As I have observed in my recent posts the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has become a hot topic of psychological research in recent years, as a way of explaining why some people seem to manage their relationships at home and in the workplace better than others. Instead of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), researchers began to study Emotional Quotient (EQ) – the ability to manage your own emotions and “read” those of others accurately. So why is emotional intelligence so important?
Importance at Home
The advantages of understanding the emotions of others in relation to your home life are obvious. Good EI skills mean better communication, and better communication will usually lead to greater harmony and intimacy in terms of romance. In relation to parents, it will lead to more successful establishment of your independence and overall personality. You won’t need to live according to the labels you’ve been given, such as “mother’s little helper” or “the man of the house.”
Once you become a parent, you will be able to avoid the pitfalls of labeling your children, and allow them to develop and grow according to their talents and interests, not yours. Most parents would love it if their children grew up to be doctors, for example, due to that profession’s perceived status and money-earning potential. However, if you child is not the least bit interested in science and shows no compassion for others, trying to steer their career in that direction would be a disaster for the parties concerned.
Knowing yourself is the best first step to knowing others, so if you’ve been struggling at home, it might be time to assess your EI.
Importance in the Workplace
EI has become of great interest in relation to the workplace. Businesses are made up of people, and the most successful business people have been shown to have high EI – not just intelligence in relation to their career or industry.
As with personal relationships, EI in professional relationships starts with self-awareness. Once we understand our emotions, we can control them and express them in a skillful, not harmful way. We can also understand the thoughts, feelings and points of view of others, and be able to respond to their issues appropriately.
Importance in General
EI is important for a number of reasons:
- Mental health and wellbeing – Mastering EI puts us in control of our mind and emotions. It resolves issues from the past and gives us confidence to move toward a better future.
- Physical health – Being in control of your emotions puts you in control of your life, cutting down on stress and conflict. This means less wear and tear on your body and better health.
- Better communication – If you say what you mean, mean what you say, and become a better communicator who is able to pick up up verbal and non-verbal cues, you will be able to make more connections and reduce conflict.
- Better conflict resolution – Even if conflicts do arise despite your increased EI, chances are that they will be easier to resolve because you will be better able to come up with a range of ways to end the issue before it gets out of hand.
- More success – Getting along better with others means a smoother path to greater success.
- Better negotiating skills – Better EI will improve your negotiating skills, so you will be able to come up with “win-win” deals everyone will be happy with.
- Better leadership skills – A leader who is calm, cool, collected, and good at working with others is one other people will be willing to follow. Improve your EI and see what a difference it can make to your life.