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What is Emotional Intelligence?
The ability to solve quadratic equations may be a function of a person’s IQ, but the ability to deal with everyday stresses, shifting priorities, demanding people, and difficult situations is a function of EQ or emotional intelligence.
In fact, people who score high on the EQ scale operate with a different, yet vitally important kind of intelligence. That’s not to say that intellect or IQ is not important. Incredible progress has been made over the years by applying our intellect to our toughest problems. We’ve engineered some of the very best equipment and machinery. We’ve reduced our costs. We’ve driven our productivity up. We’ve improved our processes based on sound facts. And, we’ve based our financial decisions on good solid data and reasoning power. So, make no mistake, intellect has proven invaluable and will continue to be invaluable to drive our businesses success. However, if we want to soar beyond our present horizons, we must blend the progress that we’ve made in business using intellect and IQ with the invaluable competencies of emotional intelligence or EQ. It is our emotional intelligence that will solve our retention and morale problems, improve our creativity, create synergy from teamwork, speed our information by way of sophisticated people networks, drive our purpose, and ignite the best and most inspired performance from our people.
So just what is emotional intelligence? With the risk of oversimplifying, emotional intelligence is the dimension of intelligence responsible for our ability to manage ourselves and our relationships with others. Included are skills that drive our internal world as well as our response to the external world. There are five components of emotional intelligence.
They include: a well-honed timing for emotional expression and emotional control; empathy for others; social expertise that allows us to develop strong relationships; personal influence that helps us advance our purpose with others; and an integrity that aligns us with our life’s purpose.
Each day our emotional intelligence is put to the test. Most often, how we react to situations will build goodwill and co-operation with others or will further drive wedges into tenuous relationships. When an person can master appropriate internal emotional reactions to situations and also master his external response, the person is operating with a high level of emotional intelligence. Too often, feelings of self-doubt, frustration or anger will take over and control a person’s outward expression in a particular situation. How many times have you heard a person say, “I just couldn’t help it, I was just so frustrated I had to react the way I did?”
In relationships it’s important that you recognize that those reactions can also paralyze getting done. Underlying tensions and emotions make their way to every communication. Yes, I know, you have probably been taught that emotion doesn’t belong on the “outside”. But the reality is that it’s inescapable. Emotion is present – everyday, everywhere. Therefore, as you have improved your life by way of applying intellectual resources, (education) now is the time to recognize that you can also make dramatic improvements that will help you reach your goals by improving you emotional intelligence. Unlike IQ, which tends to remain fixed throughout a person’s lifetime, emotional intelligence can be improved over time.
To start with, its important to realize we have control over our emotions, in other words, we are not our emotions or (feelings) in the moment.
We are not our thoughts either. What we are is a complex evolving matrix of unlimited potential and it doesn’t have to be driving by feelings.
A way to practice with managing our feelings/emotions is to use the 4:1 ratio of thoughts to feelings.
Four thoughts contemplating something easy and effortless, they don’t even have to be associated with the subject at hand.
Just four thoughts that bring us peace and calm, and help us remain detached from those pesky feelings.
Then allow one check in with feelings – what am I feeling now ?
Find four loving kind feelings that bring you into a very different state from what your feelings are telling you.
Write them out here: (some suggestions)
* Taking a deep breath in
* Allowing the body to go lose and limp
* Think about relaxing muscles
* Think of a favourite thing that brings you a sense of peace
Now return to the emotion you were feeling just 4 short thoughts ago…
How has that emotion changed?
Now return to four more thoughts that bring you into a sense of peaceful acceptance –
How do you feel now?