Emotional intelligence simple definition

Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ) - HelpGuide.org

emotional intelligence

When it comes to happiness and success in life, EQ matters just as much as IQ. Learn how you can boost your emotional intelligence, build stronger relationships, and achieve your goals.

What is emotional intelligence or EQ?

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by four attributes:

  1. Self-management – You're able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  2. Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
  3. Social awareness – You have empathy. You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  4. Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Why is emotional intelligence so important?

As we know, it's not the smartest people who are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual ability or your intelligence quotient (IQ) isn't enough on its own to achieve success in life. Yes, your IQ can help you get into college, but it's your EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions when facing your final exams. IQ and EQ exist in tandem and are most effective when they build off one another.

Emotional intelligence affects:

Your performance at school or work. High emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging important job candidates, many companies now rate emotional intelligence as important as technical ability and employ EQ testing before hiring.

Your physical health. If you're unable to manage your emotions, you are probably not managing your stress either. This can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, contributes to infertility, and speeds up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to manage stress.

Your mental health. Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand, get comfortable with, or manage your emotions, you'll also struggle to form strong relationships. This in turn can leave you feeling lonely and isolated and further exacerbate any mental health problems.

[Read: Building Better Mental Health]

Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you're better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life.

Your social intelligence. Being in tune with your emotions serves a social purpose, connecting you to other people and the world around you. Social intelligence enables you to recognize friend from foe, measure another person's interest in you, reduce stress, balance your nervous system through social communication, and feel loved and happy.

Building emotional intelligence: Four key skills to increasing your EQ

The skills that make up emotional intelligence can be learned at any time. However, it's important to remember that there is a difference between simply learning about EQ and applying that knowledge to your life. Just because you know you should do something doesn't mean you will—especially when you become overwhelmed by stress, which can override your best intentions. In order to permanently change behavior in ways that stand up under pressure, you need to learn how to overcome stress in the moment, and in your relationships, in order to remain emotionally aware.

The key skills for building your EQ and improving your ability to manage emotions and connect with others are:

  1. Self-management
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

Building emotional intelligence, key skill 1: Self-management

In order for you to engage your EQ, you must be able to use your emotions to make constructive decisions about your behavior. When you become overly stressed, you can lose control of your emotions and the ability to act thoughtfully and appropriately.

Think about a time when stress has overwhelmed you. Was it easy to think clearly or make a rational decision? Probably not. When you become overly stressed, your ability to both think clearly and accurately assess emotions—your own and other people's—becomes compromised.

[Read: Stress Management]

Emotions are important pieces of information that tell you about yourself and others, but in the face of stress that takes us out of our comfort zone, we can become overwhelmed and lose control of ourselves. With the ability to manage stress and stay emotionally present, you can learn to receive upsetting information without letting it override your thoughts and self-control. You'll be able to make choices that allow you to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Key skill 2: Self-awareness

Managing stress is just the first step to building emotional intelligence. The science of attachment indicates that your current emotional experience is likely a reflection of your early life experience. Your ability to manage core feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy often depends on the quality and consistency of your early life emotional experiences. If your primary caretaker as an infant understood and valued your emotions, it's likely your emotions have become valuable assets in adult life. But, if your emotional experiences as an infant were confusing, threatening or painful, it's likely you've tried to distance yourself from your emotions.

But being able to connect to your emotions—having a moment-to-moment connection with your changing emotional experience—is the key to understanding how emotion influences your thoughts and actions.

Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?

Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach, throat, or chest?

Do you experience individual feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?

Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?

Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, you may have “turned down” or “turned off” your emotions. In order to build EQ—and become emotionally healthy—you must reconnect to your core emotions, accept them, and become comfortable with them. You can achieve this through the practice of mindfulness.

[Listen: Mindful Breathing Meditation]

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and without judgment. The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of similar prayer or meditation technique. Mindfulness helps shift your preoccupation with thought toward an appreciation of the moment, your physical and emotional sensations, and brings a larger perspective on life. Mindfulness calms and focuses you, making you more self-aware in the process.

Social awareness enables you to recognize and interpret the mainly nonverbal cues others are constantly using to communicate with you. These cues let you know how others are really feeling, how their emotional state is changing from moment to moment, and what's truly important to them.

[Read: Effective Communication]

When groups of people send out similar nonverbal cues, you're able to read and understand the power dynamics and shared emotional experiences of the group. In short, you're empathetic and socially comfortable.

Mindfulness is an ally of emotional and social awareness

To build social awareness, you need to recognize the importance of mindfulness in the social process. After all, you can't pick up on subtle nonverbal cues when you're in your own head, thinking about other things, or simply zoning out on your phone. Social awareness requires your presence in the moment. While many of us pride ourselves on an ability to multitask, this means that you'll miss the subtle emotional shifts taking place in other people that help you fully understand them.

