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Emotional Intelligence - What It Is

Emotional Intelligence (EI), often referred to as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the ability to recognise, understand, manage, and effectively use emotions in oneself and others. It's a crucial aspect of human interaction, personal development, and success in various aspects of life, including relationships, work, and overall well-being. The concept of emotional intelligence was popularised by psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer and further developed by Daniel Goleman in the 1990s.

Emotional intelligence is typically divided into several components:

  • Self-awareness: This is the ability to recognise and understand one's own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and thought patterns. Self-aware individuals can accurately assess their emotional state and its impact on their behaviour.

  • Self-regulation: This involves managing and controlling one's emotions and impulses. People with strong self-regulation can stay calm under pressure, adapt to changing circumstances, and avoid impulsive reactions.

  • Motivation: This component involves having a strong intrinsic drive to achieve goals, even in the face of setbacks. Motivated individuals tend to be more persistent and focused on their objectives.

  • Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It allows individuals to connect with others on an emotional level, which is essential for building and maintaining healthy relationships.

  • Social skills: Strong social skills encompass effective communication, conflict resolution, collaboration, and the ability to build and maintain positive relationships. People with good social skills tend to be adept at navigating social situations and fostering a supportive environment.

Developing emotional intelligence can lead to various benefits, including improved communication, better relationships, increased resilience in the face of challenges, enhanced leadership abilities, and greater overall well-being. It's important to note that emotional intelligence is not fixed and can be developed and improved over time through self-awareness, self-reflection, mindfulness, and practice.

In professional settings, many organisations recognise the value of emotional intelligence in leaders and employees, as it can contribute to a positive work environment, effective teamwork, and better decision-making. Training programs and workshops are often offered to help individuals enhance their emotional intelligence skills.

In the next blog I’ll give some suggestions of those who may struggle with EI.

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