Emotional intelligence (EI) involves an individual’s ability to recognize and understand our emotions and reactions, referred to as self-awareness; manage and adapt one’s emotions, reactions and responses, known as self-management; and to discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions, and use this understanding to better relate to others, or empathy.
Ways in Which Emotional Intelligence is Important
There are numerous ways in which emotional intelligence is important. Several of them were listed in the main section of this Brown Bagger insert. Others are listed here:
Physical health – The ability to take care of our bodies and especially to manage our stress, which has an incredible impact on our overall wellness, is heavily tied to our emotional intelligence. Only by being aware of our emotional state and our reactions to stress in our lives can we hope to manage stress and maintain good health.
Success – Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators, which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better networks of support, overcome setbacks, and persevere with a more resilient outlook. Our ability to delay gratification and see the long-term directly affects our ability to succeed.
Leadership – The ability to understand what motivates others, relate in a positive manner, and to build stronger bonds with others in the workplace inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize what the needs of his people are, so that those needs can be met in a way that encourages higher performance and workplace satisfaction. An emotionally savvy and intelligent leader is also able to build stronger teams by strategically utilizing the emotional diversity of their team members to benefit the team as a whole.
Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood, but we do know that emotions play a crucial role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives, more critical even than our measure of intelligence quotient (IQ).
Source:Royale Scuderi, “Emotional Intelligence: Why is it Important?” via the June 2017 EA Report Brown Bagger (June 2017 Employee Assistance Report Newsletter, Vol 20. No. 6, June 2017)