Emotional Intelligence – Do you need to work on it?
Emotional Intelligence redefines what it means to be smart. It provides the missing link to the puzzle as to why some people with high IQ’s falter in life, and those with lower grades at schools - the so called underachievers - are able to perform exceptionally well in life. Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart! (ref: Emotional Intelligence – The Game Changer! Click to read)
How does Emotional Intelligence impact our behavior?
It is a well-known fact that there is never a moment when we are without Emotions, our first reaction to any Situation Is Emotional, especially in challenging and stressful situations. That’s the reason why our body responds to fear or surprise even before we are able to interpret the situation. Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to use emotions as a source of information about self and others, use the information to regulate behavior to produce desired actions, develop better understanding of others and foster better relationships. People with high Emotional Intelligence are aware of their strengths and know how to use them to their advantage, they recognize their weaknesses and learn ways to manage them. They do not get derailed easily, and know the art of staying motivated and motivating others even during roughest of the times.
Emotional Intelligence directly impacts Performance
The above mentioned competencies are highly related to being collaborative, being understanding, and having the ability to stay in control during stressful times. With less emotional balance and less compassion for others, people can be more volatile and are more likely to behave in destructive ways.
Research has proven that EQ scores are closely correlated with performance. EQ attributes to 55% of the variation in 4 key success factors namely: Effectiveness, Wellbeing, Relationships, and Quality of Life.
TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence together with 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.
90% of success at leadership roles is attributed to Emotional Intelligence. (You manage work and lead people - Click to read)
Global Concern - Growing EQ Deficit !
Even though EQ has gained so much prominence in our current world, there is a global deficit in understanding and managing emotions.
1/3rdof people tested were able to accurately identify emotions as they happened
which leaves 2/3rds at the mercy of being controlled by their emotions.
(Dr Travis Bradberry, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, 2009)
Emotional Intelligence continues to decline globally year after year. The biggest losses are in the following competencies:
Navigating Emotions -3.3% (maintaining emotional balance)
Engaging Intrinsic Motivation -2.9% (motivation from the inside)
Increasing Empathy - 2.4% (connecting compassionately with others
(Source : State of Heart Report Six Seconds, 2015)
How to identify who needs help in Emotional Intelligence Development?
Realization of the problem is an essential prerequisite that triggers the need to actively seek for a suitable solution. Most of the times people remain unaware of their weaknesses pertaining to Emotional Intelligence skills. This is mainly because emotions are as integral a part of us as breathing. We realize the need to manage them only when emotions overwhelm us, take control over us, and make us feel like a victim of circumstances. And yet people do not seek out for help as most believe that these habits are difficult to change, some think they are born with such traits, and others do not know that solutions to them overcome these issues actually exist.
Red flags to notice
Emotional intelligence is that intangible trait in each one of us that affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. People who lack Emotional Intelligence often struggle with the following issues:
They get stressed easily. When the pressure mounts they worry too much, often fall a prey to ‘worst case scenario’, get caught between ‘if & if not’, stuff themselves with disturbing feelings, and often find themselves at a loss to respond or cope with the situation. They find it difficult to manage their moods.
They have difficulty in being assertive. They are unable to communicate their point of view clearly and effectively, by articulating with sensitivity towards others without being rude or furious. They quickly resort to either passive or aggressive behavior, are unable to steer themselves away from unfiltered emotional reactions.
They think no one understands them. They are consistently asked to clarify their statements, people misjudge their tone of voice, and they end up having a frustrating number of arguments because of frequent misunderstandings with others.
They don’t know their triggers. They fail to recognize situations and people that push their buttons and cause them to act impulsively. Hence are unable to manage them.
They blame others for their feelings. They hold others responsible for making them feel bad. They fail to realize that no one can make them feel bad about themselves unless they allow them to. They underestimate their ability to take control of the situation.
They make assumptions and defend them. They are quick to make judgments about others and keep looking for clues to support their point of view.
They hold on to grudges. They keep holding on to the issues that happened in the past, and keep reliving the pain associated with it.
They don’t let go of mistakes. They keep dwelling too long on their mistakes, and keep feeling overly conscious, anxious and shy. They fail to recognize that the key to improvement is to learn from mistakes and not overly punishing one self.
They get easily offended. They are over sensitive and are unable to take jokes in good spirit.
They have a limited emotional vocabulary. They are unable to identify and name their feelings and that of others. This affects their capability to pinpoint the feelings, identify the cause of those feelings, and their ability to take next steps to manage their behavior and actions.
We often tend to disregard the above mentioned points, and underestimate the impact they have on our behavior and performance, as it is totally unfashionable and uncommon to discuss emotions and feelings. It is important to remember that Emotional Intelligence competencies like optimism, stress management, assertiveness, motivation, empathy, relationship management, leadership etc. is malleable. They can be assessed, measured, and developed by using a focussed and structured approach.