  • You are actually more likely to further your social goals by setting other thoughts aside and focusing on the interaction itself.
  • Following the flow of another person's emotional responses is a give-and-take process that requires you to also pay attention to the changes in your own emotional experience.
  • Paying attention to others doesn't diminish your own self-awareness. By investing the time and effort to really pay attention to others, you'll actually gain insight into your own emotional state as well as your values and beliefs. For example, if you feel discomfort hearing others express certain views, you'll have learned something important about yourself.


Key skill 4: Relationship management

Working well with others is a process that begins with emotional awareness and your ability to recognize and understand what other people are experiencing. Once emotional awareness is in play, you can effectively develop additional social/emotional skills that will make your relationships more effective, fruitful, and fulfilling.

Become aware of how effectively you use nonverbal communication. It's impossible to avoid sending nonverbal messages to others about what you think and feel. The many muscles in the face, especially those around the eyes, nose, mouth and forehead, help you to wordlessly convey your own emotions as well as read other peoples' emotional intent. The emotional part of your brain is always on—and even if you ignore its messages—others won't. Recognizing the nonverbal messages that you send to others can play a huge part in improving your relationships.

Use humor and play to relieve stress. Humor, laughter and play are natural antidotes to stress. They lessen your burdens and help you keep things in perspective. Laughter brings your nervous system into balance, reducing stress, calming you down, sharpening your mind and making you more empathic.

Learn to see conflict as an opportunity to grow closer to others. Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in human relationships. Two people can't possibly have the same needs, opinions, and expectations at all times. However, that needn't be a bad thing. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen trust between people. When conflict isn't perceived as threatening or punishing, it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.

Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jennifer Shubin

  • References

    Gilar-Corbi, R., Pozo-Rico, T., Sánchez, B., & Castejón, J.-L. (2019). Can emotional intelligence be improved? A randomized experimental study of a business-oriented EI training program for senior managers. PLOS ONE, 14(10), e0224254. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224254

    How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence—Professional Development | Harvard DCE. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2022, from https://professional.dce.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-improve-your-emotional-intelligence/

    Jiménez-Picón, N., Romero-Martín, M., Ponce-Blandón, J. A., Ramirez-Baena, L., Palomo-Lara, J. C., & Gómez-Salgado, J. (2021). The Relationship between Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence as a Protective Factor for Healthcare Professionals: Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10), 5491. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph28105491

    Segal, Jeanne. The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships. 1st edition. McGraw Hill, 2008. https://www.amazon.com/Language-Emotional-Intelligence-Essential-Relationships/dp/0071544550

    Segal, Jeanne S. Raising Your Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide–A Hands-on Program for Harnessing the Power of Your Instincts and Emotions. 1st edition. Holt Paperbacks, 2015. https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-Emotional-Intelligence-Practical/dp/0805051511/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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Last updated: October 12, 2022

What Is Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman

The Meaning of Emotional Intelligence

  • Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and;
  • Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.

In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others.

Managing emotions is especially important in situations when we are under pressure. For example, when we are…

  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Meeting tight deadlines
  • Dealing with challenging relationships
  • Not having enough resources
  • Navigating change
  • Working through setbacks and failure

Where Did the Term Emotional Intelligence Come From?

The term emotional intelligence was created by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer in their article “Emotional Intelligence” in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality in 1990. It was later popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence.

Why Emotional Intelligence is Important 

It’s a scientific fact that emotions precede thought. When emotions run high, they change the way our brains function…diminishing our cognitive abilities, decision-making powers, and even interpersonal skills. Understanding and managing our emotions (and the emotions of others) helps us to be more successful in both our personal and professional lives.

At a personal level, emotional intelligence helps us:

  • Have uncomfortable conversations without hurting feelings
  • Manage our emotions when stressed or feeling overwhelmed
  • Improve relationships with the people we care about

At work, emotional intelligence can help us:

  • Resolve conflicts 
  • Coach and motivate others
  • Create a culture of collaboration
  • Build psychological safety within teams

On November 9th at 2:00 PM ET learn how to develop leaders & culture in a hybrid world

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Your EQ Could Matter More Than Your IQ, Especially at Work

In his book Working With Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman cites the Harvard Business School research that determined that EQ counts for twice as much as IQ and technical skills combined in determining who will be successful.

In a 2003 Harvard Business Review reported that 80% of competencies that differentiate top performers from others are in the domain of Emotional Intelligence. 

All our years working with leading edge organizations around the world we have learned  that  the smartest people in an organization are not always the most effective. What distinguishes the most productive employees from the average is EI.

Dig deeper into this essential work skill in our 2020 whitepaper “Emotional Intelligence: The Essential Skill of The Future-Proofed Workplace” and discover the 4 steps needed to learn and master emotional intelligence. 

Interested to learn more about how emotional intelligence training can help your organization? Download our whitepaper “The ROI for Emotional Intelligence” or learn more about our training solutions.

Emotional Intelligence is a Skill that can be Learned and Measured

Our level of emotional intelligence can be measured as our emotional quotient (or EQ). IHHP has developed multiple tools to measure EQ at the individual and organizational level.

