When it comes to intelligence, not everything has to deal with book smarts. According to Plato, all learning has some emotional basis, and this is true. Emotional intelligence, or “street smarts”, is an essential component of intelligence that is going to help us navigate through life effectively, which makes emotional intelligence training important for each of us. Emotional intelligence will help you build strong relationships, succeed at work, and achieve both your career and personal goals. If you believe you are in need of some emotional intelligence training, then let’s take a look at the 5 skills associated with emotional intelligence and how you can better practice each of them.
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
Emotional intelligence is important because it:
- Allows us to use, understand, and manage our emotions and feelings in positive ways.
- It impacts and effects the ways in which we behave and how we interact with others on a daily basis.
- If our emotional intelligence is strong, we are able to use it to draw people towards us and understand the relationships we have with others.
- Emotional intelligence can help us live a more fulfilling and success life.
Attributes of Emotional Intelligent People
When preparing for emotional intelligence training, it is important to be aware of the attributes of highly emotional intelligence individuals. Knowing these qualities will show you which characteristics you should pay attention to in your own personality.
- Self-aware: Emotionally intelligent people tend to be self aware. They are able to recognize their own thoughts and emotions and how their feelings affect their behavior. Self aware people are more likely to know their strengths, weaknesses, and be able to exhibit more self confidence.
- Self-management: A skill of emotional intelligence is being able to control and manage certain feeling and behaviors that are impulsive. This helps people better follow through with their commitments and adapt to circumstance.
- Social awareness: Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic. They can read and understand the needs, emotions, and concerns of other people by picking up cues and nonverbal hints. They are able to do well in social situations and contribute a powerful dynamic to groups or organizations.
- Relationship management: It comes as no surprise then that people who are emotionally intelligent know how to properly maintain and nurture good relationships with others. They have skills that enable them to communicate clearly and work well in a team. As such, they are able to respond and manage conflict effectively and use their talents to inspire and motivate those around them.
Skill 1: Reducing Stress
No matter who you are, stress can be debilitating and have a negative effect on your life. Those who practice emotional intelligence are able to communicate their needs and feelings clearly so that they do not feel stress in such high magnitudes. This helps them remain balanced, focused, and in control regardless of the situation. To reduce your feelings of stress:
- Know when you are stressed: And be able to recognize certain feelings and emotions. Do your muscles tighten? Is your breath shallow? Sometimes physical responses are an easy way to know when you are on edge.
- Know how you respond: Different people will react differently when faced with stress. Once you know when you are stressed, you will be able to develop the best techniques and strategies for responding to indicators of stress.
- Find stress-fighting techniques: Find techniques and stress-reducers that work for you. Try to incorporate stress-reducing techniques into your life by engaging your senses. For example, if you are a visual person, then you can aim to surround yourself with images, pictures, or paintings that calm you down and provide you peace.
Skill 2: Emotional Awareness
To understand yourself and control your emotions you are going to need emotional awareness. A lot of people are very out of touch with their emotions, suppress their feelings, or simply do not take the time to process or understand why they do things.
To develop emotional awareness, it is helpful to identify the type of relationship that you have with your emotions. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do your feelings change rapidly?
- Do you feel emotions and physical sensations at the same time?
- Do you pay attention to your feelings and acknowledge your emotions?
Developing emotional awareness is a process, and it can be learned in many different ways. A great way to pick up emotional awareness is through mindful meditation and increasing your spiritual awareness. To learn these techniques, enroll in this mindful meditation course.
Skill 3: Nonverbal Communication
Communication is not just about speaking. A lot of times your nonverbal communication is going to play a large part in how you relay and express your feelings and emotions. For instance: your gestures, hand movements, and tone of voice. To help us better understand ourselves, others, and build connections, we have to take note of our nonverbal communication skills and take the steps to improve them:
- Focus on the other person: When you are in a conversation, even if you are not talking, you need to be able to pick up subtleties of a conversation both verbally and nonverbally.
- Eye contact: Making eye contact shows interest, helps maintain the conversation, and can allow you to evaluate the other person’s response.
- Pick up nonverbal cues: These can be facial expressions, gestures, or timing of the conversation.
Skill 4: Deal with Challenges Effectively
We all have to go through hardships, roadblocks, and frustrations in life. Practicing emotional intelligence will help allow us to deal with these changes in an effective manner by:
- Seeing light in hardships: Instead of getting frustrated, look at things from a different perspective.
- Use humor: Employ gentle humor to get messages across that could have been hard to articulate otherwise.
- Playful communication: By letting yourself relax and laugh, playful communication can help you recharge your body and senses.
- Express creativity: When you loosen up your body and mind, your thinking will be less rigid and more fluid.
Skill 5: Resolve Conflict
Disagreements and conflict will happen at one time or another, and being able to resolve and deal with conflict in a positive and constructive way is a key component in one’s emotional intelligence.
- Stay focused: During conflict, do not try to bring up past situations or old feelings to charge up the current situation. Instead, stay focused in the present on resolving the issues at hand.
- Argue wisely: If you have to argue, argue wisely and in a positive way. Do not spend time and energy arguing about things that are not worth it in the long run.
- Forgive: Being the bigger person and forgiving will free you and allow you and the other party to move past the conflict.
Knowing how to conduct and carry yourself emotionally is just as important as knowing the facts and having a strong IQ. To learn more about the psychology behind emotional intelligence, enroll in this course to help strengthen and develop your skills as an emotionally intelligent leader.