Managing Emotional Intelligence

It is common that many individuals find it difficult, to connect with others in the modern world. When you factor in the massive influence technology has on our everyday lives, it can inhibit our connection with other people placing even more importance on emotional intelligence (EI).

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to be able to effectively identify, understand and manage emotions in a positive way. It can help to; alleviate stress, be an effective communicator, have empathy for others, deal with challenges and overcome conflict.

Emotional Intelligence is often defined by;

  1. Self-Awareness – Ability to recognise your emotions.
  2. Self- Management – Ability to be able to control impulsive feelings and behaviours in a healthy way.
  3. Social Awareness – Understanding of the emotional needs of others and ability to pick up on emotional cues.
  4. Relationship Management – Know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, manage conflict and work well in a team.

 Why is Emotional Intelligence So Important? 

Emotional intelligence can affect your performance at work. EI will help you navigate your way through social complexities’ within the workplace. Additionally, emotional intelligence helps leaders motivate others and helps one build on work relationships. Many companies and hiring managers will view emotional intelligence as an important quality when screening candidates and will use EQ testing in the sourcing process.

When you have poor emotional intelligence, it is likely that managing stress will be problematic for you. Uncontrolled stress will take a toll on your physical health increasing the risk of heart attack, suppressing your immune system and raising blood pressure.

How Can You Improve Your EI? 

  1. Make a conscious effort to recognise and pay attention to your emotions
  2. Incorporate emotions into your decision making process.
  3. Avoid planning the future or thinking too much about the past. Concentrate on the present.
  4. Be aware of your body language and the nonverbal messages you signal to others.
  5. Use light humour to relieve stress.

Building Emotional Intelligence 

When building emotional intelligence, it is also important to equip yourself with the four key skills required to maintain a good emotional intelligence level.

Key Skills 1: Self Awareness

When it comes to self-awareness, you have to think about what kind of relationship you have with your emotions – For example, are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach throat and chest or do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment? You can help build self-awareness with the practice of mindfulness which reduces stress.  Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and taking focus away from the past or the present.

Key Skills 2: Self Management

Being emotionally aware is the first step to emotional management. In order for you to engage your emotional intelligence, it is crucial to be able to use your emotions to make constructive decisions about your behaviour. Becoming overly stressed can cause you to lose control of your emotions. When we are very stressed, our ability to think clearly can be reduced. Meditation such as Yoga can be an excellent tool to help us be centred and focused.

Key Skills 3: Social Awareness

Social Awareness is a skill that is needed to pick up on nonverbal cues that others send to us. These cues are very important to be able to understand the emotions that are others are experiencing. If our minds and thoughts are elsewhere, it is hard to experience social awareness. Again, mindfulness is a powerful enabler in helping us improve social awareness.  We are more likely to further our social goals and objectives if we put our thoughts and goals aside in social situations to focus on the interaction itself

Key Skills 4: Relationship Management

Once emotional awareness is in play, you can develop additional social and emotional skills that will make your relationships more fulfilling and successful. With this in mind, it is important to become aware of how effectively you use nonverbal communication.  You will always inevitably send nonverbal message to individuals which will convey how we are felling towards them. It can be important to use humour as a natural antidotes to stress which will calm you and strengthen your mind. It is also recommended to see conflict as a way to grow closer to others. Conflict and disagreements are inevitable but resolving conflict in a healthy constructive way will strengthen trust between people.

As a leading banking and financial services recruitment agency, we know about the correlation of an individual’s emotional intelligence and their success when it comes to interviews. Remember, improving emotional health and well being takes time but concentrating on the above 4 skills will help you build on emotional intelligence and provide positive outcomes.