Discover your level of emotional intelligence and get recommendations on how you can manage your emotions and connect more skillfully with others!

Take our Free EQ Quiz

How Emotional Intelligence Training Can Help

Unlike our IQ, Having a high level of emotional intelligence (EI), or a high emotional quotient (EQ) is not something set in stone. Luckily, emotional intelligence is a skill we can develop and our EQ can grow throughout our lives.

Unleash Emotional Intelligence to Work Better. Together.

IHHP can help you harness the emotions that stand in the way of building  trust, collaboration, and engagement across your organization. 

IHHP has been at the forefront of teaching the essential skills of Emotional Intelligence through keynotes and classroom training for twenty years. We function as an extension of your team, ensuring that your people build the skills of Emotional Intelligence so everyone can perform at their best even during great challenge and change.

We have developed state of the art virtual learning experiences that allow organizations and individuals to access the same classroom experience from their home or office.

Our programs are based in scientific research and apply the most current knowledge of the Emotional Intelligence field to help learners develop crucial skills through our state-of-the-art learning experiences.

Building EI Skills is Fundamental
to Being the Best Leader Professionally and Personally

IHHP offers emotional intelligence training that helps you:

Build Self-Awareness. Understand the emotions that drive behaviour and the impact that behaviour has on other you people and how they respond to you.have on the people around you.

Neuroscience-Based Change. Drive real behavioral change with a program rooted in neuroscience and research.

Unleash The Best You Have To Offer. Discover why your best self is your best choice.

Great Workplace Culture. Emotions are contagious. Improve relationship quality and build a culture of accountability.

Exceptional Leadership. People leave managers, not jobs. Research shows that eExceptional leaders, the leaders that can truly bring out the best in their people, rank highly in Emotional Intelligence. It is the primary reason that they are exceptional.

Our Training Programs

IHHP offers training programs that help individuals and teams build the EI skills required to succeed. Our programs are offered virtually and in classroom formats.

Fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence – A 2 hour primer that introduces the core concepts of EI. 

The Science of Emotional Intelligence – A complete introduction to Emotional Intelligence, including the science behind managing emotions, communicating effectively and connecting with others.

Performing Under Pressure – Building on the Science of Emotional Intelligence we explore how high pressure situations change our physiology and how to apply our EI skills in practical situations.

Three Conversations of Leadership – Learn about the three different types of conversations we have in the workplace and the communication tools and strategies to skillfully have difficult conversations.

Learn more about our emotional intelligence training or enroll in one of our virtual open enrollment programs.

Our EI360™ Assessment

Get an indepth understanding of the impact of your EI Skills in your professional and personal life.

IHHP’s EI360™ Assessment is a neuroscience-based online system that invites, collects and analyzes feedback from individuals, including managers, peers, direct reports, key clients, and, even family members and friends. 

This truly unique process gives the opportunity for self-awareness and development across every aspect of work and life outside the office, with a special focus on the impact individuals have on those around them. 

Learn more about the EI360 Assessment

Empowering People with the Skills to Thrive in the New Normal


More Emotional Intelligence Resources

Co-authored by one of IHHP’s founders, J. P. Pawliw-Fry Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and many empirically tested to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure.

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Join JP in his morning routine which integrates movement, mindfulness and mental training exercises to improve our EI and prepare us for the challenges life puts in our path.

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Emotional intelligence: how to learn to understand your own and other people's emotions

Emotional intelligence is twice as important as hard skills and IQ for career success. Together with Doctor of Psychology Viktoriya Shimanskaya, we will tell you where emotions come from, how to manage them and better understand other people

About the expert: Viktoriya Shimanskaya — Doctor of Psychology, lecturer at MGIMO, MIP, expert in the development of emotional intelligence. Author of the book “Communication” for teenagers, co-founder of the SKILLFOLIO soft skills development project. Author of the first Russian patented method for developing emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence and why is it important

Emotional Intelligence (Emotional Quotient) is the ability to recognize emotions, intentions, motivations, desires of oneself and other people and manage it. The skill helps to solve practical problems and achieve goals in life and at work. People with developed emotional intelligence are able to negotiate with other people, make decisions and respond correctly to negative situations.

Through emotions we react to events, words and circumstances. If they are not understood, what is happening will be distorted. For example, at work they made a remark to you, and you began to argue and conflict. As a result, this will lead to neurosis, apathy and other depressive states. At the same time, depression does not go away quickly: in 15–39% of people, it lasts more than a year.

A person with developed emotional intelligence reacts to causes, not actions or emotions. This helps him to perceive criticism correctly, understand other people and respond to them with an adequate reaction.

What is emotional intelligence and how it will help your career

The concept of emotional intelligence became popular after the publication of the 1995 book of the same name by science journalist Daniel Goleman. According to Goleman's research, people with developed emotional intelligence have better mental health, work efficiency, and leadership skills. At the same time, 67% of leadership abilities fall on emotional intelligence. It is more important than technical knowledge and IQ twice.

