Leadership SkillsPersonal Skills

Emotional Intelligence

What is emotional intelligence? And what EQ stands for? 

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The term “emotional intelligence,” also a synonym for the emotional quotient (EQ), is the capacity to utilize and interpret your emotions to use them in positive ways. Emotional Intelligence(EI) is a skill whose measurement is the Emotional Quotient(EQ). It will help you effectively communicate with other people, reduce stress, manage and solve conflicts, and effectively communicate. Emotional intelligence can assist you in developing better relationships, meeting your goals in your career, and excelling in your personal and professional life. Emotional intelligence will aid you in connecting with your feelings, making choices about the most important things to you, and translating your intentions into actions.

In the 90s, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer developed the concept of emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman then matured it further and made it more accessible to the general public. This concept is also called the emotional quotient (EQ) and is widely accepted. Psychologists believe that you can’t measure EQ with psychometric tests, and consequently, it does not have a valid explanation.


Four aspects describe the concept of emotional intelligence:

Self-management: You can manage your impulsive behavior, control your emotions in positive and healthy ways, be proactive, and stick with commitments.

Self-awareness: It is possible to recognize your feelings and how they affect your thinking and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses and can have confidence in yourself.

Social Awareness: You always demonstrate empathy and social consciousness. You can recognize and be responsive to the desires and feelings of other people and their political and social dynamics.

Relationship management: You can develop and maintain strong relationships that are clear and effective in communicating. You can also motivate others, handle conflicts and work as a team.

Why is it that emotional intelligence is so important?

We all know that not all people are the most intelligent or satisfied. We have people who excel in academics; however, they lack social skills and fail at work or personal relationships. Intelligence quotient (IQ) or intellectual capability may not be enough to guarantee a successful life. Your IQ might be enough to aid you in obtaining the college of your choice. But it’s your EQ that will assist you in managing anxiety and stress as you prepare for your final tests. IQ and EQ can be utilized in combination and work best when they are in equilibrium.

Emotional intelligence affects:

Work and academic performance: Emotional intelligence is an important aspect of dealing with the social complexities, inspiring others, and performing well at work. Many employers consider emotional intelligence a crucial technical skill when evaluating job applicants. They also conduct EQ tests before making a hiring decision.

Physical health: If you are not properly managing your emotions, it can lead to serious health problems. Stress that is not controlled can raise blood pressure, depress immunity, and lead to strokes, heart attacks, and infertility. It can also increase the speed of your aging process. Understanding how to control stress is the first step to improving your emotional ability.


Mental Health Problems: Uncontrolled and stressed-out emotions can harm your mental well-being and make you more prone to anxiety and depression. Establishing solid relationships can be difficult if you don’t know or feel comfortable managing or regulating your emotions. This could lead to feelings of loneliness and insecurity, further worsening mental health problems.

Managing Relationships: Knowing your emotions and understanding how to manage these emotions can help you express your feelings and be aware of other people’s emotions. It will empower you to be more effective in communicating and cultivating stronger relationships both at home and at work.

Social Intelligence: Social intelligence refers to the ability to connect with your feelings. It serves a social function and allows you to connect with others and the world around you. Social intelligence lets you discern between friends and foes as well as assess the interests of others to reduce stress and balance your nervous system with social interactions and the feeling that you are loved.

Four techniques that can increase your emotional intelligence

It is possible to acquire the abilities that constitute emotional intelligence regardless of time. 

These are the essential abilities to boost your EQ and improve your ability to control your emotions and be in touch with others.

  1. Self-management
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Social awareness
  4. Management Relationships

Building emotional intelligence,


#1 Self-management:

To engage in activating your EQ and making good decisions about your conduct, you must be able to control your emotions. Stress can cause you to lose control of your emotions, making it hard to think clearly and behave correctly.

Take a look at a moment in your life where anxiety overwhelmed you. It was hard to think clearly and make sound decisions. In the same way, it’s possible to get overwhelmed and lose the capacity to see clearly and judge emotions precisely, your own and that of other people.

The emotions in your life are important pieces of information about you and other people. When we’re stressed, we get overwhelmed and lose control. It is possible to manage anxiety and remain in the present by learning how to take in upsetting information but not let it overtake your thoughts and behaviors. You’ll be able to make decisions that manage your emotional and behavioral impulsivity and manage your emotions in positive and healthy ways, accept responsibility for your actions and adjust to the changing circumstances.

