Advertising
Advertising

This Is What Will Happen When You Become Emotionally Intelligent

This Is What Will Happen When You Become Emotionally Intelligent

The head and the heart combine to create emotional intelligence. You want to have emotionally intelligent people on your team. They have the ability to navigate through sticky emotional waters. If you were drowning in emotion, you would want an emotionally intelligent person as your proverbial lifeguard.

Emotion Intelligence (EQ) is not a new concept. Two psychologists – Jack Mayer, Ph.D. of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey, Ph.D. of Yale University were the first to coin the term in 1989.

The Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto explains:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Daniel Goleman is the new father of EQ. His book Emotional Intelligence explains how emotionally intelligent people are really good at handling themselves and relationships.

Advertising

Here’s what happens when you become Emotionally Intelligent:

Emotionally Intelligent

    1. You will use your head and heart to solve problems.

    Emotional Intelligence isn’t the triumph of heart over head, it’s the combination of the two. Emotional intelligent people are able to use and regulate emotions in order to solve problems. Some would even argue that EQ is now more important that IQ. Being smart does not necessarily translate into success.

    2. You will have self-awareness when you’re emotionally Intelligent.

    Self-awareness is knowing what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling that way. It’s about being switched on to what’s going on during an emotional situation. Knowing where feelings are coming from, and helping to figure out how to work through them is an important part of behaving in an emotionally intelligent manner. When we’re upset or overwhelmed for unforeseen reasons, it makes it more challenging to overcome the problem — it’s like going somewhere new without a map.

    3. You will have strong self-management skills.

    Self-management in emotionally intelligent people refers to the ability to regulate emotions. It’s knowing when being emotional is resourceful and when it can be harmful. Some of us wear our heart on our sleeves, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but you’re far more likely to get burned out if you always operate in this way. Some situations call for a big, sobbing cry and other times it’s best to keep it to yourself. Having strong self-management skills is knowing the time and place for emotions.

    Advertising

    4. You will be a good leader.

    Leaders who don’t lead with their heart are rigid. Daniel Goleman explains:

    The CEO of one of the world’s largest money management firms was puzzled. He wanted to know why there was a Bell curve for performance among his employees, with a few outstanding, most in the middle, and a few poor. After all, he hired only the best and brightest graduates from the top schools – shouldn’t they all be outstanding?

    That same puzzle was explored in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller David and Goliath, which I recently read. Malcolm was befuddled by the finding that many of those in the mid to low achievement spectrum of Ivy League schools did not turn out to be world leaders – despite their SAT scores being higher than even the best students at the so-so colleges, who fared better.

    Gladwell and that CEO share a certain muddle in their reasoning: they assumed that academic abilities should predict how well we do in life. They don’t.

    5. You will be empathetic.

    Empathy is your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Having empathy as an emotionally intelligent person allows you to step outside of yourself and see another person’s perspective. Psychcentral.com says that empathy is a skill that is learned.

    Advertising

    By the time a child is about 4 years old, he begins to associate his emotions with the feelings of others.

    Empathy is learned through interactions and play when we are young. Dr Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute of Play, was a young professor of psychiatry at Baylor University in Texas when he overheard a live radio broadcast of gunshots occurring during the Charles Whitman massacre in 1966. He was studying aggression and was told by his boss to begin researching why Whitman committed this heinous crime.

    Brown and his team reconstructed Whitman’s life in great detail and over the course of his research Brown became fascinated with the importance of play and the overwhelming connection of lack of play across several other young homicidal men. They all had dysfunctional childhoods, histories of abuse, and/or exposure to abuse, and/or overbearing fathers/ carers.

    6. You will have impressive social skills.

    Having impressive social skills as an emotionally intelligent person isn’t all about being extroverted. Understanding your audience and your environment takes great skill when navigating a social setting. Possessing qualities of an ambivert will allow you to assess the situation and call on the necessary approach to achieve social success. Through acting like an ambivert, you’ll be a great communicator, be good at conflict resolution and work well in a team. Knowing who you’re interacting with and what their needs are shows acceptance and respect, allowing you to make lots of friends and influence people.

    Advertising

    Emotionally Intelligent

      7. You will be gritty.

      Grit is a relatively new concept researched by Angela Lee Duckworth. She explains in her TED Talk that IQ no longer measures success in students; it’s grit.

      Grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.

      Watch her talk here: The key to success? Grit.

      Forbes.com describes the five characteristics of grit as courage, contentiousness, resilience, follow-through and excellence.

      8. You will be resilient.

      Resilience is our ability to bounce back from hard times. It doesn’t mean turning your cheek to challenging times, it means embracing difficult emotions and using them as an opportunity to grow. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, explains the difference between Post Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Growth in this Harvard Business Review podcast.

      Take a free EQ Quiz here!

      Featured photo credit: 08 — Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: What You Need — Some of the Icons for Anthony Iannarino’s New Book via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Overwhelmed System Overload: How to Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed This Is What Will Happen When You Become Emotionally Intelligent What Love Is Really Like 28 Things Only Americans Living in Australia Would Understand keeping cool in the corporate world How to Keep Your Cool in the Corporate World

      Trending in Communication

      1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 6, 2020

      6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

      6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

      We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

      “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

      Are we speaking the same language?

      My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

      When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

      Am I being lazy?

      When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

      Advertising

      Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

      Early in the relationship:

      “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

      When the relationship is established:

      “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

      It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

      Have I actually got anything to say?

      When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

      A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

      When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

      Am I painting an accurate picture?

      One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

      Advertising

      How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

      Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

      What words am I using?

      It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

      Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

      Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

      Advertising

      Is the map really the territory?

      Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

      A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

      I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

      Read Next