Emotional iq 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.

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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.

Developing emotional awareness

It's important that you learn how to manage stress first, so you'll feel more comfortable reconnecting to strong or unpleasant emotions and changing how you experience and respond to your feelings. You can develop your emotional awareness by using HelpGuide's free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit.

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.


Discover the Power of Awareness

Want to overcome negative self-talk and other limiting beliefs? Join Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield for a free video from Sounds True on the Power of Awareness, online mindfulness training to transform your life.


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=

Last updated: November 15, 2022

Stress Management - HelpGuide.org


While it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress at work and home, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control.

The importance of managing stress

If you’re living with high levels of stress, you’re putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.

Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun—and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. That’s why it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.

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Tip 1: Identify the sources of stress in your life

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn't as straightforward as it sounds. While it's easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. It's all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.

Sure, you may know that you're constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it's your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
  • How you acted in response.
  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

Tip 2: Practice the 4 A's of stress management

While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, it's helpful to think of the four A's: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

The four A's – Avoid, Alter, Adapt & Accept
Avoid unnecessary stress
It's not healthy to avoid a stressful situation that needs to be addressed, but you may be surprised by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.
Learn how to say “no.” Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress. Distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts” and, when possible, say “no” to taking on too much.
Avoid people who stress you out. If someone consistently causes stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with that person, or end the relationship.
Take control of your environment. If the evening news makes you anxious, turn off the TV. If traffic makes you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
Pare down your to-do list. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you've got too much on your plate, drop tasks that aren't truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
Alter the situation
If you can't avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.
Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, be more assertive and communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you've got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk. If you don't voice your feelings, resentment will build and the stress will increase.
Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you'll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
Create a balanced schedule. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits, daily responsibilities and downtime.
Adapt to the stressor
If you can't change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
Practice gratitude. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.
Accept the things you can't change
Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can't prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it's easier than railing against a situation you can't change.
Don't try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Look for the upside. When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.
Share your feelings. Expressing what you're going through can be very cathartic, even if there's nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.

Tip 3: Get moving

When you're stressed, the last thing you probably feel like doing is getting up and exercising. But physical activity is a huge stress reliever—and you don't have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction from your daily worries.

While you'll get the most benefit from regularly exercising for 30 minutes or more, it's okay to build up your fitness level gradually. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule:

  • Put on some music and dance around.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Walk or cycle to the grocery store.
  • Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator.
  • Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way.
  • Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you work out.
  • Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids.

The stress-busting magic of mindful rhythmic exercise

While just about any form of physical activity can help burn away tension and stress, rhythmic activities are especially effective. Good choices include walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, tai chi, and aerobics. But whatever you choose, make sure it's something you enjoy so you're more likely to stick with it.

While you're exercising, make a conscious effort to pay attention to your body and the physical (and sometimes emotional) sensations you experience as you're moving. Focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Adding this mindfulness element will help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress.


Tip 4: Connect to others

There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the body's defensive “fight-or-flight” response. It's nature's natural stress reliever (as an added bonus, it also helps stave off depression and anxiety). So make it a point to connect regularly—and in person—with family and friends.

[Read: Social Support for Stress Relief]

Keep in mind that the people you talk to don't have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.

Of course, it's not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to life's stressors.

Tips for building relationships

  1. Reach out to a colleague at work.
  2. Help someone else by volunteering.
  3. Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  4. Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
  5. Accompany someone to the movies or a concert.
  6. Call or email an old friend.
  7. Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  8. Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  9. Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
  10. Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach.

Tip 5: Make time for fun and relaxation

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by carving out “me” time. Don't get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you'll be in a better place to handle life's stressors.

Set aside leisure time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.

Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Take up a relaxation practice. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body's relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the fight or flight or mobilization stress response. As you learn and practice these techniques, your stress levels will decrease and your mind and body will become calm and centered.

Tip 6: Manage your time better

Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you're stretched too thin and running behind, it's hard to stay calm and focused. Plus, you'll be tempted to avoid or cut back on all the healthy things you should be doing to keep stress in check, like socializing and getting enough sleep. The good news: there are things you can do to achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Don't over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take.

Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant or stressful to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.

Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.

Delegate responsibility. You don't have to do it all yourself, whether at home, school, or on the job. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You'll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.

Tip 7: Maintain balance with a healthy lifestyle

In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress.

Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.

Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.


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Tip 8: Learn to relieve stress in the moment

When you're frazzled by your morning commute, stuck in a stressful meeting at work, or fried from another argument with your spouse, you need a way to manage your stress levels right now. That's where quick stress relief comes in.

