How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Conflict Management
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Recent developments in psychology have determined that there is more to success than having good qualities such as self-confidence, motivation, and empathy. An area of psychology called emotional intelligence (or EI for short) has been identified as an important factor in successful leadership and relationships.
Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to recognize, understand, manage, and use emotions for meaningful life experiences. We all have different levels of emotional intelligence, but most people feel that they are not very strong.
However, research suggests that we can improve our own level of emotional intelligence even if it is already high. This is possible through practice, or repeated exposure to emotionally intelligent behaviors.
This article will discuss some ways that you can develop your emotional intelligence by reading about specific strategies. You will also learn how to apply these skills in everyday situations so that you get better at them.
Relationship between emotional intelligence and happiness
Recent studies suggest that people who are high in emotional quotient (EQ) also feel more happy about their lives. This correlation is noted in both young and old, in wealthy and poor individuals, and across diverse cultures.
There are several theories as to why having higher levels of EQ makes you feel happier. Some believe it’s due to better relationships, while others say it’s because you learn how to manage your emotions so well.
Either way, improving your level of emotional intelligence can help you be a happier person.
Ways to improve emotional intelligence
Developing your emotional skills is not easy, but it is possible! There are many ways to strengthen your emotional intelligence or “EI” as some like to call it.
Some of these strategies can be practiced in-theory (learning about EI) and in-practice (practicing them). Theory may seem more academic than practical, but I assure you that this knowledge helps us all achieve our goals and live our lives happier.
The theory behind most EI interventions comes from Daniel Goleman's book "Emotional Intelligence." He described four domains of EQ -- self-awareness, understanding others, controlling emotions, and motivating yourself.
Self-aware individuals are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, which help them manage their moods and behaviors. They're also aware of what motivates them and what doesn't.
Individuals with strong control over their emotions are able to regulate their feelings and stay focused on the task at hand. At the same time, they're able to identify and reduce negative feelings when necessary.
Motivating oneself includes identifying potential benefits and rewards for completing a task, setting appropriate expectations and priorities, and keeping up motivation even when things get tough. All of these contribute to ensuring success.
Understanding other people involves being aware of their emotions, motives, and behaviors, and predicting how they'll respond to you. This way, you can plan ahead and avoid any unnecessary conflicts.
Become more aware of your emotions
A large part of conflict management is being conscious of your own feelings. When you are, it can help prevent or at least reduce conflicts from happening in the first place.
By becoming more aware of your emotions, you will be able to recognize when they are getting out of control and this could give you enough time to take a break or do something else before the argument escalates.
On the other hand, if you never learn how to manage your own emotions, you may find yourself in an endless cycle of arguments that only make things worse.
Connect with your emotions
A key part of emotional intelligence is being able to identify and understand your own feelings. You’d like to think that we all feel certain things at times, but for most people this is not true.
Many people have a lot of superficial reasons for why they seem to be feeling something specific at a given time, but in reality it is because they are not connected to their inner-self or their emotions.
When you are more aware of your emotions you can begin to work towards solving the problem that caused them.
By taking some time to really explore what you are feeling, you will be able to connect with your inner self and address the issue more effectively.
Teach emotional intelligence
Developing your emotional literacy is an integral part of managing conflict. According to research, people who are more emotionally intelligent are better able to recognize their emotions and understand what other people’s emotions mean.
This understanding allows you to control your own reactions and identify how to reduce tension in a discussion or argument.
By reducing stress, you can help someone feel less stressed out and give them time to process the information they need to determine whether they want to continue talking with you. This cuts down on arguments that could potentially escalate into something else.
You also have to consider that emotional maturity helps people relate to each other and navigate disagreements in a non-violent way. It creates trust, which is very important in creating workplace relationships.
When it comes to debates and discussions, being aware of your emotions and why you are feeling a certain way can help you focus on solving the problem instead of proving yourself or your points wrong.
Practice emotional control
A second important aspect of emotional intelligence is called practice. This looks like taking time to acknowledge your emotions, knowing what you feel and why, and then using these feelings to help you accomplish your goals.
Practicing emotion regulation means learning how to reduce or eliminate uncomfortable emotions so that you can focus on other things. It helps you manage your moods and behaviors in order to succeed in life.
By reducing distractions caused by strong emotions, you can more effectively concentrate on doing your work and meeting your responsibilities.
You will also have more energy for engaging in activities that make you happy. In fact, one study found that people who were able to identify their strongest feeling spent less than half an hour every day trying to eradicate negative thoughts, and still received the same amount of mental health benefits as individuals with a lower threshold for stress.
There are several ways to learn how to regulate your emotions. The best way depends on which types of emotions you want to improve and how much effort you’re willing to devote to this growth.
Some strategies require more intensive training than others. But no matter which ones seem most effective for you, just start slowly and consistently.
Give yourself some time to see results before adding new components to your repertoire.
Be honest with your peers
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence makes it possible to manage conflict in other people. It helps you understand what motivates someone else so that you can predict their behavior.
By knowing how others are likely to behave, you’re able to avoid conflicts altogether by staying well-informed. You also know when it's best to talk directly about issues or try to change someone's mind before talking to them face to face, because you have tools to help you contain your emotions.
In fact, research shows that being aware of your own feelings is one of the most important things for improving your overall emotional health. And since we're talking about managing anger here, there are strategies like practicing relaxation, taking breaks, and thinking about past experiences instead of current situations may be helpful.
Be honest with your boss
As discussed earlier, emotional intelligence (EI) is like having a general understanding of emotions. It doesn’t tell you what kind of emotion to have or how to regulate it, but rather gives you a framework for recognizing and interpreting others’ emotions.
When you have high levels of EI, you are more likely to recognize other people's emotions and why they may be feeling that way at this moment. You also know when someone else isn't in control of their own feelings and whether this has an impact on you or not depends on what type of relationship you want to maintain with them.
If you want to keep developing your relationships, then you will need to learn how to manage your own emotions as well as acknowledge and respect those of others.