you must reconnect with your core emotions, accept them, and become comfortable with them. You can do this by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately focusing attention on the present moment, and without judgment. Mindfulness helps shift your preoccupation with thinking into an appreciation of the moment, your physical and emotional sensations, and gives you a broader perspective on life.
Social awareness allows you to recognize and interpret the primarily non-verbal cues that others constantly use to communicate with you. These signals let you know how others really feel, how their emotional state changes from one moment to the next, and what is really important to them. In short, you are an empathetic person and you feel socially comfortable.
While many of us pride ourselves on our ability to multitask, this means that subtle emotional changes taking place in other people will be missed and will help you fully understand them. In reality, you are more likely to promote your social goals by putting other thoughts aside and focusing on the interaction itself. However, paying attention to others does not diminish your own self-awareness.
Working well with others is a process that begins with emotional awareness and the ability to recognize and understand what other people are experiencing. We must be aware of how effectively you use non-verbal communication. It is impossible to avoid sending non-verbal messages to other people about what you think and what you feel.
The emotional part of your brain is always active. Even if you ignore their messages, others won't. Acknowledging the nonverbal messages that you send to others can play an important role in improving your relationships. Use humor and play to relieve stress.
They ease loads and help you keep things in perspective. Laughter balances your nervous system, reduces stress, calms you down, sharpens your mind, and makes you more empathetic. Learn to see conflict as an opportunity to get closer to others. We already know that it is impossible for two people to have the same needs, opinions and expectations at all times. Healthy and constructive conflict resolution can strengthen trust between people.
Tips to improve Emotional Intelligence
Take the time to listen to what people are trying to say, both verbally and non-verbally. Body language can have a lot of meaning. When you feel someone feeling a certain way, consider the different factors that could be contributing to that emotion.
Acknowledging emotions is critical, but you also need to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes to truly understand their point of view. Practice empathy with other people. Imagine how you would feel in their situation. These activities can help you develop an emotional understanding of a specific situation, as well as develop stronger long-term emotional skills.
When you think about how other people respond, evaluate the role their emotions play.
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GARCÍA FERNÁNDEZ ABASCAL, Enrique (2015). Disfrutar de las emociones positivas. Madrid: Grupo 5.
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