Most people in the world are controlled by their emotions; the good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned, developed and improved upon.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is about making sense of your own emotions, and learning to use this powerful insight to your advantage. Many people struggle with low emotional intelligence and this holds them back in their career. Emotional intelligence is a skill that needs to be developed and worked on.
In my opinion emotional intelligence is more important than intellectual ability (IQ). Great leader’s have a high level of emotional intelligence that allows them to influence, manage and support other people at work. Despite this, emotional intelligence is not as well understood. This is why I wrote the article What nobody teaches you about emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence and great Leaders
Great leaders are unique, because they understand human emotions. They understand that emotions are feelings that carry an important message. Instead of ignoring or suppressing a difficult emotion, they work through the process of identifying where it has come from.
Emotions are feelings felt in the body, in response to your thoughts. The difficult emotion, for example anger is a reaction to your thoughts about a certain situation. I wrote a guest post on Bayart.org about how to manage anger more mindfully that will help you let go of anger. Anger is a particularly toxic emotion and this article explains a simple way to disentangle yourself from the unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours that keep it going.
Emotionally intelligent people are able to free themselves from negativity by accepting challenging situations for what they are, and looking for ways to resolve the problems. This allows them to authentically let go of negative emotions. Situations that cause negative emotions are often out of your control, but your thoughts about the situation are completely within your control. This type of self understanding allows you to change how you see problems and challenges. By changing your perspective, you can respond to challenges much more effectively.
Great leaders have a high level of conscious awareness that helps them to manage their emotions. This allows them to communicate more effectively with other people and make better decisions. They understand how to let go of ego, and this is what makes them such great leaders.
It is their ability to include everybody, that create’s unity and excellent team work. They are able to think creatively and find clever solutions to challenging problems.
Why boost your emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence plays a big part in determining your success in your career, more than your IQ or intellect. People who have higher emotional intelligence are happier and more fulfilled.
Communication is important in all areas of life. This includes how you communicate with yourself. We all have the ability to feel our emotions, but how many people suppress them, fight them or even ignore them? The skill of dropping your inner critic and finding your inner wisdom takes time to master.
Great communication starts within yourself, so the next time you hear that persistent self critical voice in your head, use this technique to connect to your natural state of being – present moment awareness.
The Secret to boost your emotional intelligence
* Image source: Geralt from Pixabay
This simple exercise will help you practice self awareness.
1. Take a few deep breaths and focus on the room you are in.
2. Become aware of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
3. Become aware of your thoughts.
4. Become aware of how you feel in your body.
5. Then become aware of background stillness. (This is the background space in which steps 1-4 happen). You have to be alert, sometimes it helps to direct your attention into your body.
6. You could also find stillness by being mindful of your surroundings.
- Stillness is your natural state of ‘being’ – present moment awareness.
Putting everything into perspective
This exercise is a meditation that allows you to be more mindful of how you think, feel and act. When you start becoming aware of your thoughts and how you feel, the skill of awareness can be developed and improved over time.
When you practice this exercise, you realise you are the awareness behind the thoughts, emotions and sensations.
Pure awareness is your natural state of consciousness.When you practice this exercise, it trains you to observe thoughts and feelings coming and going. It allows you to put everything into perspective. It is the key to mastering emotional intelligence.