Most of us experience hundreds of emotions throughout our day and we are mostly unaware and unconscious that those emotions are there. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and in others, and the ability to use this awareness to manage behavior and relationships. Emotional Intelligence is important for success in many areas of life, including our professional life.
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
In our professional life, Emotional Intelligence (aka EQ – emotional quotient) is so important that it accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. When it comes to effective performance in the workplace, it trumps almost every other factor, including intelligence (IQ), personality, education, experience, and gifts. In addition, Emotional Intelligence contributes to the financial success and bottom line in any work organization.
Emotional Intelligence involves competence in two areas – Personal and Social.
Personal competence is the ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies. It includes self-awareness, your ability to stay aware of your emotions, and self-management, managing your behavior.
Social competence involves social awareness and relationship management. This is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behaviors and motives in order to improve the quality of relationships.
It sounds rather simple and most of us think we have mastered these skills. However, we tend to be on auto-pilot, unaware of our emotions and reactions to the circumstances around us.
The Good News 🙂
Good news – Emotional Intelligence can be developed, even fine-tuned. The source of Emotional Intelligence is the communication between your emotional and rational “brains”. Events happen causing an emotional reaction. Typically, the emotional reaction happens before our rational mind is able to engage. Emotional Intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain. Developing Emotional Intelligence skills requires the brain to change. This is called “plasticity”. Using strategies to increase your Emotional Intelligence allows the billions of neurons to create new neuropathways re-wiring your brain with new Emotional Intelligence strategies and behaviors that will become habits.
Blog by Amarie Lewinski, MA, LPC