Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify emotions within yourself and in others. It is being able to detect emotions such as sadness, hurt, fear, etc, and acting appropriately.
We all know that colleague that is passive-aggressive, offers terse closed responses to open-ended questions, murmurs side comments aimed to tease people. They never take responsibility for their actions–they tend to point fingers at everyone else. They are never at fault.
They have trouble connecting during team collaborative efforts and believe they’re always right and never take heed to another’s word. Such people are described as emotionally dumb. While intellectual intelligence is a measure of your ability to process information, emotional intelligence is your ability to process emotions. Emotional intelligence, unlike intellectual intelligence, is learned and its mastery requires a great deal of emotional labor. You need to understand your own feelings to be able to digest others.
A forum report ‘The Future of Jobs’ conducted by the World Economic Forum in 2016 predicted that by 2020, emotional intelligence would be among the top 10 most required skills for jobs. According to Forbes, this ability will be important as long as there are humans in the workforce since it impacts every interaction we have with one another. After reading an article written by John Mayer and Peter Salovey about the concept of Emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, and science journalist, hooked on the idea that there are other ingredients to success as opposed to the sole IQ, conducted more research and wrote a book titled Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters More than IQ. In it, he defined emotional intelligence according to five categories.
The ability to know one’s self; to understand one’s moods, motivations, abilities, and limitations. Self-awareness is knowing how things affect you. A person that self-aware is not only able to detect why their mood has turned sour but is able to manage in a way that does not infer with the general atmosphere. Self Awareness also includes being able to perceive what others think about you. You are able to read the reactions of others to decipher how they see you and act accordingly. An emotionally intelligent person should be able to acknowledge their mistakes and their countereffects. They are able to do introspective reflections and make adjustments where needed.
This is the ability to control impulses, express one’s self appropriately, and think before acting. Emotions are signals from our brain to tell us to pay attention to something. Self regulation involves using that information in a measured manner.
An emotional mature person is able to adapt to change and able to respond approipratetly to another person’s irrational behavior. They are able to keep to their word and meet up with designated deadlines.
These include being able to make jokes, catch on sarcasm, build and maintain friendships. In other words, It means being able to manage people with minimal conflict. A person with good social skills should be able to communicate properly, respect people’s time and is able to solve conflict using negotiation or persuasion where it is needed.
Being emotionally intelligent also includes being able to the ability to push one’s self towards learning and self-development despite the odds against them. An emotionally mature person is able to start and complete tasks as well as form or drop habits.
A key part of being emotionally intelligent is empathy. It involves seeing how things affect people and responding adequately to that. Empathy can only be attained when self-awareness is attained. An emotionally mature person should be able to perceive other emotions, anticipate reactions from others, understand why people act the way they do and make room for it. They should also be able to care about another person’s worries and joys. Empathy goes beyond interpersonal communications.
A key indicator of emotional unintelligence is miscommunication. Conversations are strained and messages are often misconstrued during the course of communication. The receiver and the message are two important elements of communication. If your message is misinterpreted or the receiver does not understand your message then you have failed as a sender in the communication equation. It is a personal duty to ensure that the things you utter, especially in the workplace where communication is important for ease of labor, are interpreted as you intend. Think of your words as a brand slogan. Slogans are meant to sell the brand’s efficiency. A good brand studies its audience and comes up with a clear message that serves them. So also in interpersonal relations.
As technology advances and jobs diversify, emotional intelligence becomes more required within the workplace. An emotionally intelligent person is a good communicator, analyst, team player and an asset to today’s company.