The concept of emotional intelligence is not a new one. Also known as emotional leadership (EL), emotional quotient (EQ), and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ), the term first appeared in a paper by a member of the Department of Psychology Teachers College, at Columbia University, back in 1964.
In a nutshell, the term expresses the capability of someone to recognize their emotions and those of others. Emotional intelligence includes the ability to discern feelings and use this information to guide behavior and thinking. It can be used to manage emotions so one can adapt to different environments and achieve set goals.
What Does It Mean to Be Emotionally Intelligent?
Someone who’s emotionally intelligent does more than become aware of their emotions. It means they have a higher awareness of not only their feelings but also the feelings of those around them. When someone has a high EQ, it means they’re able to be empathetic and communicate with those around them in a more comprehensive way.
There are four different types of emotional intelligence, and they often overlap. One can be versatile in one and lack skills in another.
Self-management – being able to take responsibility for one’s behavior and well-being.
Self-awareness – the capacity to be conscious of one’s character, feelings, beliefs, and desires.
Social awareness – being able to empathize with others despite backgrounds and cultures.
Relationship management – the capacity of supervising and maintaining a healthy relationship.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Emotionally Intelligent?
Noticing the signs of emotional intelligence in others is not as complicated as one would imagine. Various signs, ways of talking, and interacting can be considered clues to someone’s emotional intelligence. If you know someone with an outstanding ability to manage their emotions, be empathetic towards others, and have a sound understanding of how to handle themselves, odds are they have a high EQ.
5 Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence
If you must, consider looking for these emotional intelligence characteristics or components. Similarly, to the types of emotional intelligence, these characteristics stem from Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence.”
- Self-awareness – they’re comfortable with their thoughts, emotions, and belief. They’re fully aware of how these impact others.
- Self-regulation – they excel at managing their impulses and emotions. They understand that action without caution can damage their relationships.
- Internal motivation – they’re not driven by money or materialistic things only. They place more value on passion, which leads to sustained motivation.
- Empathy – they’re able to understand everyone’s emotions. They use this understanding to manage their relationships better.
- Social skills – they’re friendly with a purpose. They treat everyone with respect, and they understand that cultivating these healthy relationships can benefit them in the future.
How Do I Become More Emotionally Intelligent?
Working on your emotional intelligence can benefit you greatly. From helping you manage your relationships better to even earning more money, emotional intelligence is a critical part of our self-development.
Here are some tips on how to develop your emotional intelligence.
Manage your negative emotions – avoid confrontation and reduce your negative emotions to be less overwhelmed. Consider practicing mindfulness to notice how your perspective changes.
Be mindful of your words – choose your words wisely. Focus on being a stronger communicator at work and in your personal life.
Practice empathy – try to focus on how things look from someone else’s perspective. As they say, place yourself in someone else’s shoes for a day or two.
Become aware of your stressors – emotional intelligence is also about self-awareness. Keep an eye open for stressors, and do your best to prevent or avoid them as much as possible.
Practice positive thinking – adversity can bring you down and set you back. Bounce back from adversity by practicing positive thinking and optimism instead of complaining.
Your emotional intelligence will also evolve; it’s an ever-changing, ever-adjusting element of ourselves. Having a high level of emotional intelligence will serve you in every aspect of your life. Make sure you’re taking the time to work on yours.