What is emotional intelligence and why is it important?
How emotional are you, as a person? Very emotional, quite emotional, not too emotional or not at all emotional could be your answer. But what if we told you that psychologically, you cannot NOT be emotional? What we mean when we say this, is simply that all of us have a capacity to contain our emotions. The capacity may vary in each of us and the way you express your emotions could also be quite different.
If you had spoken about emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) about 5-7 years ago, you would barely have any audience who would’ve known what it is. But given the current scenario, that has changed remarkably. Emotional intelligence is fast gaining prominence and rightly so. EQ is a comparatively new concept that came into being in the 1990s.
What is emotional intelligence?
A simple definition of emotional intelligence is to be the ability to keep a check of your own emotions as well as that of others. Broadly speaking, emotional intelligence is when you can identify, label and distinguish between different emotions and can utilize those emotions to influence others.
It is that part of your intelligence that you need to use when you need to empathize with your coworker, the repeated attempts to handle unruly adolescents or simply the very fact that you want to have endless conversations with your spouse that is deep and organic.
Anu Sachar, a psychologist as well as a life coach explains to us in a better way, “As humans, we are expected to think and speak logically. We are considered rational if we think logically. Earlier, if you spoke from your heart, you were not considered intelligent. But today, everybody agrees that if you actually think from the emotional point of view, you are equally brilliant.”
Most people also refer to this emotional intelligence as their sixth sense. Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who popularized emotional intelligence mentions in his book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’, that there are 5 key elements to it:
- Self-awareness: The ability to know oneself is of paramount importance. You need to know yourself well in order to focus on anything that you need to acquire.
- Self-regulation: When you are self-regulated, you keep a tab on your emotions. That literally means that you can control your emotions just as well as you can tap on other’s emotions.
- Motivation: Those who are emotionally intelligent re resilient and optimistic at the same time. Motivation is the key to walk up the aisle.
- Empathy: Empathy is a VERY important quality. One needs to be empathetic in order to be able to connect with people.
- Social skills: Social skills ensure that you care for those around you and respect each of them equally. That is extremely important for you to get pally with others.
How is it relevant to you?
I’d say, EQ is the most relevant today. And why do I say that? Lemme explain this through a simple example: Have you ever wondered how some people are extremely successful in their personal and professional lives? Ever turned green with envy when you think of how supremely intelligent they are? Let’s bust the myth for you- They possess a high level of emotional intelligence and that is NOT the same as Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
- A lot of researchers have argued that EQ is more significant than IQ- when it comes to the workplace. Well, we do not know what is more important but surely, EQ is an indispensable part of one’s personality.
- Unless you are high on emotional intelligence, you cannot strike the right balance between personal and professional life, which is a prerequisite for success.
- That could answer all your queries about how some of us seem better at balancing things than the rest!
- Also, what is important to understand is that people with a high EQ maintain good interpersonal relations. All of these qualities are MUST-HAVES for success.
Given all of these, EQ is the most relevant and important today. Thus, go ahead and embrace that emotional side of yours!