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Emotional intelligence is a term that's been around for a while, but it still confuses some people and isn't known by everyone. In addition, not everyone agrees on exactly what it means or how it works. How do we define emotional intelligence? What are ways we can improve our own levels of EQ? And what effect does an improvement in EQ have on personal and professional relationships?
Emotional intelligence is something that comes naturally to some people, but not everyone. It's possible to improve your emotional intelligence with practice and effort, though. In this article, learn how you can improve your emotional intelligence to improve your relationships and achieve success.
First, let's talk about how to define what exactly EQ is. An emotional Quotient (EQ) is an individual's ability to identify and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of other people. For some people, this comes more naturally than it does for others.
People with high levels of emotional intelligence tend to be more successful in life and do better at work than their peers with lower emotional intelligence. How does emotional intelligence improve your relationships? If you get along better with others, you'll get ahead socially and professionally because of it. When you improve your EQ, people will like working with you more and helping you out because they're able to relate to you better. Plus, increased focus on interpersonal skills boosts self-confidence; if we know we're good at getting along with (and understanding) people in our personal lives and at work, we see ourselves as more overall successful.
Now that we've defined emotional intelligence and looked at how improved EQ can improve relationships both personally and professionally, let's talk about ways you can improve your own levels of emotional intelligence.
Feeling difficult emotions like anger or sadness doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you; it means that you're experiencing something negative in the moment. Think back to a recent situation where you felt an intense emotion and try to remember exactly what was going on before and after the moment when you felt that emotion - this will help give context for how the emotion affected you.
When we're stressed out and overwhelmed, it's easy to think that everything negative that happens is because of something we did or didn't do. We can't control what happened before, but we can control how we react to our feelings now. Try not to dwell on the past; instead, focus on what you want your future to be like.
Negative emotions like guilt and shame aren't logical (meaning they don't make sense), but they feel completely real and important at the time when you're feeling them. To improve your EQ skills, try keeping a journal where you record every time an uncomfortable emotion comes up and then write about why that emotion occurred based on specific events or triggers.
It can be difficult to improve your EQ, but it's worth the effort. Improving emotional intelligence will improve how you relate to others and lead to better personal relationships as well as professional success.
Walter is IRI's Director of Digital Solutions and founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.