The Oxford English Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
Ever since Daniel Goleman’s 1995 breakthrough book on emotional intelligence, it has become a component of shaping effective leadership, caring workplaces, and compassionate healthcare.
The first step may be to take a step back and ask ourselves: “why should we care about emotional intelligence?”
As I started to learn more and more about the benefits of emotional intelligence, I realized how powerful it could really be on many levels. According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is “…the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.”
Life is full of changes and challenges. Often, we are not in control of what life throws at us, but only how we respond to it. EI helps you set the tone by creating the space between the time in which something occurs, and the response that it triggers. Can you think of a time when you and your EI were hand in hand? Or maybe you weren’t in sync with your EI? To become one with your EI, think awareness, and don’t be afraid to take an EI/empathy self-inventory (email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started).
Remember—working on increasing your level of emotional intelligence will make you more empathetic to specific situations, as well as effective in the workplace. Need to know more about Emotional Intelligence? Here’s some useful resources:
7 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence is One of The Fastest-Growing Job Skills by Harvey Deutschendorf
How Do You Respond to Someone Who Lacks Empathy?