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Emotional intelligence

We probably all know people, either at work or in our personal lives, who are really good listeners. No matter what kind of situation we're in, they always seem to know just what to say – and how to say it – so that we're not offended or upset. They're caring and considerate, and even if we don't find a solution to our problem, we usually leave feeling more hopeful and optimistic.

We probably also know people who are masters at managing their emotions. They don't get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution. They're excellent decision makers, and they know when to trust their intuition. Regardless of their strengths, however, they're usually willing to look at themselves honestly. They take criticism well, and they know when to use it to improve their performance.

People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence. They know themselves very well, and they're also able to sense the emotional needs of others.

Would you like to be more like this?

As more and more people accept that emotional intelligence is just as important to professional success as technical ability, organizations are increasingly using it when they hire and promote.

For example, one large cosmetics company recently revised their hiring process for salespeople to choose candidates based on their emotional intelligence. The result? People hired with the new system have sold, on average, $91,000 more than salespeople selected under the old system. There has also been significantly lower staff turnover among the group chosen for their emotional intelligence.

So, what exactly is emotional intelligence, and what can you do to improve yours?

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

We all have different personalities, different wants and needs, and different ways of showing our emotions. Navigating through this all takes tact and cleverness – especially if we hope to succeed in life. This is where emotional intelligence becomes important.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they're telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.

Source: Mindtools, https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_59.htm, retrieved 10 November 2017

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