Understanding Emotional Intelligence
Before we dive into the topic of emotional intelligence, let’s take a moment to consider how our emotions can impact our judgement and behavior on a daily basis.
Recall a time when you experienced what we’d traditionally term a “positive” emotion, such as happiness (or even complete elation). Maybe you achieve something in your personal or professional life: you started a new romantic relationship, visited a close friend you hadn’t seen in some time, or accomplished some big at the workplace. How did that positive emotion impact your behavior? How did it affect the way you interacted with other people, or the level of attention and focus you were able to bring to a given task?
Now, take a moment to consider the impact that a negative emotion had on you. Perhaps something frustrating happened at work. Maybe a colleague said something to you that rubbed you the wrong way. What occurred as a result? Did you respond in a way that you later regretted?
If we want to fully embrace the concept of emotional intelligence (EI), we have to understand first and foremost that it’s related to the way we recognize and acknowledge (or, in some cases, fail to recognize and acknowledge) the emotions that occur both within ourselves and in others. When we use emotional intelligence skills effectively, we can better navigate our relationships with our jobs, our coworkers, and — for that matter — with ourselves.
Emotions can either enhance or impair our decisions, our behavior and our performance.
No matter who you are, you’re bound to engage and interact with others on a daily basis. When we understand our emotions from moment to moment, we can better gauge the impact that our behavior will have on those around us. As we begin to develop greater emotional intelligence — that is, a greater ability to understand and adapt to our own emotions and the emotions of others — we’ll open the door to greater success in both our personal and professional lives.