Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively. It is generally said to include three skills:
1. Self-Awareness – People with high EI are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don’t let their feelings rule them. They don’t let their emotions get out of control. They’re also willing to take an honest look at themselves, they know their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Self-Regulation – This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don’t make impulsive, careless decisions.
3. Motivation – People with a high degree of EI are usually motivated. They’re willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They’re highly productive, love a challenge, and are very effective in whatever they do.
4. Empathy – is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you. Empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening and relating to others. They avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly, and they live their lives in a very open, honest way.
5. Social Skills – those with strong social skills are typically team players. Rather than focus on their own success first, they help others develop and shine. They can manage disputes, are excellent communicators, and are masters at building and maintaining relationships.
Emotional Intelligence Can Be Developed.
The communication between your emotional and rational “brains” is the physical source of emotional intelligence. Your primary senses enter spinal cord and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. Your brain grows new connections as you learn new skills all the time, neurologists call it „plasticity“. The change is gradual, as your brain cells develop new connections to speed the efficiency of new skills acquired.
Using strategies to increase your emotional intelligence allows the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centers of your brain to branch off small “arms” (much like a tree) to reach out to the other cells. This chain reaction of growth ensures it’s easier to kick this new behavior into action in the future. Once you train your brain by repeatedly using new emotional intelligence strategies, emotionally intelligent behaviors become habits.
Observe how you react to people. Look at your work environment. Do a self-evaluation. Examine how you react to stressful situations. Take responsibility for your actions. Examine how your actions will affect others – before you take those actions. And that‘s how you can develop new EI skills.
- By Laura Babaityte