Most of us call it gut feeling, but now psychologists are calling those feelings emotional intelligence or EI. Emotional intelligence is something like your IQ. Your IQ score doesn’t tell you how much you know it simply tells you what your capacity to learn and comprehend is. Your EI is a tad trickier to measure and there is a great deal of disagreement on how it should be done. However, scientists can agree that in general, people who have a high EI, meaning they can identify their own emotions and the emotions of others, tend to have certain behaviors. Here’s a quick list of some of those behaviors.
Developing emotional intelligence allows an individual to understand the emotions or motives of others and as a result they are more willing to adapt to a situation than a person who can only understand what they personally are feeling.
2. Managing emotions in others
Understanding the emotions in others is a key leadership trait which allows the person with high EI to influence others. Understanding needs and feelings lends itself to developing courses of action that will fulfill those needs and at the same time accomplish what the leader wants accomplished.
3. Emotional control
Persons with a high EI understand their own emotions and can analyze them rationally. So when they experience frustration or fear or anger, they are less likely to react to them instinctively and are more likely to act in a controlled and informed manner.
4. Less Impulsive
High EI means bad news for marketers who depend on impulse buys. People with high EI don’t react impulsively but rather look at their feelings and make rational decisions without the interference of overwhelming emotional pull.
5. Strong relationships
Maybe one of the greatest advantages of elevated emotional intelligence is the ability to enter into and sustain strong and fulfilling relationships. Being able to understand and appreciate the emotions of others and not being driven by a “me first” need can result in more satisfying and less conflictive interactions with the people around you.
6. More optimistic
Face it. We live in a culture that sees the glass half empty more than we see it half full. High EI develops high self esteem which in turn gives the person the confidence to see the brighter side even in difficult situations.
7. Better stress management
Precisely because they have more self esteem, self confidence and an optimistic viewpoint of life, people with developed EI can handle more stress and pressure than others. Being able to identify stress points not as threats but simply as challenges to be met, changes the nature of the stress to a manageable condition.
There are obvious advantages to developing emotional intelligence but there are also arguments over how that can be done. Some say it is simply an innate skill that you are born with. Others say you can improve it through training programs like emotional intelligence workshops. Whatever the answer is, it’s obvious that understanding ourselves and the emotions of others has a distinct advantage in communications, relationships and personal behavior.