Why should you know more about EI?

Why should you know more about EI?
October 19, 2016 Denitsa Kozanova

What is emotional intelligence? pic1

Yes, this is not a mistake, I am not talking about AI…

Unless artificial intelligence doesn’t completely wipe out the role of human beings, we should still talk about one very important human asset: Emotional Intelligence.

There isn’t a person I know, who has mastered emotional intelligence completely. Most people never really think about EI. Others focus on it too much, so they overreact. To be an emotionally intelligent person is not an easy task at all. This is because EI is more a set of skills than a one single characteristic. You must be empathic, an active listener, self-aware, wise, balanced, self-managed and many things as well.
So, what is EI and why is it important?
The general definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own and other people’s emotions and to respond to them properly. In general, it is how we handle people and conversations that define our level of emotional intelligence. EI, also called EQ or emotional quotient is believed to be a very important part of one’s success in life. Your career depends greatly on the people you work with and for. Therefore, it is very important to know HOW to interact with them to get your message across.   
Emotional Intelligence 7If you feel you are good at emotional intelligence, then most probably, you are NOT. People who are emotionally intelligent learn and develop their skills set every day. Every new person they meet offers them a new perspective.
That’s also why complete emotional intelligence is almost unattainable. But that’s absolutely fine. The most important thing is not to reach EI, but to strive for it. That goal will make you more balanced as a person. What’s more, it will improve your job performance. Since your career depends mainly on the people that you work with and for, you can benefit greatly if you know how to properly interact with them.
If you think your EQ is high enough, then this article is not for you. But if you want test yourself, then scroll down and answer the following questions…
  • Are you curious about people?

People with a high EQ like meeting new people and are always curious about the way people live, the culture they come from etc. They will listen to your childhood memories, your fears about the future and your problems at work. They tend to have deep conversations. So, if you end up talking about your feelings to complete strangers, the chances that he/she is an EI master are very high.

How to improve? Make sure you listen actively and more importantly, ask questions. Try to understand the other person’s point of view. At last, our point of view is shaped by past experiences. Therefore, if you get the person to talk about his/her past you will be able to realise the reasons why he/she behaves in the way, he/she does. 

  • Can you read people?

There are people who observe others constantly and, more importantly, they do it unconsciously. They have the amazing ability to spot everything and connect the dots. Even in only one conversation, they are already able to tell something about you.

If you don’t know whether you can read people or not, answer the following question: Can you tell what the person sitting next to you at work does when he/she is nervous? If you can’t answer this question immediately then you should observe them closely.

  • Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?

This is an ongoing process. You would never fully know your strength
and weaknesses, because you and your personality are constantly developingInteractive content 5 and changing. However, people still tend to ask this question, especially at job interviews. There is a reason behind that.  A person with a high-EQ  is aware of the current situation. What’s more, he/she knows what should be done in order to maintain the strengths while working on the weaknesses. 

How does one improve? Make a list with your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you write down an equal number of both. Here you can find few tricks that can help you.  

  • Are you difficult to offend?

If you have a high EQ, you are aware of yourself and not a lot can drive you out of control. Your ‘healthy’ self-confidence creates a very thick skin. That doesn’t mean though that you don’t show your temper once in while or that you are friends with everyone. It’s just that your EI helps you to move on after a conflict. What’s more, you see a conflict not only to prove a point, but also to improve yourself. If you analyse the situation afterwards and you ask yourself the question,’ What did I do wrong and how can I improve?’, then you will discover interesting aspects of your personality. 

  • Do you take criticism well?

Interactive Content 4No one likes to be criticized. While most people take criticism as a different point of view and have the need to respond immediately, emotionally intelligent people see criticism as something positive. Their self-esteem is enough to control their anger and they can lead a conversation in a constructive way.  In that way, they turn criticism into feedback that helps them to learn something new about themselves.

  • Do you like changes?

Not everyone is open for a change. In fact, most people don’t like change at all. Emotionally intelligent people except change as a normal part of life, they are very flexible and adoptable. Moreover, they can react immediately to stressful situations and less likely to panic and lose control. 

  • Do you relax properly?

Interactive content 6EI people know that taking time off is essential. They like to spend time alone and to disconnect. And there is nothing wrong about it. 

How does one improve? Learn how to relax properly. Switch off your phone, shut down your laptop, make a cup of tea and enjoy the silence while reading a nice book. If that’s not for you, go skiing, hiking, surfing… whatever can help you to recharge your batteries.

 If you are want to read more on the topic, get the book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQby D. Goleman or go to Mind Tools, where you will find many interesting articles about EQ. 

Ready to give it a go?