During these uncertain times in our world, you may ask why is emotional intelligence (EQ) important? EQ is being aware of and understanding the emotions you are feeling in the moment. Whether you are a business leader, a leader in your community, a high level professional or a parent (this list can go on and on), emotional intelligence is so critical at this time. Brene Brown’s quote, “If you don’t name what you’re feeling, if you don’t own the feelings, they will eat you alive.”, is a great testament to the value of EQ.
For all of us to get through this period of isolation or social distancing with our mental and physical health intact, it will benefit all of us to be honest with ourselves about the emotions we are having. If you have children or grandchildren, help them identify their feelings, otherwise you will witness all kinds of unwanted emotional eruptions. By helping them in this way you are teaching them self-regulation, a fundamental of EQ.
DEFINING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
The original definition, as coined by the team of Salovey and Mayer (1990) is: Emotional intelligence refers to the collection of abilities used to identify, understand, control and assess the emotions of the self and others. Daniel Goleman further defined EQ with these five elements:
Self-awareness: is the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
Self-regulation: is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting.
Motivation: is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond an external drive for knowledge, surroundings, power or money and are based on an internal drive to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
Social awareness: is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how your words and actions affect others.
Social regulation: is your ability to influence the emotional clarity of others by being skilled in managing relationships and building networks.
BENEFITS TO YOU
So, you may be asking what are the benefits of practicing emotional intelligence?
It enables compassion for others: Leaders possessing EQ are not afraid of others’ emotions, which enables you to care about others, like your family, your employees or your customers.
It enables effective communication. Motivating and influencing others comes from effective communication. You gain clarity and consistency, so others understand you and what you expect of them.
It enables mutual trust and respect. Your team, your family, your neighbors find you reliable from an emotional standpoint. This garners trust and respect.
It enables you to be vulnerable with others: If you can show emotions and vulnerability, others feel safe to reciprocate, resulting in true connection. At this point in time we all need to feel connected!
It enables you to influence others: Emotional clarity is the basis to developing and nurturing relationships with others.
Based on the turmoil going on at the macro level of our nation and the world, down to your own micro level at home, be a good steward of your own emotions. Stress can bring out the worst in you. Being mindful of your emotions during this time can help you find “peace of mind” as you manage your day-to-day relationships with your family members and people that work for and with you. EQ is important to be an effective leader. If you’d like to know more about the power of emotional intelligence, please reach out to me.