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What is Emotional Intelligence?

How to Better Understand and Manage Your Own Emotions

From time to time, I become very interested in a concept that I believe is of importance to my readers and that fits nicely into the concept of wellness, which I have blogged about before. In today's blog, I will address the concept of "emotional Intelligence." I want to give credit to the online resource, Healthline, for so many good ideas that have prompted me to write this blog.

What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a term or concept popularized by researchers in the 1990s. This concept differs from general intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions. People who possess this trait also have the ability to understand and influence the emotions and behavior of others. And with this understanding, some are able to enjoy greater success in life. It is a critical ability when it comes to interpersonal communication—and a hot topic not only in psychology, but in the business world.

We all need to work on our emotional intelligence because events in life can challenges our ability to be clear-headed, make the right choices, and pursue greater happiness and meaning. This is the theme of my new book, Beyond Happiness and Meaning.

Components of Emotional Intelligence

Five elements define emotional intelligence. These components include:

Self-awareness is being conscious of your own feelings and motives. Emotionally intelligent people often demonstrate a high level of self-awareness. You know how your emotions affect yourself and others, and you don’t allow your emotions to control you.

Self-regulation is essential to our emotional development. People with the ability to self-regulate don’t make impulsive decisions. You pause and think about the consequences of an action before proceeding.

Motivation is all about intent. People with emotional intelligence are productive and driven. You think about the big picture and assess how your actions will contribute to long-term success.

Empathy is important for intelligent people to be less self-centered. Instead, you empathize with others and your situations. You tend to be a good listener, slow to judge, and understanding of the needs and wants of others. For this reason, an emotionally intelligent person is often seen as a loyal, compassionate friend.

Social skills make it easier for you to collaborate and work in teams. You tend to be an excellent leader because of your strong communication skills and ability to manage relationships.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace. It is also a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice.

To improve your self-regulation skills in the workplace:

  • Find techniques to release workplace stress. Having hobbies outside of work is a great place to start. Physical exercise is also a healthy way to release stress.
  • Keep your cool. Accept the fact that you cannot control everything. Look for helpful ways to respond that don't add fuel to the fire.
  • Think before making decisions. Emotions can overwhelm you in the heat of the moment. You can make a calmer, more rational choice if you give yourself time to consider all of the possibilities.

Our need to improve wellness in general, and emotional intelligence specifically, can be seen in the way we deal with the pandemic. Many people have become stressed out because they haven't developed coping skills. Some have become depressed and even worse, committed suicide.

If you have any workplace questions specific to you, check out my "Workplace Ethics Advice" blogs and website.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I am giving away signed copies of my book to the first ten people who contact me at: [email protected] and provide a mailing address. May your 2021 be better than 2020. Let's face it, it can't be worse!

Posted by Dr. Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on December 8, 2020. You can sign up for his newsletter and learn more about his activities at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ethicssage.