A Closer Look at Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why it Matters

Emotional intelligence includes traits like patience, empathy, stress management, adaptability, and more. As you might expect, emotional intelligence plays an important role in helping you achieve nearly any objective, whether on a team or working independently. But what is emotional intelligence, really, and why does it matter so much?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

As just indicated, emotional intelligence manifests itself in all sorts of ways. However, the core makeup of emotional intelligence typically falls into three areas:

  • Managing your own emotions: Emotions have the ability to interfere with goal achievement. For example, imagine the role fear can play in a person’s willingness to try new strategies at work. The ability to manage these emotions, then, is a sign of emotional intelligence.
  • Understanding your impact on others: It is important to be tuned into how our words and actions impact those around us. Look for subtle clues that indicate your words or behavior was either positively or negatively received.
  • Overcoming in-the-moment-stress: If you want to be an emotional intelligence ninja, then overcoming in-the-moment stress is the key. This is the moment where impressions are made and things are said or done that cannot be undone. The self-restraint to overcome in-the-moment stress is a sure sign of emotional intelligence. Practice: Pausing, Processing and then Stating.

Developing Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters

Over time, as we build our emotional intelligence muscle, the resulting harmony will likely be reward enough. However, healthy levels of emotional intelligence offers other powerful motivators that we can take advantage of right away:

  • Take productivity to new levels: When working alone, our productivity is limited by our own capabilities and the hours in a day. Yet our desire to complete projects tends to greatly exceed our productive capacity. Therefore, at some point, you will need help, whether it’s from a team in a workplace setting, or your spouse or relatives in a family setting. Dealing with people in emotionally intelligent ways ensures work does not get gridlocked as staff nurse upset feelings or burnout.
  • Achieve your potential: How often do we get in our own way of achieving our goals? Everything from eating healthier to finding a rewarding career is usually blocked by some underdeveloped aspect of emotional intelligence. This could include self-control or fear or an unbalanced perspective. Your present-day self owes it to your future self to build those EQ muscles!
  • Develop stronger relationships: This one should be obvious, yet it is worth mentioning. Life is often a series of going from objective to objective in order to get your wants and needs met. The ability to have others help you meet your objectives without alienating those in your path is one of the keys to developing stronger relationships.

Developing Emotional Intelligence

To develop emotional intelligence, try these tips:

  • Self-awareness: Tune into your own strengths and weaknesses, learning to value your unique strengths and improve weaknesses that cause issues.
  • Self-management: Strive to stay calm in upsetting situations to avoid self-sabotage. In addition, be sure to keep a healthy work-life balance so that personal dimensions of your life are nourished.
  • Social awareness: Notice the power dynamics in your group and adjust your approach as needed. Furthermore, tune into the experiences of others so that you may accommodate their unspoken needs.
  • Relationship management: Learn to communicate and execute your vision while strengthening relationships. Achieving this is the fruit of an inspirational leadership style rather than a dictatorial one.