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Emotions can be explained as a wide range of observable behaviors, expressed feelings, and changes in the state of mind and body (Adams & Galanes, 2017). Our beliefs, emotions, likes, and dislikes give our lives meaning and cause us to be happy, unhappy, satisfied, or dissatisfied. Intelligence can often be described as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Therefore, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to deal with other people successfully (Chapman, 2014). EQ is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both the regulating of one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same (Chapman, 2014). An emotionally intelligent individual is one who is not only conscious of his or her emotional states but also one who can manage them.
According to Goleman (n.d.), there are five fundamental features of EQ, each of which has its benefits: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skill. Self-awareness consists of the ability to accurately recognize your emotions, strengths, limitations, actions, and understand how these affect others around you. Self-regulation allows an individual to wisely manage their feelings and impulses by having the ability to show or restrain certain emotions depending on the situation. To be empathetic, an individual must be able to identify and understand the feelings of others i.e., imagining themselves in someone else’s position. By being self-motivated, an individual can enjoy what they do, can work towards achieving their goals, and they are not motivated by money or social status. Practical social skills consist of the ability to manage relationships in a way that benefits the organization or the individual.
After taking the EQ test, I have been able to have a better understanding of who I am as a person. The results I received stated that while I may be doing well, I cannot forget to take time out of my day-to-day activities to stop and reflect on what brings me the most significant meaning in life (Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP), n.d.). For years I have struggled with taking time for myself as I typically feel that I have let others down when I tell them that I am not available to assist them when they need it. I have been told several times by my family that to be able to function at my best; I need to take that time for myself to decompress. I also learned that while deadlines need to be met and goals need to be achieved if those goals we are working towards do not align with our fundamental values; we face becoming frustrated and cynical when we are faced with pressure (IHHP, n.d.). Thus, losing sight of the reason, we are doing “all of this” in the first place. Following my results on the EQ test, I have been able to see further how I can improve my interactions with others; but also see how I can ensure that I am pleased with myself.
Being able to identify my emotional intelligence will have a high impact on my ability to further not only my work in human services but also my interactions within groups. When we appropriately perceive emotions, we can recognize not only our feelings but those of others. While some individuals can quickly identify sadness and happiness just by looking at someone’s face, this allows them the ability to master nonverbal communication. As empathy is the ability to view someone’s situation from their perspective; emotional intelligence is critical as empathy connects us and allows us to be helpful, caring, or supportive to those in need. By limiting the negative impact of our emotions and not becoming attached to our thoughts we can contribute to good state of mental health. When a group of diverse individuals is placed together, it is hard to avoid disagreements. When team members can learn to manage the reactions and interactions with one another, they can create productive team dynamics. By understanding one’s feelings, we can recognize and evaluate others.
To continue improving my emotional intelligence, I have learned to work towards increasing my awareness of myself and those around me. In doing so, I can observe the response that others have towards my behaviors by effectively listening to the feedback of those around me. I can ensure that I am responding to situations calmly as my communication is more effective when I am calm, as that feeling will likely spread on to others. I can also learn to observe my employees and those around me to gauge how they’re feeling. I also need to remember to remind myself when feeling as though I am “stuck in a rut” why I am doing my job and why I wanted to do it in the first place.
Adams, K., & Galanes, G. (2017). Communicating in groups: Application and skills (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. eISBN-13: 9781259983283
Chapman, A. (2014). Emotional intelligence [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.businessballs.com/building-relationshi… (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)