A study by Egon Zehnder confirms this. They analyzed 515 senior executives and found that people with developed emotional intelligence are more likely to succeed. The Carnegie Institute of Technology reported that 85% of our financial success comes from emotional intelligence, leadership, and communication skills. Only 15% depend on technical knowledge. Soft human skills, closely related to emotional intelligence, are the most important skills in the present and the future.

How emotional intelligence works

Let's analyze the model presented by the EQ-factor laboratory led by Nicolas Koro and Viktoriy Shimanskaya in 2014. It clearly shows the coefficients that form the intellectual-emotional profile of a person - IEPP.

Emotional intelligence does not exist separately from the intellect, it is not its opposite. Emotional intelligence EQ and mental intelligence IQ cannot be separated from each other. Moreover, if EQ is not developed, a person will not have a high IQ.

To develop emotional intelligence, you need to focus on four drivers: awareness, self-esteem, motivation, and adaptability. The development of each of the drivers forms the development of the corresponding emotional-intellectual strategy.

  1. Awareness. Includes awareness of one's thoughts, feelings and behavior. Develops the strategy of "Philosophers". Philosophers learn quickly and accumulate knowledge, but it is difficult for them to move from theory to practice and translate knowledge into real skills.
  2. Self-assessment. Includes acceptance, the ability not to depend on external assessments and opinions, a positive perception of the world and determination. Helps to master the strategy of the "Stars". Such people are self-confident, but tend to talk to impress. Stars run the risk of remaining at the level of "impressions" if they do not pump up the drivers of awareness and motivation.
  3. Motivation. Includes openness to new things, goal-setting, experiencing failures, striving for self-actualization. Helps to master the strategy of "Heroes". Heroes enjoy self-development and achievements, so they constantly improve and can lead people. Heroes run the risk of quickly burning out if they do not understand the reasons for their work.
  4. Adaptability. Includes empathy, stress tolerance, decision making and communication skills. Develops the strategy of "Leaders". Such people are stress-resistant, empathic and hardworking, but prone to impostor syndrome. This is a cognitive distortion when a person considers himself a deceiver and does not attribute achievements to his qualities and skills.

Emotional intelligence is a kind of base of the personality pyramid. The larger the volume of this pyramid, the more opportunities and influence a person can have on his life, the lives of other people and the world as a whole.

All four profiles are equally promising. To build an effective life strategy, you need to understand your strong drivers and pay attention to the weak ones. In conjunction with the IQ intelligence vector, emotional intelligence forms the life strategy of "Creators". It helps to realize the potential of a person and achieve the highest level of self-realization.

How to develop emotional intelligence

Honesty and the correct assessment of one's behavior are key factors for the development of EQ, says Viktoria Shimanskaya, Doctor of Psychology and an expert in the development of emotional intelligence.

Honesty. To test your honesty, do a simple exercise - write down on paper three personality traits that you do not like about yourself. For example, "I wake up late", "I'm lazy", and "I get easily irritated". According to the first principle of the concept of emotional intelligence, there is a positive intention in every action we take. Think about why you wake up late and what is the positive intention behind this action. For example, because you get very tired at work and worry about a new project.

Psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman tries to figure out why we don't show compassion more often and how it will change our lives

Behavior assessment. It is difficult to answer the question why we behave this way in a particular situation. But an honest answer gives a reaction on three levels: meaning, body and emotions - this is the second paradigm in the concept of emotional intelligence. If you change the reaction at one of these levels, the rest will change. For example, you are doing a good job, but you realized that customers do not return again because you do not know how to communicate with them. Because of this, you are annoyed, but the awareness of this thing will give a state of insight at the level of meaning. At the level of the body, there will be relaxation and a feeling, "as if a mountain has fallen from the shoulders. " At the level of emotions, it will become easier. You have found the true cause of anger and irritation, although it is difficult to admit.

Emotional Intelligence Development Tools

There are four components to developing emotional intelligence. Self-awareness and self-control help you work with yourself, while social competence and relationship management help you build strong relationships with others.

  • Awareness

The development of emotional intelligence should begin with the awareness of what is happening to you. You need to learn to separate yourself and emotions, to present them as a separate phenomenon and look at it from the side. Emotions are your reaction to what is happening around you. They change with changes in external circumstances, so remember: you ≠ your emotions. The ability to separate emotion from yourself will help you assess the situation, make a decision and respond correctly.

For example, on the edge of a cliff, you realize that you are afraid and move away. In this case, fear will save your life. But in negotiations with an important client, he will interfere with collecting thoughts and focusing on the result. Realizing this, you need to push the fear aside and move on.

Mark Williams and Danny Penman define emotions in their book Mindfulness: “They are clusters of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and impulses. All the elements interact with each other and can enhance or dampen the overall mood.”

Any emotion can be accepted or rejected. At the same time, emotions cannot be suppressed. This will lead to neurosis and dissatisfaction with life.

