Emotional intelligence is how well you understand and manage your emotions. For the longest time, most of the focus was on IQ, but today, many experts say that emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ. Your emotional intelligence is how good you are at recognizing, interpreting, and regulating your emotions and also of those around you.
Learning to understand and regulate your emotions helps you express them healthier, which improves your chances of personal and professional success. Developing emotional intelligence benefits you in more ways than you know. This blog post will help you understand emotional intelligence better and also give tips to help you improve your EQ.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence isn’t wholly and solely emotions only. It’s a composition of 4 components. You need to work on each of these areas to develop emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is the ability to identify and understand your emotions and their impact on others. It’s the key component of emotional intelligence, and all other components depend on it. Only if you’re aware of your emotions and how they trigger different behaviors will you be able to manage them. Your emotions also affect your relationship with others, meaning if you don’t manage your emotions well, they’ll have an adverse impact on your personal and professional relationships. It all starts with self-awareness.
Once you’ve identified your emotions, you’ll be able to manage them better. Only after you become aware of your emotions and their effect on you, your behavior, and your relationships can you start to control disruptive impulses and emotions. Self-regulation is your ability to regulate emotions and remain calm in emotionally challenging situations.
Understanding the emotions of others around you is another important component of emotional intelligence. Being able to identify what others feel, share their emotions, and wish (and try) to make them feel better makes you empathetic. It’s not always about how you would feel in the same situation. Developing empathy will help you understand what someone actually feels at that moment.
Another very important component of emotional intelligence is your ability to communicate clearly and ensure your words and actions positively affect productivity and your relationships. People with strong social skills understand others and use this understanding to improve their relations with others.
Quick Guide to Developing Emotional Intelligence
Developing emotional intelligence paves the way toward greater self-awareness and success. Below are some tips to help you improve your emotional intelligence.
Try to be More Aware of Your Emotions
Emotional intelligence isn’t always naturally in-built. To develop emotional intelligence, you’ve got to put in an active and conscious effort to understand your emotions and your emotional responses better. You should be able to acknowledge when you’re feeling certain emotions like anxiety, anger, nervousness, or stress. This will help you healthily process them and communicate appropriately. This will help you remain contained and calm during situations you would otherwise be all over the place.
Try to Understand What Others Feel
Understanding what others feel about your communication and behavior is as important as being aware of your emotions. When you know how others receive your messages, you can change your behavior to ensure you’re received positively. Sometimes, you may intend to deliver a different message through your behavior than what people around you perceive, and that’s where problems may arise. But when you know what others feel, you can avoid any miscommunication and unpleasantries.
Practice Active Listening
Take time to listen to what people say. It’ll help you understand where they’re coming from. Nod, ask questions, and give your input where you think it’s needed. This will make the other person feel that you’re actually listening, and this will help you build more meaningful and stronger relationships.
Poor communication leaves room for misunderstandings. You must communicate clearly. For example, if you’re a manager and you don’t communicate your goals with your team clearly, they won’t be on the same page as you, and this will affect your performance and deliverables.
Stay As Positive As You Can
Staying positive in tough situations isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s very important when you’re trying to develop emotional intelligence. Staying positive and calm in challenging situations will help others around you feel calm. You can spread positivity in different ways. It could be an uplifting email, a positive affirmation, or a kind gesture. Your positivity will make others feel positive too.
Keep an Open Mind
If someone comes to you with a suggestion or plan, don’t disregard it right away. Keep an open mind. Even if you aren’t sure about it, consider how it would play out in case you implement it. This would give others a sense of being valued and respected. It’ll show them that you’re trying to understand their perspective. This will improve your personal and professional relations and increase your chances of success.
We undermine the importance of emotional intelligence without realizing that it forms the basis of self-awareness and long-term success. Developing emotional intelligence takes a lot of conscious effort, but once you get there, you’ll know how rewarding it is!
Eric Dalius is The Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe, a music and content discovery platform designed to maximize artist discovery and optimize fan relationships. In addition, he hosts the weekly podcast “FULLSPEED,” where he interviews innovative entrepreneurs across multiple industries. Eric also established the “Eric Dalius Foundation” to provide four scholarships for US-based students. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Entrepreneur.com.