The concept of emotional intelligence has been around since Aristotle. He wrote:
“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.” ~ Aristotle
Even back then, the great philosophers understood the importance of managing your emotions.
Some people seem to have it to a greater degree and some people, well, not so much. We have all known a few bullies at work, yes? People, who when they are having a bad day, seem determined to pull everyone else down with them.
Leaders especially need to be in charge of their emotions. Take the time to raise your awareness on this important topic. If you master it, every area of your life will improve.
Emotional Intelligence is known as EQ (Emotional Quotient) and it is more than just self-regard or self-esteem.
It is also not about being nice or smiling all of the time. It is not about expressing every emotion you are feeling either.
A person with high EQ has the following qualities and awareness:
- Empathy: The ability to pick up on emotional and social cues and respond appropriately. The ability to read body language and non-verbal communication to understand others better.
- Self-honesty: The ability to know and accept your own qualities, faults, limitations and be able to recognize patterns of behavior that either help or hinder situations. (But don’t beat yourself up.)
- Consciousness: Recognize that emotions you may be feeling can get in the way of accurately assessing emotions in others. Be aware of when you may be projecting your feelings onto others.
The way you work on and improve your EQ is to:
1. Manage your feelings. You can begin with positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you have great coping skills. Tell yourself that everything is okay and not an emergency. Accept that: a) you have a choice, b) you make a difference, and c) you are an important part of the situation.
2. Develop social behaviors. Respond to people’s needs instead of reacting and don’t take anything personal. When others are behaving or acting poorly it may have nothing to do with you. Build conflict resolution skills and be open to feedback.
3. Identify and prioritize what is important. Understand why you may be feeling the way you feel and weigh your decisions based on what is really important (not the urgency you feel in the moment). Separate your feelings with your reaction. You can still be angry but react kindly. By doing this, sometimes we realize we are getting upset over nothing and it’s just NOT that important.
A few words about optimism . . .
“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”
~ Reginald B. Mansell
Educate yourself and grow your EQ to increase your happiness, manage life’s challenges and be a better leader.
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This article was written by Maureen Ross Gemme, Senior Consultant with Learning Dynamics. Visit her personal profile page to learn more about Maureen’s career and expertise.
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Learning Dynamics offers an Emotional Intelligence program designed to maximize the value of EI with leaders who are entrusted with motivating staff. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization develop your supervisors and managers into EI conscious leaders.