Practice: draw a scale from 0 to 10 on paper. Mark the level of fear on it, for example, 7 bars. Now increase the level to 9, and then decrease to 5. Try to understand your feelings and experience the emotion. Reduce your fear by another 2 or 3 bars, and get down to business that you were afraid of. This is the essence of emotion management.

  • Self-monitoring

If you are aware and able to separate emotion from yourself, you will be able to control and express it correctly. This skill is especially important for leaders. To control an emotion, it must be expressed and spoken out loud.

Practice: learn to speak the language of emotions. Use a three-part phrase:

  1. I feel…

  2. Because…

  3. I would like...

For example, I am frustrated and angry because I did not have time to prepare a presentation for a new client. I would like us to do it together, because the client is important for the company. Formulate several negative and positive emotions according to this formula.

Methods of non-violent communication will help to learn how to express feelings. Practice, over time it will become a habit. You will change your speech and reaction to many events.

  • Social competence

Social competence helps to see the essence and cause of what is happening and not get involved in emotional battles. Make smarter and more informed decisions. To do this, you need to learn to understand what is behind the behavior of another person. This way you will prevent 90% of conflicts.

One's own or another person's reaction can be decomposed into meaning, action and intention. This will help to correctly interpret emotions and respond to them

One's own or another person's reaction can be decomposed into meaning, action and intention. This will help to correctly interpret emotions and respond to them

When communicating with people, do not react to actions and words, but to the intentions and reasons that lie behind them. Any reaction and behavior can be decomposed into three components:

  1. Intention — the meaning, the true reason. A person may or may not be aware of his intention, but it will always be positive. For example, the manager yelled at you because he was worried about the results of the project.

  2. Action is how a person realizes the cause. It can be positive and constructive or negative and destructive. For example, you will insult a man in response to unacceptable behavior or explain your attitude and offer to behave differently.

  3. Meaning is the meaning you give to the action. It is either positive or negative. For example, you asked a colleague a question, but he did not answer. Positive meaning - the colleague did not hear the question, negative - he does not respect you.

Practice: remember a few conflict situations and try to expand them according to this formula. Find positive intentions in your meanings and actions.

  • Relationship Management

The emotion quadrant will help you determine your emotional state, use it or change it. This is a coordinate system from 0 to 10 on each axis. Below are the level of mood and pleasure - gray and green squares. Above are the level of energy and physical well-being - orange and yellow squares.

The Emotion Quadrant helps you determine which emotional state you or your co-workers are in to direct energy and mood for good

The Emotion Quadrant helps you determine which emotional state you or your co-workers are in to direct energy and mood to benefit

How it works. For example, you didn’t make a presentation for a new client and you are worried because of this. Rate the level of mood at 3 points. At the same time, you still have a lot of strength, so the energy level will be 7 points. So you get into the red square "I'm worried." In this state, it is better to do active work that does not require an emotional mood: tidy up the house, take out the trash, cook food.

In the green square you are in a good mood but have little energy. In this case, learn new things: immerse yourself in a project or task, collect information. Do things that don't require physical activity.

In the yellow square, mood and energy are at their maximum. This is a good opportunity for brainstorming. Come up with new ideas and projects, mix formats and look for other solutions to common problems.

There is little energy and no mood in the blue square. Here you should look for errors and shortcomings. Figure out how you can improve your daily routine and see what else you can work on.

The Emotion Quadrant will help you channel your free resources to the right things. You will be able to correctly prioritize and give clear orders to employees.

How to determine the level of development of emotional intelligence?

The author of the book "Emotional Intelligence in Practice" Justin Bariso identifies 13 criteria for a developed EQ:

  1. Become aware of your feelings and emotions.

  2. Pause before speaking or acting.

  3. Strive to control your thoughts and reactions to emotions.

  4. Use criticism as an opportunity to improve.

  5. Stick to your values ​​and principles.

  6. Know how to sympathize.

  7. Praise and inspire others.

  8. Give helpful feedback.

  9. Apologize and acknowledge mistakes.

  10. Forgive and forget.

  11. Fulfill your obligations.

  12. Help others.

  13. Protect yourself from emotional sabotage.

Victoria Shimanskaya adds one universal but subjective criterion - the degree of satisfaction with one's own life. Feeling is more important in EQ than skill development. If you can't ask for a raise for several years or get terribly angry when you clean your apartment, take a closer look at working with your emotions.

The hardest thing about developing emotional intelligence is getting started. It is not clear at what point there is an experience that allows you to further develop your EQ skills. Begin to carefully listen to yourself and catch the emotion: name, realize, reflect, listen to your feelings. Without this exercise, no books will get you closer to feeling happy, overcoming fears, curbing anger, and other tasks that we want to solve with the help of emotion management.

Emotional intelligence lives at the intersection of meanings and the body. Only by linking knowledge with physical sensations, you can turn it on and adjust your emotional apparatus. This means that our path is to work out the connection between the body and consciousness. To do - to fix, to feel - to comprehend.

