Emotional intelligence

What does it mean to be smart? It turns out that having a high IQ, impressing your friends with your mastery of a Rubik’s Cube, or being your quiz team’s superstar, isn’t everything.  Increasingly, having high levels of emotional intelligence is seen as what really matters. 

Emotional intelligence is being aware of your actions and feelings – and how they affect those around you. It also involves being aware of how others are feeling and responding appropriately.

People with high EI have better relationships, and are more able to adjust to change and be flexible.

The five building blocks of emotional intelligence 

In his books, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ and Working With Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman presents five categories of emotional intelligence.

  1. Self-Awareness – People with high EI are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions and how their actions affect others.
  2. Self-Regulation – this is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, and altering them depending on the situation.
  3. Motivation – People with a high degree of EI are usually motivated. They're willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. 
  4. Empathy - being aware of the feelings and emotions of other people. You can place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.
  5. Social skills– People who are emotionally intelligent are able to build rapport and trust quickly with others on their teams. 
Five ways to show emotional intelligence infographic

How emotionally intelligent are you?

Take the quiz - https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/ei-quiz.htm 

Growing your emotional intelligence

The good news is that unlike your IQ, which remains stable during your life, emotional intelligence continues to grow.  Here are some ways that Daniel Goleman has identified that will help you improve your emotional intelligence

  • Don’t vent and yell when you’re angry – it just prolongs and amplifies your anger. Instead, try  to control your anger by exercising, deep breathing, or try some healthy thinking 
  • Don’t ruminate when you’re sad. Instead try looking for ways to distract yourself by doing things such as taking up a new hobby, getting your sweat on, helping someone out (practice kindness gives you a real boost) and trying to reframe the situation by using some healthy thinking strategies 
  • If you need to give negative feedback make it constructive and sensitive to the person’s feelings. Make sure your feedback is specific, offers a solution, happens face to face, and  is given with empathy 
  • Research shows that emotions are contagious, so being positive yourself helps to set the emotional tone of your environment
  • Find your spark! It’s easier to be self-motivated when you’re working with your strengths  What are you really good at and what are your true character strengths ? Check out our Find Your Spark section to find your hidden strengths.