Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as the ability to identify and manage emotional information in oneself and others and focusing energy on required behaviors. Also known as “social intelligence,” the skills and competencies that comprise EI complement a person’s cognitive and technical skills.
What is it?
Emotional intelligence is an important part of a person’s ability to successfully cope with work demands. Because of our constantly changing environments, people often require more than just basic task competencies or technical know-how to be successful.
Those who possess a particular blend of skills and traits are more suitable for functioning and succeeding in various challenging roles. Emotional intelligence provides an important catalyst of social and cognitive functioning and helps a person become better at decision making, empathizing, leading, communicating, and being resilient.
Research shows that when people are emotionally intelligent and are aware of their feelings, they are better equipped to confront challenging issues and manage change. EQ service provider TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence as well as 33 other workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of greater performance – leading to 58 percent of success in all types of jobs.
Sources of Emotional Intelligence
We need to understand several aspects of the brain in order to understand the sources of emotional intelligence.
The emotional mind is located in the amygdala and feeds into the rational mind, guiding its operations. The rational mind, located in neocortex, refines and sometimes overrules the input of the emotional mind.
The amygdala and neocortex usually work in tandem, but when emotions are running high, the amygdala overtakes the rational mind. In highly emotional moments, the amygdala plays a crucial role in how a person reacts.
Categories of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence falls into five general categories:
- Self-awareness: Knowing what you’re feeling when you’re feeling it.
- Self-regulation: Using your emotions to serve you, instead of having them get in the way, and recovering well from emotional distress.
- Motivation: Delaying gratification to pursue important goals and persevering when faced with setbacks or frustrations.
- Empathy: Sensing what others are feeling and seeking other perspectives.
- Social skills: Interacting with others comfortably, cooperating, negotiating, persuading, and leading.
Promoting Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Research shows that people who show high levels of emotional intelligence are stronger leaders, better
Decision makers, foster better relationships, increase team efficiency, and are better equipped to confront challenging issues and manage change.
EQ has also been shown to be a more accurate predictor of success at work and in life than the more traditional IQ test. When bright people fail in the workplace, it’s usually caused by a lack of emotional intelligence. The good news is that these skills can be developed and improved.
Emotional intelligence training courses give participants strategies for developing each skill. Participants can learn effective strategies to confront issues, tackle problems, and manage change and stress with composure and clarity.
The Four Aspects of Emotional Intelligence
It’s important to be able to manage emotions by recognizing how thoughts and emotions are connected. Self-control can be improved by identifying physical cues that indicate one’s emotions may be taking over. Those who want to improve their emotional skills should learn how to use assertive communication to express their needs and feelings appropriately. There are four aspects of emotional intelligence that should be worked on when attempting to improve EQ skills:
- Intrapersonal skills. The ability to recognize one’s emotions as they occur and the ability to exhibit self-control in emotional situations.
- Interpersonal skills. The ability to recognize others’ emotions, have positive relationships and minimize unproductive conflict.
- Adaptability skills. The ability to be flexible in changing conditions, manage stress productively and solve problems effectively.
- Resilience skills. The ability to bounce back from setbacks, regain self-confidence and maintain a positive perspective in the face of negative events.
How to Improve It
So what can you do if you’re lacking in emotional intelligence? Luckily it can it’s a skill that can be improved with the proper training and practice. Watch our webinar that will show you how to train and develop emotional intelligence in individuals. The webinar, titled “Emotional Intelligence: How to Develop Skills for Success,” explores four vital components of intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, adaptability, and resilience, and also discusses strategies for continuous improvement. Watch Emotional Intelligence: How to Develop Skills for Success.
This webinar is based on Emotional Intelligence: A Scientifically Proven Method for Developing the Skills of Success. This training program introduces the four essential aspects to honing this soft skill, and gives strategies for further development, helping people to confront issues, tackle problems, and manage change and stress with composure and clarity. Click here to learn more: Emotional Intelligence Customizable Course.