To develop emotional intelligence

  1. Learn to be aware of your emotions and name them. Say out loud what you feel.
  2. Accept emotions and try to live them without prejudice to yourself and others.
  3. Learn to separate emotions from yourself. You are always more than one emotion.
  4. Seek and understand the cause of the emotion.
  5. Align emotions with current life purpose. Think about how they can help you and use them to your advantage.
  6. Try applying the EQ tools to other people.
  7. Get a special diagnostic to determine the level of development of emotional intelligence. Choose trainings, courses, books that will help you improve your skill.

What is emotional intelligence and how it defines our lives

What is emotional intelligence

In the mid-1990s, the Western world exploded with psychological bestseller by journalist Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Matters More Than IQ. Through facts about the human brain, the history of emotions and anthropology, Goleman tried to give his version of a successful person, using the research of American scientists. At that moment, they were actively looking for the ingredient of success, analyzing the achievements of different people in childhood and adulthood, their cognitive and social skills. Of course, the origin, heredity and the forces invested in education affect the viability of a person in adulthood, but success in life - especially for people without innate privileges - is affected by a unique combination of intellectual abilities and emotional sensitivity, when a person does not use his own feelings and desires destructively, but to achieve long-term goals. Whatever the university degree, parental family and the first years of a happy life, it is the ability of a person to manage his feelings and notice the feelings of others that will affect his ability to establish long-term relationships in his personal life and business, gain influence, draw attention to himself, lead a team, make friends and start a family.

Emotional intelligence in a broad sense is the recognition of oneself and others of both positive and negative feelings, the ability to separate personal feelings from bare facts, as well as the ability to feel mood, temperament, intonation and intentions in communication with other people, regardless of whether whether they are old acquaintances or you see them for the first time in your life. An important part of emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and honestly describe one’s own emotions, the ability not to panic and reject “bad emotions” (anger, jealousy, irritation, envy, anger) and the widespread use of emotionally colored language with self-messages. People who are able to articulate their feelings (“I’m sorry that our vacation is so casual” instead of “Why don’t you come up with something again?” Is the first tangible sign), realize their source and calmly discuss further actions without getting personal, there are not Often. And the time spent with them, for the majority, turns out to be very high-quality communication.

Psychologists generally divide emotional intelligence into four categories of skills. The first is the ability to communicate clearly and distinctly with others, explain expectations, actively listen, influence and inspire, work in a team or lead it and resolve conflicts. The second is general empathy and a comfortable sense of self in a large group of people: whether you're an extrovert or an introvert, you feel the emotional cues of others and rarely encounter misunderstandings. Third feature - Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and calmly coexisting with them, as well as a good knowledge of personal emotions and their influence on your life. And the last is the ability to manage emotions, limit their destructive influence on oneself, the ability to fulfill obligations, maintain long-term relationships and change in accordance with the environment.

By itself, emotional intelligence is able to keep a person afloat, but it brings the best results in a career in combination with deep knowledge and strong motivation. Indeed, a high IQ helps you get into university or get a long-awaited job, but it is a developed emotional intelligence that affects exposure to stress, helps you start relationships in a new place or adapt to a turbulent work situation. Self-regulation, the ability to hear and put oneself in the place of another, the ability to manage mood complements practical skills and abilities in all areas where communication is required. Obviously, in an age when most unpleasant tasks have already been assigned or will soon be transferred to machines, such areas are the vast majority.

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What Emotional Intelligence Influences and Why You Can't Do Without It

How often have you come across an incredibly talented and at the same time optional person who does not keep agreements? Have you ever been in his place? Were you interrupted with inappropriate remarks, or did your intervention only exacerbate the conflict? Has it ever happened that because of unvoiced expectations, your relationship only got worse and no one could determine what was the reason? All of these situations reflect problems with emotional intelligence: when a misunderstanding of intent and mood, emotional state and motivation makes simple communication tense, negative, or even rude. What is emotional intelligence primarily affected by?

- Self-awareness -

Feeling euphoria or depression, causeless anxiety or a very specific concern, a person with a high EQ understands what is happening to him and what it is called. He is able to distinguish anxiety from anger or panic, and spontaneous tender joy from intense emotional intimacy. Being aware of his feelings, he is able to move away from them and not delve into destructive and incorporeal thoughts. For example, he will not take a slight infatuation for great love, and a curious prospect for the main goal of life. Based on emotions, he will make long-term plans, where mood swings or new events in life in general will not greatly change the vector of his development. This does not mean at all a dull life, without impressions, in which one cannot be subjected to impulse. Rather, it is a deep knowledge of how to respond to specific emotions. For example, do not continue a fruitless argument when all parties to the conflict are on edge. Do not take on too many responsibilities in a state of euphoria. Do not be afraid to admit to yourself in unsightly feelings and take responsibility for them. Don't do good to others without their request. These "nots" are taken from personal negative experiences and are often automatically adjusted after a few misses - it just takes time to catch the connection between our feelings and subsequent actions.

