Understanding Emotional Intelligence
How we manage our lives and interact with others lies in our ability to interpret our emotions and the emotions of others. Yet, nobody every teaches us. We are taught many things throughout school; however, we are not taught how to manage our emotions and thoughts. The management and understanding of our individual emotional circumstances as well as the emotional states of others is Emotional Intelligence and central to the work I do.
Unlike IQ or athletic prowess, that are often fixed and largely gifted to us by a genetic luck of the draw, emotional intelligence is something that each of us—if we are willing to learn and grow—can raise over time. An increase in emotional intelligence can lead us to more meaningful relationships and make us better suited to navigate the emotional landscapes of our lives.
Background of Emotional Intelligence
A good background on what exactly emotional intelligence is can be found in this piece by Mo Issa at Elephant Journal, entitled “5 Attributes of Emotionally Intelligence People.” In the article, Issa references Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and lists the 5 attributes of emotional intelligence as: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills.
Issa’s article is a great start if interested in increasing emotional intelligence and understanding how that intelligence can impact relationships, resilience and overall well-being. Issa’s closing of the article bares repeating:
We can learn and cultivate emotional intelligence in our lives. We are usually stronger with one aspect than the others, but we can develop all five so that we become better leaders in our lives, whether at our workplace, our home or elsewhere.
These attributes can also help guide us in any circumstances we find ourselves, whether we are bankers, business owners, mothers, friends, artists or people living simple lives traversing the joys and vicissitudes of life.
It’s not something that is easy to accomplish within a few months but rather it’s a journey over many years. It’s a roadmap of “How” to live our lives, rather than the “Why” or “What” of life.
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
Gaining emotional intelligence enables one to master self-worth, emotional and psychological well-being. With increased emotional intelligence, we are also much more effective in our relationships. All of which are priceless.