Have you ever thought about the most important factor for success in business and personal life? There are plenty of researches on this topic, but scientists and psychologists have found the answer to this very hot question. This is the level of your emotional intelligence. It does not matter how smart you are and how many degrees you have. The level of education has very little correlation with the level of success and satisfaction with life. The main factor of success is your ability to cope with your own emotions.
What is the emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is responsible for recognition and correct interpretation of emotions. This is what empowers a person with psychological flexibility and the ability to interact with the surrounding world efficiently. That is why the concept of emotional intelligence was recognized in the first place in terms of building a career and self-development.
After all, to be emotionally intelligent you have to: understand yourself, understand other people, manage yourself, and manage the situation.
Who to blame for emotions and emotional meltdowns?
Many people think that our mood and emotions, experienced every day, depend on external circumstances. In fact, this is not the external circumstances and events that create our emotions. We are the ones responsible for them. Our attitude to life is the one that forms our emotions which are reflected in the reactions poured on other people. Or not poured. It’s up to you to decide. Whenever you behave in a certain way, blame your thinking process for that, and not the environment and the events. Remember that they can influence your mood and attitude but not the way you react to them.
90% of all people experience the process of emotion origin as follows: external event (hiring) —–> emotion (delight, joy, motivation) —–> actions (initiative, overheating the KPIs) —> result (promotion).
In fact, this scheme looks a little bit different: external event (hiring) ——-> THOUGHT (the value that you are attributed to the event) ——> emotion —-> actions ——-> result.
Our thoughts are that key layer of interpretation that can handle emotions and promise a happy life if handled right. The earlier we become aware of it, the sooner we become masters of our emotions.
How to develop EQ?
The great news is that emotional intelligence is easy to develop. The methodology of EQ development is simple and easy to understand, however, requires attention and constant training. Here are the most simple and effective exercises:
Realize what is happening. Be aware of what is happening at this particular moment. It’s a part where you focus your attention on. Do not evaluate your feelings, just notice them. Why is this useful? Emotions manifest through our bodies, so paying attention to your body sensations can help you find out what emotions you are experiencing now.
Do not divide emotions into good or bad. If you think some emotions are bad and block experiencing them, you deprive yourself of their resource. You spend energy on getting rid of this emotion instead of taking advantage of what it points out. Begin to experience all emotions without labeling them.
Notice emotional patterns. In your experience, there may be stories that developed emotional patterns for you which can complicate your life. For instance, you cannot say “no” when you are snowed under extra work, though you understand that you have the right not to do it as it’s not your responsibility. Now tell yourself what will happen if you say “no”? Don’t you feel relief if you do so? If it’s your right, you don’t have to feel obliged to agree to everything people tell you to do! Remember that.
Develop empathy. Prof. John Medina, the author of the book Brain Rules, tells how to develop a reflex of empathy. Describe the emotional changes that you notice in another person and imagine what could have caused them. Even if you make a mistake in your assumptions, this will be a good start to a conversation about what a person is going through.
How to use emotional intelligence at work?
Adam Grant, scientist, psychologist, and professor at the Wharton School of Business, writes that in the fields where emotions matter, higher emotional intelligence led to better results. Sales managers, real estate agents, call center representatives and consultants worked more successfully when they recognized their own and other people’s emotions and could cope with stress. How can you use emotional intelligence to improve performance?
Use the information that emotions give you to achieve goals.
Express emotions so that it helps to solve business problems.
Create an emotional climate in the team; where there are support and motivation overcome difficulties.
Develop new, more productive emotional habits.
Structurally resolve conflicts.
Still, it would be wrong and unfair to say that emotional intelligence help to specialists of all professions. For instance, financial analysts, IT specialists, and translators should not focus on emotions as they mostly deal with machines or mechanisms. But if you look at house cleaners, babysitters, or caregivers, then you can say that these people cannot be professionals without being able to:
perceive and understand other people’s emotions and feelings;
direct their own emotions into the working process;
understand the feeling hiding behind this or that emotion;
Emotional intelligence is important not to hide our emotions but to learn how to direct them in the right way, see “good in bad” and, finally, to control them. The ability to control emotions allows us to take charge of the situations and events around us. That gives us power.
Apart from that, emotional intelligence let us perceive new information, process it and use it in the future more effectively let alone the understanding of other people that help in personal relationships and in the career. You do we need that? To be socially adapted and, thus, happier.