Emotional intelligence (EI) is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a leader or someone who is being led by another person, i.e. a follower.
Emotional intelligence has become an indispensable tool in today’s 21st Century. And this is especially important for business leaders, people who want to grow their businesses, employees, and everyone who wants to truly make a difference in this world.
Therefore, emotional intelligence is an asset reserved for the privileged majority!
Would you ever want to work for a jerk or stick around a boss who cares nothing about how you feel? Or would you ever want someone who is emotionally bland become a part of your employee pool?
Emotional intelligence defined as the way we understand and relate to our emotions and that of others is the new rave of development.
EI refers to the ability to fully be aware of our feelings, as well as how we respond to that of others. I consider EI indispensable because it is a primary tool that can bridge the gap between most of the conflicts we experience in our lives.
Sometimes, we may unknowingly go out of our way to hurt others or make them feel less than themselves. A lot of that could be avoided if we are able to understand the effects of our actions on others, by understanding how that same action would make us feel.
The phrase Emotional Intelligence was first described by two American Psychologists, Peter Salavoy, and John Mayer, and later publicized by another American psychologist Daniel Goleman. Goleman has identified five key elements of the phrase Emotional Intelligence. And they are:
- Social skills
The ability to understand ourselves and exactly how we feel at all times would undoubtedly influence how we relate and interact with others. Many of us do not even know who we are. And that is because we have not taken the time to deliberately observe how we react or feel in different situations. Having the ability to influence others positively begins with getting to know who we are, what we stand for and the extent we are willing and able to go to solve different problems. And developing self-awareness is a deliberate process. It is something we have to put our minds to doing. We sort of become our own students, by learning everything we can about ourselves, which could guide our decision-making abilities.
Once we come to terms with our own emotions, then it can serve as a guide for how we react to different situations. For example, if you are aware that you tend to get angry when a co-worker of yours decides to spend the time chatting rather than working, you can decide to regulate your emotions by plugging in your earphones in your ear and pretend that you are listening to music. Nobody wants to talk to themselves. Therefore, instead of lashing out or behaving angrily, you have been able to regulate your emotions by not behaving rashly. Self-regulation helps us control the way we respond to negative situations, circumstances or encounters. And it doesn’t just happen. We have to train ourselves to achieve it.
What inspires you? Are you a ‘killjoy’ or a ‘motivator’? People who are overly negative, have a way of filling others and their environment with negativity. You do not want to be the one that dampens the mood in the room. Rather, you want to be the one that lightens up the environment. You do not want to be labeled as a ‘mood hoover’. This is also something that we can all learn. With all the challenges we face on a daily basis in life, it is easy to buckle under life’s pressures, and at the same time rub off our frustrations on others. Sometimes in order to become the ones associated with lighting up our communities, we may need to take a break from certain things that remind us of our fury. I remember when I was pursuing something I needed so badly. I realized that social media became a torment for me. Because social media including Facebook constantly reminded me of my inadequacy. And as a result, I became a nuisance to those around me. At that time, I am sure I had been nowhere near being a motivator to anyone. Therefore, I took a temporary leave of absence from social media. And when I got back, I became better and was able to continue being the motivator and inspirer that I am.
How can we ever reach out and become a blessing to others if we never learn how to put ourselves in their shoes? Many of the chaos and confusion that we see all around the world today comes from an attitude of self-centeredness. It comes from people who are all about themselves and care nothing about their neighbors. Failing to empathize with others and seeing things from their perspectives would continue to make us all fractured and distorted. In addition, many of the relationship crises that we experience can be avoided, if we just learn how to see things through the eyes of others. Asking these simple questions: “how does my action make him/her feel or how would I feel if this stuff is said or done to me?”, can make a whole lot of difference.
Some people do not know how to communicate well or talk to others at all. And neither do they know how to behave properly around other people. These people are like garbage, and by extension treat other people like garbage too. To become emotionally intelligent, we must learn to talk right, listen right and communicate right. We must be sensitive to the needs of others and know how to respond in different circumstances. We have to be willing to let others aware that we know exactly how they feel and also let our actions say the same thing. Only in doing this, do we form foster and strengthen our relationships with our fellow man.
In wrapping this up, emotional intelligence is human intelligence. It is the way we connect with our fellow man in the most humane, empathetic and understanding manner.
Therefore, EI should not be considered the exclusive reserve of only leaders of organizations or others in management positions. Rather, emotional intelligence should be the norm for everyone interested in making this world a better place!
In essence, Emotional Intelligence is for the privileged majority. And that includes YOU and ME!
All the very best,
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