What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence? While most professionals look to hard skills necessary to perform their duties successfully, many forget the soft skills required in their chosen industry. Especially in the executive world, emotional intelligence is key to moving forward in the business world

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to read, understand, and control emotions. In order to function in a business environment without being affected by the emotions of others you must possess a high level of emotional intelligence. This reduces much unwelcome ‘drama’ in the corporate world.

Here are 10 Things You Should Know

1. A great deal of the art of emotional intelligence rests on the ability to maintain self awareness. Can you identify your own emotions as you feel them, determine the source of those emotions, and control any overt emotional reaction within a given situation? This also includes self management and being able to keep up a consistent persona, not allowing your emotions to direct your path.

2. Social awareness and relationship management are key responsibilities for executives. Once you’ve mastered your own control, you must be able to read and analyze the emotions of those around you in order to interact, using emotional intelligence.

3. You can identify others in your midst with high emotional intelligence by finding excellent listeners, in tight control of their own emotions, who seem to influence not only the opinions but the feelings of those around them. Watch their movements, and listen to their speech – volume, tone, wording. These will help you to raise your own level of EI through example.

4. Emotional intelligence doesn’t affect personality or other measured intelligence. Having an amicable personality or high IQ doesn’t mean you will be emotionally intelligent. It must be mastered separately, outside the other soft skills often of focus in the workplace.

5. Emotional intelligence has become a key indicator to establish someone as having the potential to be a good leader. It shows improved performance and a higher level of capability in a leadership role, based on European studies.

6. Abuse of drugs and alcohol does not correlate with high EI. In fact, those who have had drug related problems are far less likely to absorb the skills needed to learn to function with a higher EI. Also, caffeine tends to over stimulate parts of the brain that assist in building emotional intelligence, leading to lower levels of the important life skill.

7. Identifying negative thinking in yourself and in your social surroundings is the first step in using emotional intelligence to perceive and cope with situations. Once negativity is recognized, analyzing the situation can lead to resolution.

8. In order to be emotionally intelligent, you must possess empathy to identify or understand others’ emotions. Utilize empathy to adjust and control a situation shaken by emotional reactions.

9. You don’t always have to control your own emotions or hold back to have a high ‘emotional IQ’. Rather, knowing when the appropriate time to release those feelings is key to maintaining a good balance at all times.

10. Many small businesses that succeed are based on a business plan and strategy built by individuals with high emotional intelligence. It is key in fighting through red tape and rising above the competition.