Bhave Institute of Mental Health

Bhave Institute of Mental Health



Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey, but was later popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman. The way a measure of conventional cognitive intelligence is termed intelligence quotient (IQ), similarly measure of emotional intelligence is called EQ, or emotional quotient. In recent years, this aspect is in the limelight in area of not only everyday living but also in field of leadership.

5 categories of emotional intelligence

Self-awareness: the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and their impact on others.

Self-regulation: this is the ability to manage one’s negative emotions, and to adapt to changes in circumstances. Those who are skilled in self-regulation excel in managing conflict, adapt well to change and are more likely to take responsibility.

Motivation: the ability to self-motivate, with a focus on achieving internal or self-gratification as opposed to external praise or reward. Individuals who are able to motivate themselves in this way have a tendency to be more committed and goal focused.

Empathy: the ability to recognize and understand how others are feeling and consider those feelings before responding in social situations. It entails respond thoughtfully and kindly. Empathy also allows an individual to understand the dynamics that influence relationships, both personal and in the workplace.

Social skills: the ability to manage the emotions of others through emotional understanding and using this to build rapport and connect with people through skills such as active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication. Emotional intelligence becomes important in forming and maintaining meaningful relationships

IQ vs emotional intelligence

Solely IQ cannot determine how successful you will be in professional or personal life. A vital part of life is our interaction with those around us, how we respond to pressure situations, ability to handle frustration, control emotions, what resources we can tap into and how fulfilling our work is. A big chunk of this is determined by our emotional intelligence. The topper of the class isn’t necessarily the most popular kid in the class. Same holds true for other walks of life. Focussing on cultivating the emotional intelligence has big pay offs in the long run. In reality, a combination of good IQ and EQ works best.

How to improve EQ?

–  Pay more attention to yourself: notice how you respond to others, the tone of voice, the body language, the facial expressions. Notice how people react when you speak. These are valuable insights into how your behaviour affects others or how it can be tweaked.

– Adopt more positive language: there are several ways to convey a sentiment and words hold a lot of power. Consciously communicating using positive language influences the tone of any relationship and your image in eyes of others.

– Keep going: Recognize that everyone has temporary setbacks and struggles. Look for a change in direction to keep going or find energy in a new path.

– Show compassion: Practice kindness and empathy to become more proficient at it.

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