HomeLifeskillsHow to Be Emotionally Intelligent

    How to Be Emotionally Intelligent

    IQ (Intellectual-Ability Quotient) can measure to some degree your academic performance. But some people with very high IQ scores often don't do very well in life. They behave and communicate in a way that hinders any chance of success. For these people, a major part of the success equation is missing.

    EQ (Emotional-Intelligence Quotient - a measure of a person's emotional intelligence) is about building capacity for engaging our own thoughts & feelings and those of others, managing the effects of it in ourselves and in our interpersonal relationships in a healthy and balanced way. Qualities associated with such “emotional intelligence” distinguish the best leaders in the corporate world, according to Mr. Goleman, psychologist and co-director of a consortium at Rutgers University to foster research on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence.

    Emotional intelligence can have an impact in different aspects of your daily life, for instance the way you behave and interact with customers, managers, colleagues and family. Some people believe that EQ matters more than our intellectual ability to effectively deal with different people as it helps in building stronger relationships, achieving career goals and achieving success in life.

    Some of the key competencies of Emotional-Intelligence are:


    Learn realistic self-confidence: Understand your own strengths and limitations; operate from a position of competence and know when to rely on someone else in the team. We must learn to recognise our emotions, understand where they originate from and split them into strengths and weaknesses. These are the first steps towards a deeper understanding of our emotions. Your body language, facial expressions and other non-verbal communications can give you important indications as to the emotions you are feeling at any one moment. Self-awareness is the foundation to emotional intelligence.

    Emotional Insight: Understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.

    Build Your Emotional Vocabulary: You will find it dificult to manage your emotions (or the emotions of others) if you don’t know what to call them. By describing exactly how you’re feeling about a certain situation or person, you can learn to control how you respond, and understand what the most suitable course of action is. Instead of saying “I’m feeling bad about this”, for example, get more specific with: “I feel anxious”; “I feel nervous”; “I feel overwhelmed”. By labelling your emotions (and in the present), you’re putting yourself back in the driving seat.


    Learn resilience and stay calm when under pressure and try to recover quickly from upsets avoiding brooding or panic. In times of crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if the leader is calm, they will be too. It is important to balance your emotions. For example, if you get angry in certain situations then try and make a conscious effort to control it.  If there are situations where you need to be more assertive then really push yourself to make the point. An important part in controlling your emotions is being able to recognise what triggers a certain emotion.

    Emotional Balance: Work on keeping distressful feelings in check — instead of shouting at people, let them know what’s wrong and offer a solution.

    Self-Motivation: Keep moving towards your goals despite setbacks.

    Don't React - Respond: "Reacting" and "responding" are two completly different things. When you react to something, an emotional trigger goes off that’s out of your control (like when you snap at someone for interrupting you). Responding, on the other hand, is a conscious process where you identify the emotion and then decide how you want to act.

    After you’ve identified the emotion, explain to the person how you feel, tell them why it’s not a good time, and when you’ll be available. Practice this as much as you can, as your ability to respond well under pressure is key to success.


    Cognitive and Emotional Empathy: When you are able to understand other people's perspectives, you can put things in ways colleagues can comprehend. And welcome their questions, just to be sure. Cognitive empathy, along with reading another person’s feelings accurately, makes for effective communication. It is about understanding the other persons emotions, then adapting and giving a positive response. For example, if your manager is acting annoyed, it might be because he is dissatisfied with your work, or it could be because he had a fight with his wife at breakfast. In both of these cases your response would be different. Being aware of your surroundings will allow you to provide a rational response to the situation.

    Good listening: Pay full attention when other people are telling you something, and take the time to really understand what they are saying, without talking over them or hijacking the agenda.


    Compelling Communication: Get your points across in a persuasive clear manner so that people are motivated and clear about what is expected from them. Effective relationship management is truly important for success in the work place. So you need to take the time building relationships, maintaining the current ones and managing conflict successfully. Be open to other employee’s suggestions, respect difference of opinions, accept your mistakes and show empathy to others. Efficient relationship management is key to building strong emotional intelligence.

    Team playing: People feel relaxed working with you. One sign: They laugh easily around you.

    Speak in the Present: You might be surprised by how much you talk in the past or future tense - especially when it comes to self-talk. But would you still do it if you knew it was a source of unhappiness?

    Take dwelling on the past - where you’re potentially opening yourself up to feelings of regret, agitation and trepidation. People with high EQ honour the past and move on, because it’s only “in the here and now” that you can take ownership of your actions. Learn from the past by all means but don’t dwell on it. Start using words such as “I am doing” or “I am enjoying”. Focus on what you’re doing right now rather than what just happened or what’s going to happen. This will not only make you more productive, but make you happier in general.

    Is your EQ level really the key to your career success?

    Many Companies consider emotional intelligence as being as equally important as technical ability, and often base their decision on the same when hiring or promoting people. Besides that, an employee with emotional intelligence is able to communicate and relate with coworkers more effectively. They are also able to solve problems, manage change and build trust with their employers, clients and fellow employees.

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