Information from emotions

What is emotional intelligence and why is it important?

January 09, 2021 06:07 pm | Updated 06:07 pm IST

Emotional Intelligence is a heightened awareness of one’s own and others’ emotions

Emotional Intelligence is a heightened awareness of one’s own and others’ emotions

Widely recognised as important for communication, management, problem-solving and relationship building, Emotional Intelligence is a skill that may not be inherent but can be developed with training and practice. While Intelligence Quotient measures one’s intelligence potential, Emotional Intelligence is a heightened awareness of one’s own and others’ emotions. This helps one build solid seamless relationships, helps achieve career and personal goals, connect with feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most. Emotional Intelligence is commonly defined by these factors:

Self-management: Emotions are important pieces of information that tell you about yourself and others. But in the face of stress, we can lose control of ourselves. With the ability to manage stress and stay emotionally present, you can make choices that allow you to control impulsive feelings and behaviours, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiatives, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Self-awareness: It’s very important to learn how to balance your social performance with emotional integrity and discover how you can communicate with more openness and transparency. We need to learn how to read body language and tone of voice to become better communicators and truly active listeners. Recognise your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behaviour. You know your strengths and weaknesses and have self-confidence. But being able to connect to your emotions is the key to understanding how they influence your thoughts and actions.

Social awareness: This means understanding the emotions, needs, and concerns of others, picking up on emotional cues, feeling comfortable socially, and recognising the power dynamics in a group or organisation. We need to explore how negative and positive emotions impact the brain’s performance and discover the key drivers that improve our personal and work performance.

Empathy: This includes understanding other people’s emotional make up and considering others’ feelings, especially when making decisions. Some trademarks of empathy include expertise in hiring and retaining top talent, and the ability to develop other people, and sensitivity to cross-cultural differences.

Relationship management: It’s important to learn how to build trust with team members, keep an open-door policy, and show that you care about them. Understand why you need to explain your decisions before making them and what causes conflict. Learn how criticism and stonewalling destroy relationships and how to deliver feedback that inspires and connects rather than disconnect you from others.

Knowing yourself and others is a key element of emotional intelligence. It gives you the perspective and skills you need to get the most out of others and create a collaborative team that is inspired by each individual’s unique contribution to the whole.

The writer is the CEO, The British School of Etiquette India.

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