What is Emotional Intelligence and how to develop it?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to positively identify, use, understand, and manage emotions to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.

Emotional intelligence affects many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.

If you have high emotional intelligence, you can recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, and relate to people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to better relate to other people, build healthier relationships, be more successful at work, and lead more fulfilling lives.

In other words, emotional intelligence is the ability to connect with emotions to have a better life. Unlike IQ (intelligence quotient, IQ), which remains the same throughout life, emotional intelligence can develop and refine over time.

How to develop good emotional intelligence?

All the information that reaches the brain comes through our senses, and when this information is extremely stressful or emotional, instinct will take over and our ability to act will be limited to the flight, fight or freeze response. Therefore, to have access to the wide range of options and the ability to make good decisions, we need to be able to balance our emotions at will.

Memory is also strongly linked to emotion. By learning to stay connected to the emotional part of your brain, as well as the rational, you will not only expand your range of options when it comes to responding to a new event, but you will also take emotional memory into account in your decision. This will help prevent you from continually repeating past mistakes.

To improve your emotional intelligence and decision-making skills, you need to understand and manage your emotions. This is accomplished by developing key skills to control and manage overwhelming stress and become an effective communicator.

In a competitive workplace, developing your Emotional Intelligence skills is vital to your professional success. Here are some ways to increase your EQ:

Use an assertive style of communication.

Assertive communication helps a lot to gain respect without appearing too aggressive or too passive. Emotionally intelligent people know how to communicate their opinions and needs in a direct way while still respecting others.

Respond instead of reacting to conflict.

During cases of conflict, emotional outbursts and feelings of anger are common. The emotionally intelligent person knows how to stay calm during stressful situations. They don’t make impulsive decisions that can lead to even bigger problems. They understand that in times of conflict, the goal is a resolution, and they make a conscious decision to focus on ensuring that their actions and words are aligned with that.

Be motivated.

Emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated and their attitude motivates others. They set goals and are resilient to challenges.

Take criticism well.

An important part of increasing your emotional intelligence is being able to receive criticism. Rather than getting offended or defensive, people with a high EQ take a few minutes to understand where the criticism is coming from, how it’s affecting others or their own performance, and how they can constructively resolve any issues.

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