— Self-regulation —

Understanding your feelings, it is easy to manage yourself — from conscious nutrition to work schedule and work time planning. A high EQ means that we take responsibility for our lives and the final result of all relationships - work and personal - and do not look for someone to blame. Instead of putting the blame on colleagues who let us down, or the other half who did not understand us correctly, people with high EQ tend to ask themselves questions at what point in the misunderstanding worsened, what exactly they could have done better - and use this knowledge in the next similar situations. Self-control contributes to the fact that we do not allow negative emotions - anger, anxiety, fatigue - to affect others and monitor our own reputation: we keep our word, promise and agreements on an ongoing basis outside of force majeure. Results are judged by the efforts and actions of one's own, and not through the analysis of the mistakes of others. And new conditions and life situations do not plunge into an alarming state: a person with a high EQ will look in difficulties for the possibility of solving them and personal growth or moving to another job and to other relationships. Of course, this does not mean that you need to turn into a robot, in which all impulses and reactions are ordered. Rather, emotional intelligence means a sound assessment of one's capabilities and merits, recognizing people's right to behave as they want, and the ability to resolve conflict situations in a clash of interests without becoming their hostages for many months.

- Motivation -

Emotional intelligence is closely related to motivation and proactive behavior - the ability to adequately respond to change, unite (rather than divide) people, represent other people's interests, delegate power and inspire people to believe in the best. A person with a high EQ is easy to train and relates to temporary difficulties without a decadent attitude, guided by the principle “if we don’t try, we won’t know. ” He analyzes his own and other people's mistakes well, is not presumptuous, and therefore knows how to influence the mood of the group without intimidating or making light promises.

First, emotional intelligence influences the desire to justify one's own and other people's expectations and to treat these guarantees more responsibly. Secondly, the need to discuss mutual expectations at work or in the family provides an opportunity to express concerns about why the “gray areas” in a large task become smaller over time. Thirdly, emotional intelligence is almost always associated with the rational allocation of resources and initiative: instead of procrastinating, a proactive person will choose to teach or help another, arrange a common space, additional skills or free time. You have probably noticed that in any team there is a person who needs a little more than others, and he willingly shares this - he has ideas on how to spend the evening, he grows flowers in the office or brings treats, helps others without complaint and takes on education of trainees. All this is one way or another an example of motivation in the workplace. In personal life, everything works in much the same way. We know people who always call first, choose a new place for a group dinner, book a group trip, invite them on a date, never forget a birthday - all these are also signs of emotional intelligence.

- Empathy -

In a broad sense, emotional intelligence affects the ability to understand what others feel and think. This can include a lot of information of various kinds: both knowledge of social psychology about group behavior or relationships in a couple, as well as specific skills to calm and get a panicked person out of a stupor, knowledge of the correct wording and ways to divert attention. In general, empathy is attunement to others in any of their states, accepting their mood, understanding language and reading non-verbal signs. The first thing that emotional intelligence affects is the ability to recognize the emotions of others and draw conclusions from this. The rule of not yelling at a crying baby or having long arguments with aggressive people is a basic rule of empathy that helps reduce wasted effort. A manager who listens to subordinates and gives them the tools to grow and develop manifests himself as an empathic leader because he feels the needs of others and helps them reach their potential. A sense of justice is also associated with empathy - the absence of prejudices and preferences, the ability to use the skills of all participants in the process for the common good. And, of course, a person with a developed emotional intelligence usually understands well what they don’t talk about: he respects weaknesses, remembers injuries, does not push conflicting parties together, sees the hierarchy and knows how to reckon with it.

- Social skills -

All of the above areas of influence of emotional intelligence lead to the main thing: the combination of these qualities helps us to better understand people, not to have unjustified expectations towards them, not to demand more from ourselves and others than in our strength, not to become hostages of emotions, not to succumb to group influence. People with high EQ are more likely to work on rhetorical devices or are already good at persuasion techniques. They know how to verbally prioritize, don't expect their emotions to be guessed, and rarely slip into passive-aggressive behavior.

Emotional intelligence helps to bring people together and initiate changes in a family or group without causing negative feelings in anyone, to see the pluses of everyone individually when achieving common goals is required, to share experiences and educate each other. Teams with such people are almost always a breeding ground where it is easy to grow and acquire many related skills, and at the same time consolidate self-confidence. And, of course, emotional intelligence is necessary if it is necessary to approach the conflict consciously, to resolve it without mutual accusation and unfavorable compromise. Instead of anxiety and fear, give up positions. A person with a high EQ will choose a sincere conversation between the conflicting parties, will not avoid the role of an intermediary, but will help to express mutual claims and develop a strategy for further actions.

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence: 5 Actionable Steps

Unlike many inborn talents, like math skills or an ear for music, emotional intelligence as a social skill can be improved throughout life. As a work team, as a couple, in relationships with parents, friends and children, we can constantly work on empathy and communication skills, which will definitely affect the quality of our relationships, mood and lifestyle.