The fastest way to reduce stress is by taking a deep breath and using your senses—what you see, hear, taste, and touch—or through a soothing movement. By viewing a favorite photo, smelling a specific scent, listening to a favorite piece of music, tasting a piece of gum, or hugging a pet, for example, you can quickly relax and focus yourself.

Of course, not everyone responds to each sensory experience in the same way. The key to quick stress relief is to experiment and discover the unique sensory experiences that work best for you.

Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Robert Segal, M.A.

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        Unger, Cynthia A, David Busse, and Ilona S Yim. “The Effect of Guided Relaxation on Cortisol and Affect: Stress Reactivity as a Moderator.” Journal of Health Psychology 22, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 29–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105315595118

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      Stress Management – Learn to manage your stress. (American Heart Association)

      Stress Management: Enhance Your Well-Being by Reducing Stress and Building Resilience – Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. (Harvard Health)

      Tolerating Distress – Workbook and information sheets to help you manage feelings of distress. (Centre for Clinical Interventions)

      Building Your Resilience – Learn how to increase your resilience in the face of stress and hardship. (American Psychological Association)

      (VIDEO) How To Relax: 8 Relaxation Tips for Your Mental Health (Mind)

      Last updated: November 15, 2022

      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 useful 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: how to develop it

      In general terms, as we have already said, EQ is one of the success factors. But let's break down why emotional intelligence is important.

      1. Better self-awareness.

      To understand the source and nature of one's feelings is a desire that is familiar to everyone. Unfortunately, we often confuse anxiety with panic or anger, and the feeling of fleeting involvement with great love. Developing emotional intelligence will help you better understand the emotional situation both within you and around you. For example, to end a senseless argument on time, to refuse an inappropriate load, and the like. That is, EI in this case helps to rationally recognize emotions and respond to them correctly.

      2. Improved self-regulation.

      Often we do not have enough willpower, or time and motivation to form a certain lifestyle. For example, the introduction of a system of conscious eating or time management in personal and work life. A high level of emotional intelligence just allows you to cope with this, because with the awareness of your feelings, the ability to control yourself appears. This includes understanding your behavior and mistakes, and the ability not to repeat them next time. This moment is especially important for the formation of one's own reputation: high EQ, improving self-control, helps to be a more responsible person, to keep promises and agreements.

      3. Stable and strong motivation.

      The level of emotional intelligence directly affects the motivation and proactivity of a person. High EQ allows you to learn better, faster and more productively, procrastinate to a minimum, endure difficulties with a positive attitude and soberly analyze personal mistakes. Also, a person with a developed emotional intelligence seeks to meet expectations, is more open in discussing work issues, clearly explains what and from whom he expects. Another important point: the ability to soberly assess your strengths and correctly plan the distribution of resources. Free time for such a person is always busy with useful things, training or planning.

      4. Improved empathy.

      Remember, when defining emotional intelligence itself, we pointed out that, by and large, it is the ability to understand other people's emotions and work with them? This is empathy, which is important in all areas of life. This is an opportunity to fully tune into other people, realize their problems and needs, read non-verbal signs and switch attention in the right way. A person with developed EI knows how to do this, and also feels justice better, respects other people's interests and weaknesses, does not push confronting individuals and always orients himself in who is "in charge".

      5. More adequate and healthy social relationships.

      All of the above leads to the main goal: to better understand people and interact with them. This consists of a sober assessment of the strengths and capabilities of others, the ability to refrain from influence from the masses, not to be held hostage to personal emotions and their manifestations from the wrong side. People with high EQ are good at rhetoric and the art of persuasion, clearly describe tasks and set priorities in the team, and do not succumb to bouts of passive-aggressive behavior. They can calmly and painlessly organize various changes in the family and work, properly prepare people for various situations. A team filled with such people is always more efficient, its emotional environment is healthier. Here, it is easier for specialists to learn new skills, interact with each other and keep healthy competition.

      Thus, emotional intelligence is needed to be more aware, better understand your emotions and yourself. It is also a powerful tool for creating harmonious relationships with others. These two factors greatly increase your chances of success in your work and personal life.

      A logical question arises: how to test your emotional intelligence? First of all, you need to adequately look at your life, your behavior and the state of relations with others. In 80% of people, this does not work out and other methods are used. For example, the MSCEIT technique is a method for determining EQ (EI coefficient), during the implementation of which the subject is shown various photos with portraits.

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