What is Emotional Intelligence?

Being very smart, with a high IQ but lacking emotional intelligence (EQ), may impede success in life. So what is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

~ Dr. Travis Bradberry

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

~ Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jennifer Shubin

We discussed emotional intelligence as part of a study group where some Interesting points arose. After our meeting, I did some research on my own and found the following:

Four attributes commonly define emotional intelligence:What is Emotional Intelligence?

1. Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

2. Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.

3. Social awareness – You have empathy. You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.

4. Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

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The points listed above were addressed during our discussion. We also talked about an article by Dr. Travis Bradberry: 15 Signs You Are Emotionally Intelligent. Interestingly, many of the 15 points are character traits taught in New Thought circles. Some of the points are also addressed in The Four Agreements and The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz.

More of the notes I took during the discussion include …

  • We live a happier life by not engaging in every emotion that comes up
  • Curiosity keeps us out of judgment and into empathy
  • Using mindful meditation to step into the role of an observer of our lives increases our emotional intelligence

I concluded from my research (and our discussion) that EQ is not a goal but a lifelong self-improvement process, much like New Thought teaching.

 

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