When you bring up the topic of intelligence, most people automatically think about the brain and cognitive intelligence. Few people realize that there is also emotional intelligence, defined by the dictionary as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Basically, it’s the ability to identify and manage your emotions, and other people’s emotions too.
In today’s world, emotional intelligence is a valuable tool in navigating human communication and strengthening human connection. Whether it’s your business or personal life, relationships are the cornerstone of a fulfilling life. Emotional intelligence is the key to cultivating these relationships. In fact, over 60% of successful entrepreneurs have high emotional intelligence.
So how do you figure out how emotionally intelligent you are? And how do you increase it? Author Daniel Golman’s book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” identifies 5 key areas of emotional intelligence:
1. Self-awareness – How you see yourself
2. Self-regulation – How you control yourself
3. Empathy – How you understand other people
4. Motivation – How willing you are to take action
5. Social skill – How you handle interacting with others
According to Golman, “The Rutgers University-based Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (CREIO) has led the way in catalyzing this scientific work…Today companies worldwide routinely look through the lens of EI in hiring, promoting, and developing their employees. For instance, Johnson and Johnson found that in divisions around the world, those identified at mid career as having high leadership potential were far stronger in EI competencies than were their less-promising peers.”
If you are lacking in one or more of these 5 areas, you’ll benefit from spending some time developing them. Improving each of these 5 areas will raise your overall emotional intelligence. In turn, you’ll be less reactive, more agile in stressful environments, and be better at navigating relationships with a wide variety of personalities. You’ll also have a stronger sense of focus and intuition when reading other people’s emotions.
In my next blog, I’ll dive into how to develop these areas. For more info on Daniel Golman’s work, visit www.danielgolman.info.