An emotionally intelligent person is someone who is aware that his/her emotion can drive their behavior and impact other people. The emotionally intelligent person then learns how to manage those emotions for the good of everyone.
“I had my dream job. It was going to groom my potentials and shoot me to a higher level and yet, annoyingly, I was always very grumpy at work. My boss was unarguably the toughest nut to crack and the most difficult person I had ever come across. He rarely cared about anyone but himself and was always quick to criticize whatever I presented to him. Often, I felt like my colleagues never tried hard enough to be friends with me, which was why I always turned down their support. It was awful. I dreaded going to work for a long time and finally just became nonchalant. Some days later, I resigned. They didn’t deserve me, they couldn’t handle me…so I left.”
The above scenario describes the typical lifecycle of an average (Nigerian) employee. And, like it or not, emotional intelligence plays a very important role and serves as a crucial determinant in the situation.
What Is Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence(EI) is the ability of a person to identify how they feel, understand what these feelings mean and efficiently manage their reactions to these feelings, concerning how it affects other people. And, in case you were wondering, this isn’t a new concept.
If you randomly ask people how emotionally intelligent they are, most of them will beat their chest and swear for up to about 95% and some (especially in our Nigerian society) might even relate it to be a nice person.
Emotional intelligence focuses more on managing human relations and promoting healthy environments rather than just being nice. Daily, we engage people with unique personalities and find that they sometimes lack certain abilities to effectively relay and/or relate their emotions. And, effectively dealing with these distinctions require adequate emotional intelligence.
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to promote emotional intelligence, inferred that emotional intelligence maintains a vital role in balancing our lives in both professional and personal aspects. Intellect alone would not make up for a lack of it.
An emotionally intelligent person is a highflyer in any field. How can we tell? We will look at the qualities of emotionally intelligent people.
Qualities Of Emotionally Intelligent People
They Have Great Social Skills
People who do well with sociable skills are great influencers and communicators, and thus are great at managing and resolving conflicts. This goes beyond them having thousands or even millions of followers on social media and focuses on their ability to properly interrelate.
When you understand how to relate acceptably with every unique personality you come across, it is because of the communication and social skills you acquired due to a high level of emotional intelligence. This set of people always see the bigger picture and are trusting.
They Are Tactful
Having and showing sensitivity in dealing with others/difficult issues is another skillset of an emotionally intelligent person. They understand situations and act accordingly in the most diplomatic way.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t react emotionally, rather they choose their words wisely and think thoroughly before they speak. They are never rude or careless and are very good communicators. Displaying tact as an entrepreneur is a good way to build your credibility and reputation with your audience.
They Are Good Reformers
Being a good reformer should mean that you are not afraid of change. These kinds of people are rarely satisfied with leaving things as they are and are always looking for ways to improve the situation around them. They are not comfortable with just sitting back and not doing any work.
Also, they can adapt to situations as they understand it is a necessary life phenomenon. Because they are great listeners, they are flexible, embrace change, are result-driven and knowledge enthusiasts.
They Are Self-aware
An emotionally intelligent person is a self-aware person. When you are self-aware, you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and understand how your emotions can affect people. Because you understand your persona, it helps to boost a healthy level of confidence while still being humble.
Self-aware people are willing to learn and work on their weaknesses thereby, making them generally successful and efficacious. They do not let emotional distress cloud their judgment in making important decisions of life. Moreover, they take responsibility for their actions.
They Display Empathy
Basically, they put themselves in the other person’s situation to properly understand their emotions and react accordingly. This, having been labeled as the hallmark of emotional intelligence, is another vital quality of emotional intelligence. Having empathy helps to build teams and challenges colleagues by giving constructive criticism; thus, leading to the general growth and success of an organization.
For an entrepreneur, being empathetic is critical to managing a successful team or business. With the distinctive ability to understand what your clients are going through, it is easy to resolve difficulties and proffer helpful solutions.
They Perceive And Decipher Emotions
Much like being empathetic, the ability to perceive and decipher emotions helps to manage relationships by understanding other’s attitudes and even unapparent emotions.
Having this trait, people with high emotional intelligence can effectively manage any looming crises and ultimately avert any adverse effects. This helps for good client retention and for navigating social environments.
They Are Motivators
Emotionally intelligent people know that perfection is sometimes impossible instead, they work on motivating others. They learn from mistakes and are good at boosting morale. They work steadily toward achieving their goals and have optimum standards for the quality of their work.
Good motivators take challenges positively and prove to be more productive in accomplishing their tasks. They are skilled at lending support and getting their team to support them and be excited about a new venture.
Self-regulation is all about being in control of your emotions and actions without any external influence. It’s like having a switch or gauge for your emotions, you can decide when to turn on and off the switch.
People who regulate themselves effectively rarely verbally attack others, make emotional conclusions, compromise their standards or take to jealousy. They understand the importance of maintaining career-personal balance in their lives, rarely stress over situations and weigh all options before responding to circumstances.
They Are Optimistic
If you always see the good in any situation, instead of dwelling on the negatives, then you have a good level of optimism. Highly emotionally intelligent people express positivity, hopefulness and confidence in the future.
They are thankful and see the good in others. Also, they see challenges as learning opportunities and the proverbial ‘glass’ as half-full. With an inbuilt ability to promote the well-being of others around them, optimists never compare themselves with others and are generally honest.
They Are Self-accountable
Emotionally intelligent people never see themselves as victims of circumstances. They are always accountable for actions within their control and are also very honest.
This element of emotional intelligence also covers a person’s flexibility and commitment to self-actualization. Furthermore, it’s important to note that self-accountability helps you deviate from unproductive behavior.
Ways To Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
- Write down your thoughts to help you improve self-awareness.
- Commit to being accountable.
- Practice being calm, think before you act or say anything.
- Stay hopeful and optimistic.
- Try to see other people’s perspectives.
- Pay attention to the unsaid words – body language.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Improve your communication skills
- Learn to take criticisms and give praise due to others.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to improve your emotional intelligence because emotions guide every decision we make. In a study of Ph.D.’s from EIConsurtium, social and emotional intelligence were significantly more important to professional success and prestige than Intelligence Quotient (IQ) alone and has been consequently linked to persons with successful careers.
According to Goleman:
- Employees with high emotional intelligence are self-aware and that helps them understand co-workers.
- They are not bothered by client criticism; they remain focused on outcomes, rather than feeling offended.
- If two job candidates have similar IQs, the one with the higher EI will likely be a better fit for the client.
Take the time today to work on your emotional intelligence as a soft skill because it is as important as technical and logical skills among individuals and professionals.