Friday, July 13, 2012

Emotional Intelligence

Researchers originated this idea of Emotional Intelligence as the missing link in terms of success and effectiveness in life. It didn't seem to make sense why people with high IQs and superior reasoning, verbal, and math skills could still struggle in social and professional situations.
If you have a high EIQ, you likely regulate your emotions well; handle uncertainties and difficulties without excessive panic, stress, and fear; and avoid overreacting to situations before knowing the full details.
If you have a low EIQ, you might be oversensitive to other people’s feelings in response to you; obsess about problems until you find a concrete solution; and frequently feel a tsunami of emotions that you can’t attribute to a specific life event. Or in other words, you may feel bad far more often than you feel good.
Some Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence:
1. Understand what emotional intelligence looks like.
Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified five elements to EI: self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. This means you understand what’s going on in your head and heart; you don’t make hasty decisions on impulse; you can motivate yourself to delay gratification; you listen to, understand, and relate to other people well; and you’re able to focus on other people.
You can read more about these ideas in Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ.
2. Use meditation to regulate emotions.
I am exploring emotional intelligence and have listed a few meditation tips to help with EI. It’s infinitely easier to deal with emotions as they arise if you’ve already done a little work to create a calm inner space.
3. Take an honest look at your reactions.
Do you frequently jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts? Do you need other people’s approval to feel comfortable in your own skin? Do you assume you know what other people feel and take responsibility for that? Do you freak out over stressful situations, blaming other people, getting hard on yourself, and panicking over possible consequences?
4. Practice observing your feelings and taking responsibility for them.
It’s not always easy to understand a feeling when it happens, especially if you think youshouldn’t feel it; but forget about should. Instead, try to pinpoint exactly what you feel—scared, frustrated, worried, ashamed, agitated, angry—and then pinpoint what might be the cause.Reserve all judgment.
Simply find the cause and effect, i.e.: your employer seemed unhappy with your work, so now you feel stressed, or your significant other expressed dissatisfaction, so now you feel scared. Anytime you feel something uncomfortable that you’d rather avoid, put a magnifying glass on it.
Once you know what you feel, you can now challenge both the cause and the effect.
You can ask yourself whether or not you’re overreacting to the event or worrying to find a sense of control. And then you can accept that there is an alternative—you can choose to interpret the situation a different way, soothe yourself, and then feel something different. No one else causes our feelings. Only we can choose and change them.

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