#2 Self-awareness: 

It is one of the most important skills. The first step toward building emotional intelligence is to manage stress. Research on attachment suggests your experience with emotions is likely to reflect your childhood life experiences. The consistency and quality of your emotional experiences, in the beginning, can influence how you handle core emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. When you reach adulthood, your emotions could be valuable if you understand and appreciate their importance. 

Understanding emotion and how it affects your thinking and actions is possible through connecting to them.

  • Do you experience emotions associated with physical sensations in your stomach, throat, and chest?
  • Are you able to identify specific emotions and feelings like sadness or anger? Do you feel joy or fear? Each one of these is perceived through subtle facial expressions.
  • Do you feel strong emotions that draw your attention?
  • Do you pay attention to feelings and how they impact your decision-making process? Do they influence your decision-making process?
  • Are you feeling one emotion after another as your feelings shift between each moment?

To better your EQ (and be healthy emotionally), you must understand the importance of your core emotions. It is always better to accept them and be comfortable. The practice of mindfulness can help you in achieving your emotional balance.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of paying focus on what’s happening in the present and without judgment. While mindfulness is an integral part of Buddhism, all religions offer at least one form of prayer or meditation that can improve mindfulness. It can help you move from being occupied with thoughts to gaining a greater awareness of the present and your physical and emotional sensations. It also allows you to have an improved perspective on your world. Mindfulness can help you calm down and be focused, making you more aware of yourself and enhancing emotional awareness.

#3 Social awareness

Social awareness lets you discern and interpret nonverbal signals that other people use to connect with you. These cues will assist you in understanding how your loved ones and family feel, how their feelings shift, and what’s most important to them.

You can observe other people’s emotions and power dynamics when they send signals similar to yours. You’re socially comfortable and understanding.

Mindfulness can be a benefactor of emotional and social awareness.

Mindfulness is crucial for social awareness. You won’t be able to recognize subtle signals that aren’t spoken if you’re distracted by the phone or thinking about something else. Social awareness requires your attention right now. Multitasking is an attribute that many people boast about. However, it can result in you ignoring subtle emotional shifts in other people who can help you comprehend them.

  • There is a higher chance you will reach your social goals if you put aside other issues and concentrate on the interactions.
  • It is essential to be aware of changes in your emotions and also observe the emotions of others.
  • You can learn about your feelings and beliefs by paying attention to others. If you cannot listen to others’ opinions, this could reveal something about your character.

#4 Relationship management:

Being effective in working with others requires emotional awareness. This means the ability to sense and understand what other people feel. You can improve your social and emotional skills, which will make your interactions more effective, productive, and enjoyable after you’ve developed emotional awareness.

  • Take note of your capability to communicate nonverbally effectively. You can express your feelings using facial muscles, especially around the eyes, nose, and forehead. If you do not pay attention, the emotional portion of your brain is never stopped working. It is a significant aspect of improving your relationships through recognizing non-verbal messages you communicate to your friends.
  • You can achieve the ability to relieve stress by embracing laughter and humor. Humor and laughter are natural methods to ease stress. They can ease your stress and put things in perspective. Laughter can balance the nervous system. It eases anxiety, and stress sharpens your brain and helps you become more sensitive.
  • Conflict can be seen as a chance to connect with others. Human relationships will always have conflicts and disagreements because two people can’t share the same requirements, views, and expectations. It doesn’t have to be a problem. You can build trust by resolving disputes in positive and healthy ways. A conflict that’s not perceived as to be inflicting harm or a threat to the relationship fosters confidence, security, and trust in relationships.

In a nutshell,

Emotional intelligence is a key skill and can be measured as Emotional Quotient (EQ). Maintaining emotional stability is of prime importance to strive in the competitive workplace, with consistent changes and high pressures on performance and productivity.

In personal life, the emotional intelligence can help us:

  • Discuss talk about uncomfortable topics without harming our feelings
  • Become aware of our emotions when we are stressed or overwhelmed.  
  •  Enhance relationships with those we love

In professional life, emotional intelligence can help us:

  • Resolve conflicts
  • Motivate and coach others
  • Create a culture that encourages collaboration
  • Create a sense of psychological security within teams

The right training can develop our emotional intelligence, and practicing the techniques mentioned in this article will enhance it further.

Achieve a calm demeanor for everlasting relationships.

Download free worksheet to maximize your emotional intelligence

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Steve Norman

Steve Norman, MBA Corporate Leadership Expert, Management Consultant, and Leadership Coach 📍 Fitzgerald, GA More »

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