27 Oct Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Explained
Every now and again, we can do with taking some time to think about how we approach life and work and everything in between. I thought it would be useful this month to go back to EQ, look at how we approach our own emotional intelligence and how it can help us day by day.
So, what is EQ?
As IQ is intellectual ability, EQ is emotional intelligence – the ability to understand yourself and others, and work effectively with feelings, intentions, behaviours and responses – all the “soft” aspects of interpersonal relationships.
Business is a human activity. As such, a well-developed EQ is essential in the workplace – in collaboration, management, conflict resolution, communication and negotiations.
Emotional intelligence can be grouped into the following domains:
1. Awareness and understanding of your own feelings.
Awareness means being able to consciously identify what is going on inside your head, and how this affects yourself and others. This includes being able to describe feelings in more nuanced detail beyond simply angry, happy or sad. Understanding is the ability to reflect on why you may be feeling what you are feeling.
2. Managing and using your feelings.
With awareness and understanding, we can begin to learn to manage and use our feelings; instead of simply being passively subject to them. Learning to live well with our emotive selves is a significant growth experience. As we understand how we tick emotionally, we can more consciously design/direct our experiences to optimise our performance and quality of life.
3. Awareness and understanding of others’ feelings.
Being able to tell from facial expressions, tone, body language and words how someone else is feeling is the important first step to working well with others. With increased awareness; we can begin to start understanding others. Why are they feeling this way? How are they being affect by a given circumstance? This is also called empathy.
4. Working effectively with others.
A greater empathy for others fosters an appreciation of their unique individual perspectives. It reduces the temptation to pass black-and-white, good-or-bad judgements on others, and instead opens us to new possibilities. Much conflict can be de-fused when parties’ feel genuinely heard and understood – and empathy is a powerful way to achieve this. And no, just because you empathise does not obligate you to agree.
It is important to note that emotional intelligence is not about controlling, forcing change or your position on others. We can only really change ourselves.