Emotional intelligence is a relatively new term, which gained popularity in 1995 through Daniel Goleman’s book. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that this concept created a whole revolution in the areas of psychology and personal development. Today, we are all aware of the fact that people’s responses to certain situations are not solely determined by their intellect.
Our emotional intelligence plays a leading role and it helps us gain control over our reactions in stressful circumstances. The experts explain that people’s success in all areas of life is determined by their EI. Our ability to recognize and control emotions affects the way we learn, work, communicate, and live.
Daniel Goleman identified five main components of emotional intelligence:
In its essence, self-awareness is our ability for introspection. When we observe our thoughts and emotions, we are able to understand how we feel and where that state of being comes from. When someone in a leadership position is characterized with great self-awareness, he understands his strengths and weaknesses and he knows how to adapt his behavior in different situations.
This aspect of emotional intelligence is all about getting in control over our own emotions. When people master the skill of self-regulation, they don’t make rushed decisions and reactions. It doesn’t matter what you do for living; your ability to stay in control is important for success.
- Internal motivation
People who are self-motivated are stronger when it comes to surpassing obstacles and achieving professional and personal goals.
Understanding other people’s emotions is a crucial element of emotional intelligence, since it enables us to react properly.
- Social skills
People with highly-developed emotional intelligence are superb communicators. They stay open to other people’s opinions, but they also know how to express their own point of view in a way that makes good impressions.
Emotional intelligence is a straightforward concept. It’s clear, and it steps on the stage whenever you’re taking actions towards the completion of your goals. The only problem is that not all people have it. There is good news: we can all improve our EI through tons of effort and the right tools.
How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
This aspect of your personality is worth working on. The most important thing to keep in mind that EI is a skill that can be learned by anyone who makes an effort to become emotionally resilient.
- Your personal growth starts with greater self-awareness. It’s important to recognize your own reactions in emotional situations. You don’t need to analyze those reactions; you just observe them with great awareness. Over time, this practice of detached observance will help you gain better control over those reactions.
- Emotional intelligent persons are not rocks. They still experience sadness, happiness, anxiety, excitement, and all other emotions. The intelligent part is in their ability to control the state of irritability. When you find yourself in a stressful situations and your first instinct is to start yelling, take a deep breath. Remember what you’ve been working for, and try to understand where other people’s behavior comes from. When you become a better empath, you will learn that treating other people with respect in every possible situation is the best way to achieve your own goals.
- Open up to different opinions. Listen to people without any prejudices. If you don’t agree with them, be thankful for their honesty and explain your own stand without getting overly passionate about it.
Tools that Help You Develop EI
Don’t worry; you’re not alone in this journey. There are some tools that help people work on themselves and develop different aspects of emotional intelligence. Here are 5 online tools you can try:
When you connect the Inner Balance Sensor to your iOS smartphone or tablet and you install the app, it will start measuring your heart rhythms. The system is supposed to get you into a consistent meditative state. The technique i simple: you look at the way the colorful circle on the screen expands and contracts, and you synchronize your breathing according to the instructions. This practice will balance out your heart rate.
If you’ve been trying too hard to meditate but you haven’t achieved success, you’ll love the Inner Balance Transformation System because it will quickly get you in a state of relaxation.
- The 12 Tools
This collection of tools has been created with the goal to inspire children to develop emotional intelligence through 12 different practices. It’s perfect for parents who want to work with their children, but the tools are also useful for people of all generations, as long as they want to start building EI from its foundation.
The 12 tools teach you how to breath, find your quiet/safe place, listen, care for others, respect your personal space, take time-in and time-away, let things go, use your own words, apologize and forgive, say please and thank you, become more patient, and become more courageous. All these aspects of your personality are super important when you want to build emotional intelligence.
- MEIT Emotional Intelligence
This is a simple Android app that will test your ability to perceive, understand, and manage your EI. You’ll need to complete a simple questionnaire and recognize the emotions being presented through animations and pictures. The app is realistic and entertaining, but it’s also very useful.
Remember what we said: you need to become aware of your own emotions if you want to control them with intelligence. This app (available for both Android and iOS devices) helps you discover the nuances in your feelings, reveal their causes, and enhance your ability to manage them.
Install this app on your phone, and you’ll get access to thousands of TED talks that make you more attentive to everything that surrounds you. Here are few talks on EI you can check out:
- Why aren’t we more compassionate? – Daniel Goleman
- What really matters at the end of life – BJ Miller
- Embrace the shake – Phil Hansen
- How to make stress your friend – Kelly McGonigal
- 5 ways to listen better – Julian Treasure
Remember: emotional intelligence is not an act! You’re not behaving as if nothing makes you passionate while you’re tearing yourself apart inside. The point is to start recognizing your emotion and gain actual control over them. The only way to develop such an attitude is through constant work and self-awareness.
Melissa Allen is an educational expert and a career coach. Also, she is an education enthusiast and makes reviews of educational services. She has recently launched her own project Topaussiewriters. In the nearest future she is going develop it.