What is emotional intelligence?
There is wisdom that becomes available to us when we recognize that there is an intelligence inside us that empowers us to be able to manage our own emotions and to know that our emotions are our own.
This is to say that we are a hundred percent responsible for how we feel and not anyone else.
When we understand that our emotions are simply our own reactions to a given situation and not the doing of some external forces, we essentially stop playing victim and begin to take responsibility for how we feel.
The ability to identify and manage our own emotions and to understand the emotions of people around us is emotional intelligence.
This intelligence follows four stages: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
The first two stages have to do with understanding our behavior and ourselves.
The last two stages underline the importance of understanding others, and their behavior.
Success does not create happiness and love in life.
The notion that success creates happiness is often followed by statements like ‘When I achieve this, only then will I finally be happy’, for there are many successful people, given that our idea of success is often determined in monitory terms, who lack love and are not happy at all.
So if success does not create happiness and love, then what does? The answer lies within the core emotional intelligence.
At the core of emotional intelligence is self-awareness.
Adam smith once said that, “The first thing you have to know is yourself.
A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.”
At the core of knowing ‘thyself’ is taking responsibility for all that you are and so if success does not create love and happiness in your life, then being responsible for your own love and happiness along emotional intelligence does.
What does it mean to be self-aware?
To be self-aware simply is to be conscious of your thoughts, attitudes, behavior and emotions, to have a clear understanding of all that makes you who you are and to be able to manage and control those feelings.
There is a rather simple way of managing these emotions.
In a world system where every individual is over stimulated with thousands of bits of information flooding the mind, a path to gaining control over the mind is simply to come to a space of feeling safe and relaxed.
The concept of meditation, known to man by many adjectives like contemplation, introspection, rumination or reflection, is simply bringing the mind to a relaxed altered state of awareness where things appear to make sense, where the mind is no longer flooded but is calm and observant of the very thoughts and emotions that are otherwise is overwhelming.
To any form of meditation there are three common signals to the brain ; first is to close the eyes, the second to focus on slow deep breaths and the third is to relax all muscle tension in the body.
With doing this follows a profound realization that one is responsible and has conscious control over his thoughts and feelings.
If we are responsible for how we feel, then why do we feel hurt?
Blaming others for hurting us is simply like blaming someone for poking you in a place that was already bruised.
It is not the poking alone that hurt, but it is simply poking at the bruise that hurts.
Similarly, all of us are emotionally bruised as a result of our past circumstances, and when people poke at those places.
We can either continue blaming the person saying they hurt us, or continue to get hurt on the same bruise time and again, or just heal the bruise instead.
Healing the bruise instead is taking responsibility for how you feel, dropping the idea that other people are responsible for your love and happiness.
In conclusion, to be emotionally intelligent is to be self-aware, empowering ourselves and owning the responsibility for our own feelings of love and happiness instead of playing constant victim to the world outside us.
Therefore, being emotionally intelligent will reveal to you real peace and happiness, as long as you choose to create it, because how you feel is how you decide to feel.
Developing Emotional Intelligence to Help You and Your Organization
Most entrepreneurs are skilled at starting things – they keep pushing to move a project forward, but they sometimes realize that it’s not working, so they go back to the beginning and start over.
As a leader, you know that it is important to make sure the concepts of vision, alignment and execution are entrenched in your mind.
Doing so makes it possible to build and grow instead of being caught in the familiar feedback loop that always ends up at square one.
This is where the concept of emotional intelligence, or EQ, becomes important.
When you think of the most successful leaders of organizations ranging from start ups to Fortune 500 companies, almost all of them have worked very hard on developing their EQs.
In fact, there are very few great leaders in the world who haven’t developed a refined EQ. At the very least, they realize that EQ is something important to work on.
The majority of leaders possess some kind of technical skill in a specific area, but they work incredibly hard on the emotional intelligence aspect of life.
Following are six key points that leaders are encouraged to consider in order to develop emotional intelligence more fully:
Be receptive to input regarding how you can improve.
As a leader, you understand the bottom line – it all begins and ends with you.
Meet with your board, visit with your peers and speak with your managers to receive an honest assessment. It is crucial to be able to understand the areas in which you can improve.
Take a look at ways you can help your managers.
Think about methods for coaching them and fostering improvement. Also, think about how you can improve your assessments.
After all, if you aren’t willing to realize something is broken, how is it possible for you to fix it?
Think about different areas where there’s room for improvement, and don’t be afraid to use an outside set of eyes.
View leadership as a program of continuous improvement.
There is never an arrival or a destination.
The great basketball coach John Wooden has said, “It’s what you learn after you know everything that counts.” You simply never arrive.
Understand that no individual can ever be great at everything.
Of course, you might be more adept at the vision side of things, or perhaps you are more skilled when it comes to alignment or execution.
You might be better at one thing, but you have to realize that it is necessary to improve in other aspects as you develop your team with the goal of filling in gaps.
One important key is to be open and honest about developmental needs and your weaknesses.
Admitting your shortcomings is not a liability; it is, in fact, a strength because everyone understands that you possess those weaknesses anyway.
Admit them at the outset, and do what it is necessary to prepare your team to fill the gaps.
Communicate your message over and over again.
Traditional, conventional performance management no longer exists.
If you want to consider your vision while creating alignment and enabling execution, you need to think of alternative methods for communicating those concepts to the people in your organization.
Eliminate annual reviews, which often don’t occur at 12-month intervals anyway.
Instead, create a mechanism through which real-time feedback can be given and received.
This creates alignment, plus it inspires your team.
Additionally, it allows you to give and receive feedback so you can ensure that your vision is understood, and it gives you the structure that you require for success.
These concepts are essential to developing healthy emotional intelligence, which can have a positive impact on every aspect of your organization.