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Why emotional intelligence matters

Why emotional intelligence matters

Improved self-awareness, healthier relationships and better stress management? Yes please.

Have you ever wondered what emotional intelligence (EQ) is all about? Once considered a corporate buzzword, this must-have skill set has endured for decades. EQ involves recognising and managing your own emotions, as well as understanding, interpreting and responding to the emotions of others. 

The term really gained traction with psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman’s hugely popular Emotional Intelligence book in 1995. Goleman argues that EQ (also commonly referred to as EI) skills matter as much as IQ when it comes to success – be it professional, academic, social or interpersonal. 

In the workplace, leaders who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are able to identify how they’re feeling, what it means, and how these emotions can affect other people. EQ can play a role in how you manage stress and conflict. Not only associated with job performance, it turns out EQ is linked to higher job satisfaction

There are many models of EI, but most share similar key tenets: self-awareness, self-management, self-regulation, self-motivation and empathy. There are various competencies in these areas, like conflict management and adaptability. 

The beauty of emotional intelligence is that you can always hone your skills and keep improving. Here are some tips to help with EQ in everyday life:

  • Carve out a bit of time in your day to just be: schedule in some silent, present time. 
  • Sit with your emotions. Don’t scroll through your phone when you’re bored. Think about how you’re feeling and identify what those emotions are.
  • When you identify how you are feeling, take note of how these emotions influence your behaviour – how do you react?
  • Press pause. If a situation is escalating or you’re getting stressed, take a deep breath, get some fresh air, don’t react instantly. Put some space between you and the trigger. Once you’ve calmed down, decide how you want to move forward. 
  • Really listen to others. Let them talk without interruption and try to absorb their perspective by thinking about what’s happening from their point of view. Empathy is incredibly important for nurturing relationships.  

How can you improve your EQ skills? There are several free tests online you can take to test your emotional intelligence – note that measuring EI in this manner is difficult. It surely doesn’t hurt to read one of the many books on the subject, like Goleman’s. 

However, a course is the ideal way to improve your emotional intelligence skill set: EQ is something that can be worked on, understood and developed. Our one-day Emotional Intelligence course, delivered by PD Training for an excellent learning experience, is ideal for anyone who leads or works with other people.

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