Emotional intelligence is an important role in our personal and professional success. Some of the central qualities that make up emotional intelligence are self-awareness in relation to the ability to recognise a feeling as it happens and an increased awareness and understanding of “gut feeling”. You need to be able to take responsibility for your own choices and have an understanding of the motivation behind the choice you make. Be able to answer the following questions objectively: ‘what am I doing?’ And ‘why am I doing it?’
Emotional intelligence also involves mood management. We generally have little control over experiences that provoke or result in negative experiences like anger, frustration, and hurt feelings. However, we do have the choice/self-control over how we feel, how long, and how we demonstrate the feelings we have. For example, the more you think about how angry you are, the angrier you get. When situations are emotionally difficult try to look at the situation from a different and more realistic angle or from a more positive light. Take time to calm yourself down and think clearly.
Don’t waste time on negatives. If you have control over something, deal with it in a productive manner and then move on. If you do not have control over it, let the other person own it or let it go. You can distract yourself from negative thinking with more positive thinking or positive actions. Engage in self-care, meditation, walking, relaxation techniques, regular exercise, adequate rest and good nutrition, and be supported by positive people.
Emotional intelligence also involves self-motivation. Motivation is something that you do. It requires clear goals and an ‘I can do this’ attitude. Catch negative and self-defeating thoughts as they occur. Try to not focus on the disappointment of not getting what you want now; instead look at the big picture of achieving your goals and doing what is necessary to achieve them in the future. Continue to try to face setbacks by finding more ways to perform effectively.
Improve your social skills. You might have heard the word empathy used. Empathy is the capacity to understand how another person feels, whether you are at work, with friends or family, or in a relationship. Go back to the idea of self-awareness. Do you leave people feeling dismissed, unimportant or do you genuinely leave them feeling appreciated and/or cared for?
In relation to the points made above it is interesting to reflect on how well you know yourself and knowing how others experience you.