Emotional Intelligence

In terms of happiness and life success, there is need of emotional intelligence just as intellectual ability is of importance. It is through emotional intelligence that people are able to create stronger relationships, achieve career and personal goals, and succeed at work. It is therefore important for a person to understand what emotional intelligence is all about and how to boost it. Emotional intelligence is defined as the person’s ability to identify, understand, use, and manage emotion in a manner that will help in relieving stress, communicating effectively, empathizing with others, overcoming challenges, and defusing conflict (Bradberry& Greaves, 2009). Through emotional intelligence, a person’s behavior is regulated as well as the way a person interacts with others. This is the reason that people with high emotional intelligence are not only able to recognize their own emotional state but as well as the emotional state of the people they interact with. This way, a person engages others in a manner that will draw them to him.

Emotional intelligence has four major attributes namely self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self-awareness enables a person recognize his emotions and the manner in which they affect his behavior and thoughts as well as knowing one’s weaknesses and strengths and thus build self-confidence. Through self-management, a person is able to control impulsive behaviors and feelings, manage his emotions in positive ways, follow commitments, take initiative, and adapt to changing environments.  Self-management is defined as the process used to sustain and activate one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors so as to achieve one’s goals. Through self-management, a person sets goals and mobilizes the required resources and efforts towards reaching the goals. It is argued that self-regulated learners are metacognitive, strategic, and motivated to learn. They have self-control and academic learning skills making learning easier since they have the skill and will to learn. They are able to transform their mental abilities into academic strategies and skills (Woofolk, 2014).

Social awareness is not concerned about the individual. It helps the individual to understand the needs, emotions, and concerns of others. This way, the person is able to pick-up on emotional signs and thus feels comfortable when in social groups. It also helps the individual recognize the power dynamics used in groups and organizations. The attribute of emotional intelligence is relationship management. This is the attribute that helps people maintain healthy relationship, inspire and encourage others, communicate clearly, manage conflict, and work well in groups. Through relationship management, a person relates and interacts well with other people and especially when in teams or socializing(Mersino, 2013).

Emotional intelligence is very important in people’s lives. It is notable that not the smartest individuals are the most fulfilled or most successful in life. There are so many people who are academically brilliant but socially inept or unsuccessful at their work/ personal relationships. This implies that intellectual intelligence is not the only requirement for success in life. While one’s intellectual intelligence will help a person qualify in the best colleges, it is one’s emotional intelligence that will help in managing experienced stress and emotions when preparing for the final exams. As a result, emotional intelligence affects different aspects in a person’s life including one’s performance at work, physical health, mental health, and relationships. Emotional intelligence helps a person understand, express, and control his emotions as well as understand others’ emotions leading to stronger relationships at work and at home (Feldman&Mulle, 2007). 

In terms of performance at work, emotional intelligence helps in navigating the social complexities existing in the workplace. One is able to motivate and lead others and thus excel in his career. This is the reason emotional intelligence is regarded as crucial as technical ability when hiring new employees. Emotional intelligence is also very important in improving or regulating one’s physical health. This is because one is able to manage stress levels and thus be freed from uncontrolled stress that raises blood pressure, increases heart attack and stroke risks, suppresses the immune system, and hastens the aging process. Emotional intelligence also helps in regulating mental health since uncontrolled stress poses one to depression and anxiety (Rothstein& Burke, 2010). One’s ability to control stress levels helps in managing mood swings.      

Since emotional intelligence is very crucial in one’s life, it is important to learn ways of raising one’s emotional intelligence. This is only possible after a person understands and manages his emotions. A person should thus develop key skills that enable him control and manage overwhelming stressing issues. There are different ways of learning the key skills that help in building emotional intelligence. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the skills can be learned by anyone at any time. However, the difference comes in the way the skills are applied. A person does not only need to learn the key skills but also know how to apply them in his life.

Emotional intelligence is thus built through reduction of stress, staying connected to others and oneself, and remaining focused. This can be done through learning five skills; two skills for managing and controlling overwhelming stress and three skills for improving communication. The skills for controlling stress are ability to reduce stress quickly in different settings and ability to recognize and control emotions from overwhelming oneself. The skills for improving one’s communication are the ability to connect with other people through nonverbal communication, the ability to play and use humor to maintain relationships in challenging situations, and the ability to resolving conflicts with confidence (Benson, 2009).

Rapidly reducing stress immediately after it is experienced is one of the skills of emotional intelligence. A person who is able to calm himself quickly and relieve stress stays focused, balanced, and under control irrespective of the intensity of the stress experienced. The first step in reducing stress is realizing when one is stressed. This is followed by identifying one’s stress response. The people who respond to stress by getting agitated or angry are better to deal with stressing situations when compared to those who become withdrawn and depressed. The last step is discovering stress-busting tactics that work for oneself (Mersino, 2013). One needs to engage different senses in the stressing stimuli so as to find things that are energizing and soothing.

The second skill of improving emotional intelligence is through beating stress experienced in relationships with emotional awareness. This is a skill that enables a person connect effectively with his emotions since he understands the influence stress has on his actions and thoughts. A person needs to understand that denying, distorting or numbing one’s feelings does not eliminate them. Without emotional awareness, a person is unable to understand his motivations as well as unable to communicate effectively with other people (Rothstein& Burke, 2010). Such a person is also easy to become overwhelmed in cases of threatening situations.

A person should also improve his emotional intelligence through improvement of nonverbal communication. Being a good communicator is not only based on verbal skills. The message a person passes across is highly based on the nonverbal signals one sends out. A person holds the attention of other people and ensures strong connection and trust by being aware of and controlling his body language. Similarly, effective communication also includes reading accurately and responding to nonverbal message sent by others. A person should thus ensure that what he says matches with what he feels and thus his body movements. It should be understood that nonverbal communication continues even after a person has stopped speaking. Nonverbal communication is improved through focusing on the other person, paying attention to nonverbal signs, and making eye contact (Bradberry& Greaves, 2009).

The fourth skill of improving emotional intelligence is using humor to handle challenges. It is noted that humor, play, and laughter are great ways of handling life’s difficulties. A good laugh elevates mood, reduces stress, and brings the nervous system to balance. Playful communication helps in taking hardships in stride, smoothening over differences, relaxing and energizing oneself, and becoming more active. Playful time is developed through setting quality playtime, finding enjoyable activities, and playing with young children and animals. Lastly, emotional intelligence is improved through resolving conflicts positively, which are evident in relationships. When conflicts are resolving in healthy rather than threatening ways, they foster freedom, trust, safety, and creativity in relationships. Conflicts are resolved in a positive way by staying focused in the present, choosing one’s arguments wisely, forgiving, and ending conflicts that cannot be resolved (Benson, 2009).

Emotional intelligence is very important in life and thus has to be improved. A person has to look for skills that are required in improving intelligence. This way, a person is able to relate with himself and others in a healthy manner. A person who is in a good relationship with himself and others is able to handle stressing issues with ease.  

 

 

References

Benson, J. D. (2009). The relationship between emotional intelligence and managers’ use of specific directive and supportive behaviors. New York: ProQuest.

Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009).Emotional intelligence 2.0.San Diego, Calif: TalentSmart.

Feldman, J., &Mulle, K. (2007).Put emotional intelligence to work: EQuip yourself for success. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Mersino, A. (2013). Emotional intelligence for project managers: The people skills you need to achieve outstanding results. London: AMACOM Books.

Rothstein, M. G., & Burke, R. J. (2010).Self-Management and leadership development.Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub.

Woofolk, A. (2014). Educational psychology (12th Ed).  London: Pearson Education.