Defining Emotional Intelligence
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Recent research suggests that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is often called) can have profound impacts on your life, helping you to achieve more of what you want out of life.
Some studies even suggest that high levels of EQ are a key factor in determining someone’s career success, or if they succeed at all-taking longer but probably not much needed to know this.
While there has been some talk about whether being smart means being good with emotions, most definitions of EQ focus only on how to recognize and manage your own feelings.
This seems like an odd distinction, especially given that we spend a lot of our time interacting with other people. But researchers say there’s really no need to address one side of the equation unless you’re able to do the other!
By ignoring the first part of the definition, you leave a gaping hole in the theory behind EQ. So let’s take a closer look at what the term actually means, and see why it’s so important.
Emotional intelligence – what does it mean?
The word “intelligence” comes from the Latin words for knowledge or understanding, which makes sense since that is something everyone needs to survive.
But when you add the prefix “eco” to create the phrase “emotional intelligence,” things get a little weird.
The definition of emotional intelligence
Definition number two is understanding your own emotions and those of other people. This includes knowing what makes you feel happy, sad or angry as well as being able to identify your feelings.
Some experts say this definition should be broken up into five different components. These are called the four domains of emotional quotient (EQ) – self-awareness, engagement - or tendency to respond to situations with emotion, regulation, perception and control.
However, all types of EQ can only be evaluated using tests that have been validated for use with this definition. Most test makers focus on just one area of EQ at a time so it’s best to take both sets of tests to get an accurate picture of how someone fares on overall EQ.
Factors that affect your emotional intelligence
Developing your emotional quotient or EQ is not just about learning how to recognize emotions in others, but also improving your ability to identify your own emotions.
This includes being able to describe them, understand why you feel a certain way, and be aware of what factors may be affecting your mood.
With enough practice, this will help you achieve your goals and reduce stress. You’ll learn how to better handle situations, relationships, and yourself.
Skills to have for emotional intelligence
First, the term ‘emotional’ proficiency refers to being able to identify and understand your emotions. You can learn how to recognize your own feelings and those of others more clearly.
Second, you should be aware of what is making you feel different emotions. This includes understanding why you are feeling certain ways about things.
Third, you need to manage your emotions – whether they are positive or negative. It is important to know when it is time to relax after work and before going to sleep at night.
Fourth, you must be able to relate to other people — not only their thoughts but also their emotions.
Ways to improve your emotional intelligence
First, let’s look at what makes up someone's EQ. According to research, there are five main factors that make up one's EQ. These include self-awareness, empathy, motivation, intrapersonal skills, and social competence.
Self-awareness is understood as knowing who you are internally — how you feel about yourself and your place in this world. This includes understanding your strengths and weaknesses, as well as being aware of your emotions.
Empathy refers to being able to relate to or understand the feelings and experiences of others. It also means being able to put yourself in their shoes and thinking like them when trying to interpret their behavior.
Motivation is something that everyone has, but some people use it more than other. Why do you think that is? Perhaps they're more motivated during certain times of life, such as when they were younger. Or maybe they get excited about things that don't necessarily have anything to do with me.
Emotional intelligence and workplace success
Recent research suggests that emotional literacy is an important factor in successful relationships, work, and life overall. More and more employers are incorporating lessons about emotional intelligence (EI) into their organizational strategies and employee training programs.
Research has shown that people who have high levels of EI are better able to manage their own emotions and motivate themselves through motivation related to understanding and appreciation of self and others. They also tend to be happier than individuals with lower scores on measures of EI.
Furthermore, studies indicate that higher scores on measures of EI relate to greater job performance and satisfaction. And while there’s no clear definition for what makes up a “high score” on one of these tests, researchers do agree that it takes a relatively high level of awareness and control over your feelings to achieve this.
There are many theories about why having higher levels of EI is beneficial, but none of them fully explain all of the findings. What they can’t deny, however, is that it makes you feel good about yourself.
Emotional intelligence and love relationships
In addition to understanding your own emotions, you must be able to recognize those of other people. You will probably have to do this at least occasionally when interacting with others.
Most experts agree that emotional quotient (EQ) is a more important factor than IQ when it comes to achieving success in life. This is because EQ can be developed through education and training while IQ cannot.
Something like empathy, for example, is a key element of emotional intelligence. Being aware of what makes someone else happy or sad helps you predict their behavior and help them achieve their goals.
If you want to succeed professionally, you should strive to develop your emotional intelligence. It will make a big difference to your career and personal life.
Emotional intelligence and self awareness
The second part of this definition is emotional intelligence and self-awareness. This term refers to your ability to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions.
Most people have some level of emotional intelligence, but it can be very low or very high. You’ve probably noticed that sometimes people who don’t seem like they have much emotion management skills are actually very successful because they learned how to control their own emotions early on.
Other times, people with no apparent understanding of emotions go through life being hurt by others due to poor regulation of their own feelings.
There are several theories about what makes someone more likely to have higher levels of EI, but no one theory has been proven definitively.
What we do know is that young children tend to show more empathy and other forms of emotionally intelligent behavior than adults, which is why educators spend so much time teaching kids socialization and teamwork.
Emotional intelligence and physical health
People with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to address mental health issues than people who lack this quality. In fact, there is some evidence that suggests those with high EQs are less likely to suffer from clinical depression or anxiety disorders.
Emotional intelligence can have an effect on your overall wellness and happiness. A large number of studies show that higher EI correlates with better physical health.
Researchers believe that having higher levels of EI helps individuals manage their stress and emotions in ways that promote good health.
There are several theories about how emotional intelligence impacts health. One theory proposes that as someone gains skills in emotion regulation, they use up fewer resources for handling other things such as anger or frustration.
Another idea is that people with higher EI perceive healthier lifestyle behaviors as more effective ways to achieve goals and reduce stress, which makes them more likely to adopt and maintain healthy habits.
Experts agree that both benefits play a significant role in improving individual and community health.