• Paul Thompson

Emotional Intelligence - what's it all about?


If we had this awareness throughout our lives - relationships at home and in the workplace would be so much easier . . . the following is a guide to understanding Emotional Intelligence or EQ (Emotional Quotient). Self awareness is the first step in becoming emotionally intelligent is to be able to identify moods and feelings in ourselves and understand how these affect other people. Many people are blind to the true impact that they have on others. We like to think of our own strengths and weaknesses in one way – but others often have a very different idea of how they would describe us. Self-direction. Identifying our own emotions and how they affect people is a start, but the second step to becoming emotionally intelligent is to alter those emotions and set goals to your advantage. Because often the only difference that distinguishes winners from losers is their mental state. Knowing that you are angry or tired and unhappy isn’t very helpful. But being able to change your mood to one of calm or enthusiasm – now, that’s a worthwhile skill. Interpersonal savvy. The third step to becoming a master of emotional intelligence is to identify and manage emotional states in other people. In today’s world, people don’t have to do something just because you tell them to. Even if you are the boss, they choose to do it more slowly or to put less energy into it if they choose. So interpersonal savvy is the skill of finding out what makes other people tick so that you can influence and persuade them. A cynic might describe it as the dark art of pushing other people’s buttons and manipulating them to achieve your goals. The three domains of expertise are hierarchical – they build into a pyramid with self-awareness being the foundation for the other two. The next layer is being able to self-direct – to alter your moods and emotions on demand. But at the top of the pyramid is the expertise of interpersonal savvy – being able to identify and manage emotions not only in yourself but also in other people. When you have mastered interpersonal savvy, there may still be challenges that you feel you cannot overcome. And that is where organisational savvy comes in – the application of three skills of emotional intelligence to tackling teams and organization-wide problems and opportunities.

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