Ever since its startling revelation by Daniel Goleman in the 1990s, Emotional Intelligence has taken the world by storm and is now considered by many experts to be equally as important, if not more important than cognitive intelligence. Emotional Intelligence or more commonly known as EQ is our ability to not only identify and manage our own emotions but also the ability to manage the emotions of the people around us.
Simply managing our emotions and the emotions of others may seem like an ordinary ability however this ability has the great potential to produce very extraordinary results in making our lives better. It can influence the way people process the information we present to them, it can help us connect better with people around us and most importantly it can help us function better as a society at large.
Would you like to be more like this?
Unlike many super powers, having a high emotional intelligence is not something that we are born with neither is it due to an unforeseen chemical radiation, this super power can be learned and trained. In order for us to reach our full capacity at using this super power we would have to then work on aspects of the skill that we are weak at.
In his book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ’, Daniel Goleman has outlined five elements we can use to objectively evaluate our Emotional Intelligence thus bringing us one step closer to perfecting he art of being a composed, collected and highly effective individual.
Below are five ways in which you can control your emotions better:
1. Self- Awareness
The first and possibly the most important element to evaluating our own Emotional Intelligence is the element of Self-Awareness. Being self-aware is the ability to disassociate ourselves from the situation and people that we are dealing with. This would mean that we as individuals are able to identify and acknowledge the emotions we are experiencing but refuse to allow ourselves to be swayed by them.
To be self-aware also means that we are able to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses, to know the limit to our control and to be confident in our own skin.
The second element that makes up our Emotional Intelligence has a lot to do with our ability to manage disruptive emotions and impulses. This would mean that we are able to catch ourselves from acting on impulses that stem from the negative and disruptive feelings like hate, anger, fear, envy and jealousy.
To know that these emotions will do us no good, and to fight the urge within ourselves to fester in these emotions that will ultimately lead us to hasty decisions that we may never be able to take back in the future, we would have to actively check our emotion levels and keep a firm grip on them.
One simple tip is not to react immediately when you are triggered emotionally. It is always better to take a few deep breathes to allow your mind to calm down, muscles to untense and heart rate returns to normal. This will prevent you from saying or doing something that you will regret in the future. It is definitely easier said than done in the beginning, especially when you are not used to it, but trust me it works.
Staying motivated can be a big hurdle for most of us, however for those who are truly in control of their super power, maintaining their motivation is part and package of everyday life. Self-motivation is an internal force that pushes us forward when we encounter a dead end, it is a driving factor that tells us to delay gratification regardless of the situation that we are put in, and it is the one thing that can keep us going when we feel like giving up.
There are a number of ways in which we can stay motivated, some people have vision boards posted beside their bedside to keep them motivated, some people have a special mantra that they repeat whenever they feel down and some people even have a lucky charm that they bring with them wherever they go. Whatever these methods may be, one thing in common is to have a trigger that will enable them to get into the proper mind set to push through.
The ability to identify and understand the wants and needs, as well as the situation of another human being is the fourth element that is used to measure our Emotional Intelligence. It is the link between ourselves and others and it is crucial in building and maintaining relationships.
"[Empathy is] awareness of others' feelings, needs and concerns."
- Daniel Goleman in working with Emotional Intelligence
Based from a primal need of traveling in a group for safety, this hereditary trait passed down from our ancestors has moulded the people of today to be social creatures. This situation then causes a need in every one of us to gain attention from those around us as it is associated with being part of an in-group.
In living in the modern world, this mentality can also be applied especially when working in a team unit. For example, at Thriving Talents I usually butt heads with our Head of Digital, Julian because we have different ideals on work ethics. I believe that once we have agreed on a plan, we need to stick to that plan no matter what. However, Julian on the hand believes that if it is inconvenient we should always do what is easier and that used to drive me crazy.
However after a few months down the road and we both realized that it was not healthy especially since we are such a small team and had to constantly be working with each other. I've decided to also look at the situation from his perspective and requested that he also cooperate with my standard of work ethics. At the end, we came to a compromise and I no longer feel like stabbing him on a daily basis.
5. Social Skills
Having a natural aptitude at talking to people and making people feel at ease with themselves also contributes towards our scores when measuring the level of our Emotional Intelligence. In the course of our every day lives, we are bound to have met new people and have had to convince them to buy into our ideas for us to progress as an individual.
It is in the charisma and energy that we exude when interacting with people that attracts others to want to learn more and talk to us. The goal then in such interactions is to reach a turning point that will change the relationship forever. When we are able to make someone else agree and feel comfortable with us that is when we know we've reached a turning point.
By implementing the steps above, hopefully you too will be one step closer to unlocking your superpower of total control over your emotions.