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- Step one -

Putting ourselves in the other person's shoes

It's a good start to study the person we want to put ourselves in. A crying little baby is most often tired or hungry. An annoyed neighbor could not get enough sleep because of the construction under the window. A disgruntled colleague is going through a difficult breakup. Too much new work has fallen on my mother. The wife is tired, torn between home and work. The boss is hungover, scowling, and making harsh comments. My best friend has been depressed for over a year. A tipsy stranger on the street wants to chat. A subordinate in a panic failed the third project in a row. By analyzing with whom and in what state we are talking, we better understand how they feel right now and why they act the way they do. It is absolutely not necessary to leave people the opportunity to make mistakes without consequences - in some situations it is simply necessary to outline the boundaries of what is acceptable. But knowing what is happening in the lives of those with whom we encounter every day is absolutely necessary so that our mutual expectations and demands are fair. Put yourself in the place of a woman who has to drive half a city with a pram, or a man who hasn't been on vacation for more than two years, or a child who is never turned away. And it will be much easier for you to understand how they feel at the moment.

- Step two -

Naming emotions: own and others

Most people do not know how to name their emotions and consider this an extra skill. Meanwhile, anger is very different from resentment and disappointment, and it is necessary to analyze your own and other people's emotions in order to know your own weaknesses. One of the best ways is to replenish the emotional vocabulary with new descriptions of emotions: to separate anxiety from irritation, fatigue from apathy. This is best done in combination with mood diary : Keep a diary of changing moods daily and record emotions during and after events - meetings, conversations, cultural events and new acquaintances. So you, firstly, will see what events of the day and how they affect you (positively or negatively), and secondly, you will understand the tangle of conflicting feelings that different situations and people cause in you. When you understand what negative emotions dominate in life, it will be easier to find a way out for them: it is no coincidence that active sports and jogging are advised from anger, and sweets are not advised to seize anxiety. When you learn to name and define your emotions, it will be much easier to identify others - by verbal and non-verbal signals. And forever separate emotions that are related to you from random ones: you don’t need to comprehend the behavior of an annoyed person in public transport, but the partner’s constant claims should be taken into account.

- Step Three -

Expand your horizons

Often problems with emotional intelligence are due to the fact that we drowned in our information bubble. It has already been proven that knowledge of several foreign languages ​​helps a person to better absorb information about the diversity of the world. It is necessary to broaden one's horizons - to read fiction books and memoirs, to watch feature films and documentaries, to be interested in science, to travel, to educate oneself - in order to understand how people differ in talents and aspirations and how problematic it is for life and career to measure everyone by one measure. Modests and careerists, swindlers and idealists will be found in world literature and cinema, and each of them will have their own exciting story. Understanding a complex and disordered world in which everyone can find what they need is an important step for resolving conflicts, building harmonious relationships and managerial growth. Books, films, exhibitions, trips and new skills are not just erudition, but also a way to better understand others.

- Step Four -

Think Two Steps Ahead

Emotional intelligence is related to long-term planning: setting priorities and goals, strategically allocating resources and tactics for immediate action. In building relationships with others, it is always worth dividing people into those with whom we spend most of our time and those who have no influence on our lives. All the powers of emotional intelligence should be used to ensure that communication with the inner circle is filled and interesting. Spend your time on those from whom you learn a lot, who surpass you in personal and professional qualities, surround yourself with caring and harmonious people, and communication with them will bear fruit. Think about how to get into such a team or assemble one if you are responsible for it. Think about what kind of life is important and comfortable for you and what actions will lead you to it. Tailor your budget to your goals and learn how to save. Save money for a smart purchase. Help others by discussing it and coming to an agreement. Look at conflict and obstacles as an intermediate stage, overcoming which new opportunities will open up for you. Carefully spell out all work and personal commitments in advance and don't make false promises or set unreasonable expectations. Emotional intelligence helps to measure mental strength and capture the mood of someone who can and wants to help you move forward in your plans. If the environment and intended goals do not match your current state, it is never too late to replay and get what you are striving for.

- Step Five -

Get training or psychotherapy

Very often, for deep changes, it is difficult to find the resources and knowledge to make a sharp qualitative leap in understanding yourself and others. In this case, psychological training or psychotherapy can be a very useful tool on the path to self-knowledge. Training is recommended for psychologically healthy people, without problems with appetite and sleep, in a stable positive state to achieve career and personal goals with a personal motivation coach. Trainings are shown to those who are tired of a work routine or an unfavorable personal situation and who have enough internal strength to do significant work on themselves.

Psychotherapy is a deeper and longer-term undertaking that requires a reassessment of oneself, one's achievements, one's environment and one's lifestyle. Often it is accompanied by the acquisition of new habits, parting with toxic environments, changing jobs and even places of residence, and no good therapist can tell you where the therapy will take you. Both training and therapy are aimed at expanding emotional intelligence, developing the ability to identify and control emotions, work with fears and negative attitudes, and overcome negative patterns through a fundamentally new set of actions.

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