Back in the 1990s, researchers coined the concept of emotional intelligence. This is not the intelligence one associates with an IQ score and the sharing of facts and figures. Instead, emotional intelligence is the understanding, responsibility and management of one’s emotions and emotional interactions with others.
5 Elements of Emotional Intelligence
Empathy – demonstrating the skills of good listening, being slow to judge someone or something, understanding the needs and wants of others, and showing loyalty and compassion
Motivation – being productive and having awareness of how personal actions contribute to long-term success
Self-awareness – knowing and understanding how one’s own feelings and emotions create a personal effect on others
Self-regulation – ability to pause and assess before making an action or decision, considering how a decision could impact others
Social skills – using strong communication to collaborate and work in teams
Return to Work
After months of at-home work, employers are making plans to transition employees and their work back into the office. During this transition time, emotional intelligence will be in high demand from both employees and employers as everyone readjusts to what is ambiguously referred to as the new normal.
While normal implies something tried-and-true, this will not be the case for all employees. Necessary skills will include the ability to “read” a room and demonstrate good listening skills while being slow to judge. Consider that handling and processing the work environment could be more difficult for some employees than others. This will make self-awareness and self-regulation a priority. Actions do speak louder than words and impact how people feel and how they do their work. Application of the social skills of strong communication and collaboration will help everyone remain motivated and moving toward the goals of long-term success.
If you are looking for ways to take responsibility for and boost emotional intelligence, look for ways to build awareness of personal thoughts and actions. Spending time alone can allow for reflection to remember times when emotional intelligence was achieved and when it was not. This practice can be done any time – driving, standing in line at the store or talking a walk.
With awareness and practice, developing and practicing emotional intelligence becomes easier and a natural part of all personal interactions. Through this discovery process, it will become second nature to identify and associate the emotions attached to certain situations. With this knowledge, it becomes easier to learn how to make decisions that leave us and those we interact with feeling better understood by acknowledging another’s opinions and needs.
Unlike traditional intelligence, there is no cap on what one can achieve through the building of emotional intelligence skills. With practice, the building of these skills will provide results that benefit multiple people and situations.