What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotions are present in everything you think, do, and say each day on the job, in your career, and throughout your life. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is how you handle yourself and others. Your EQ taps into a fundamental element of human behavior that is distinct from your intellect and personality. It affects how you manage your behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.

People who develop their emotional intelligence communicate more effectively, handle stress and conflict productively, are better team players, are able to navigate change, and also perform at a higher level.


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The Power of Emotional Intelligence: How EQ Can Transform Your Life

We often hear about Emotional Intelligence, but what exactly is it?  Can it really impact our success?  The answer is, yes!  Unlike personality or IQ, emotional intelligence is a skill that one can develop, and it is absolutely essential for personal growth and development as well as social awareness and relational competence. There are four key components: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.


Self-awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations. In times when you are pushed to your breaking point, are you aware of it? When the sudden moment that frustration or anger peaks or the slow, dull build-up of tension and stress culminates—are you aware of how those emotions are impacting your reactions and behavior? How do those emotions feel physically? Does your heart race or your shoulders tense? The first step in strong emotional intelligence is being cognizant of and quickly making sense of your emotions as they are happening.

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Then, in those crucial moments, can you effectively manage yourself to control the impulses and immediate reactions of that emotion? Self-management is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively. What if those emotions might be detrimental to the situation or the interaction? Can you pause and reflect before that emotion dictates your reaction? This self-management skill is essential in how you interact with the world around you.


Once you have mastered your own self emotional intelligence, social awareness helps you learn about and appreciate other people. Social awareness is about listening and observing people to better perceive emotions and understand what’s really going on with them. Do you have the capacity to recognize, acknowledge and empathize with the person across from you? Are you aware of the “emotions in the room?” Can you see the moment the energy shifts? If you can recognize the emotions of the people around you, you are one step closer to being able to impact that situation.

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Relationship Management

The final component of EQ is relationship management. The ability to be aware of the social factors that are influencing the dynamics in the room are half of the equation. The most challenging element that truly separates highly emotionally intelligence individuals from the pack is the ability to manage social situations successfully. Can you pivot and redirect a conversation in the moment? Can you adjust and shift your behavior to change the course of events? This is the power of emotional intelligence.

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