By KIRKLAND PRATT
Emotional Intelligence or EQ means being aware of and knowing how to control emotional responses to situations.
Moreover, the beauty of EQ exists in the fact that emotions may be manipulated and mastered over time. How can EQ be developed and enhanced? How can an awareness of EQ and its tenant enhance social and behavioural experiences? Your emotional intelligence can be improved by observing the role emotions play in how you react to people and situations.
Ask yourself: Do I rush to judgement before all of the facts are presented? The age old ‘count to ten’ version to response works wonders! The emotive part of the brain is given time to tame, allowing the rational portion to trump.
Do I seek attention for my accomplishments? Truth is, humility can be a wonderful quality and it does not mean that you’re shy or lack self-confidence.
What are my weaknesses? Criticism can be constructive and allows you to improve. Knowing that someone is pointing out a flaw or shortcoming in an area is not a personal attack it can actually help you grow professionally and personally.
How do I react to stressful situations? The ability to stay calm and in control in difficult situations is highly valued in the business world and outside it. Stop, think, and strategize.
Do I tend to take responsibility? Own up to what you have done, and apologise. People are usually more willing to forgive if you make an honest attempt to make things right.
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that define emotional intelligence – these five elements predicate EQ at a core level and fully understanding them makes it easier to transition to a place of maturity through self-monitoring and discipline:
Self-Awareness – people who present for high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware and understand and keep their emotions in check. They are emotionally secure and as such their responses to internal or external triggers are controlled. Self-awareness allows for honest introspection and evaluation of strengths and weaknesses – many psychologists consider self-awareness to be the most important part of emotional intelligence.
Self-Regulation – the ability to control emotions and impulses- in a word, filters. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry, jealous, make impulsive or careless decisions. They think before they act.
Motivation – people with a notable measure of EQ are usually self-motivated. They often opt to defer immediate results for long-term goal realization. Moreover, self-motivated people are typically highly productive, challenge embracing and very effective in whatever they do.
Empathy – people who have a clear sense of empathy utilise the ability of understanding. Empathy is perhaps the second-most important element of emotional intelligence. Empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening, and relating to others. They avoid stereotyping and rushing to judgement.
Social Skills – it’s usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. 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 is a key factor to success in both your career and personal relationships. The ability to manage people and relationships is very important in all leaders, so developing and using your Emotional Intelligence shows others the leader inside of you.
Take advantage of the abundance of peer reviewed articles and literature on EQ, much of which is life transforming. Taking stock of you, your triggers and the way you respond to them is crucial for growth.
Keep thinking though, you are good for it.
• Kirkland H. Pratt, MSCP, is a Counselling Psychologist with a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology with an emphasis in Education. He lectures in Industrial Psychology and offers counselling and related services to individuals and businesses. For comments, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.