In 1995, psychologist Dan Goleman wrote “Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships”. In it he examined EQ or Emotional intelligence, a term first coined by Keith Beasley in 1987.
In his book, Goleman identifies five key elements that define emotional intelligence. These are:
- Social Skills
All of us have at least some EQ. Some people naturally have more Emotional intelligence than others.
The good news is, since EQ is a collection of the interpersonal skills listed above, we can improve our EQ with practice and discipline. According to experts, this can make a huge difference in your life, over time.
So today, let’s take a look at what EQ is and how you can use it to improve your life.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
The theory of emotional intelligence was first developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer. They described EQ as a “set of skills hypothesized to contribute to the accurate appraisal and expression of emotion in oneself and others, the effective regulation of emotion in self and others, and the use of feelings to motivate, plan, and achieve in one’s life.”
In other words, EQ is the capacity to understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. This helps you to regulate how emotions influence you. It also gives you the ability to understand the feelings of others and enables you to influence others with your emotions.
Why is EQ Important?
According to studies, people who learn how to develop their emotional intelligence can communicate more effectively, handle stress and conflict better, and are more effective team players.
Developing your EQ can assist in better managing your relationships. It is also a necessary component for achieving success.
Who would you rather have on your team? A person who can’t work well with others or someone who can motivate and collaborate well with teammates?
Another way to look at this is to consider which person you are more likely to assist when they are in need. These are almost always the folks you get along with and make you and others feel better.
So, as you can see, those with higher levels of emotional intelligence are better equipped to be successful.
How to Raise Your Emotional Intelligence
As you found above, those with increased EQ are better equipped to be successful.
Use these strategies to increase your emotional intelligence:
1. Develop an awareness of your own and others’ emotions.
Your self-awareness is the foundation on which your EQ is built. It allows you to engage with others more effectively.
This leads to the question, are you able to identify the emotions you’re experiencing right now?
If you can, what exactly are they?
Do you know what circumstances triggered them?
Another question to contemplate is, are you able to read other people’s emotions?
The answers you have for these questions will reveal how sensitive you are to your own and others’ emotional states. If you find that you’re not that well attuned, then it could be time to pay more attention.
Another method for improving your EQ is to check in with your emotions from time to time to figure out how you’re feeling. Once you’ve done this make a note in your diary or in a notepad.
You can also use an NLP technique which is to pay attention to what others are saying while matching their body language. This can help you better understand what other people re feeling.
2. Develop empathy.
Empathy is an essential part of EQ.
According to an article in Psychology Today, empathy is “the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character.”
In other words, to understand another’s feelings, you must be able to put yourself in their shoes.
When situations come up, try thinking about it from other person’s point of view. How would you feel if you were in their shoes?
Studies have found that reading books with diverse characters can help improve this trait. In turn, this will increase your emotional intelligence.
3. Reflect on your emotions and the emotions of others.
How do your emotions effect your choices and actions? How could these same emotions cause other people to react? What makes your feelings different from theirs?
If someone Is having a bad day, what might be affecting their mood?
You will probably find it easier to understand how emotions cause people to think and act when you reflect on them this way.
4. Seek feedback.
Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to rate your emotional intelligence. You might inquire how well you handle disagreements and challenges. You can also ask about your ability to adjust to situations.
You might also ask them how empathetic they feel you are.
While you may not always like the answers you receive, this type of feedback will almost always give you an idea of what you’ll need to do to improve your EQ.
Use These Tips and Watch Your World Improve
Studies show that people with higher EQ enjoy better mental health, superior professional performance, and are better leaders. It’s a vital part developing great relationships.
It is also very helpful for achieving your objectives.
Use these tips to help you increase your emotional intelligence. As you improve these traits, you’ll be able to access more of your potential.
This can help lead to a very successful life.