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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Emotional intelligence is really about the capability to understand your own emotions, to manage those emotions and adapt your behaviour to different situations as and when you need to. It's also about looking at how you interact with other people, which can be called your social skills.

Are you able to effectively build relationships that have meaning or that are strong, genuine, authentic then ensuring that you have those for a lifetime or within your workplace?

We can break down emotional intelligence slightly further.

There are actually five key components to know and understand your emotions -

1. Knowing your Emotions

The ability to describe and explain the emotion you are experiencing. It isn't always as easy as we think. Anger and fear, for example, can be very closely linked. At times we may also experience more than one emotion at the same time, so it can get confusing.

2. Managing Your Emotions

It is one this to know our emotions. The next step is to manage them which is called self-regulation. It's about understanding know how the emotions are triggered and learning how you can respond rather than react.

3. Motivating Yourself and Others

Using your emotions and understanding your motivation based on pain and the gain, what you love and want out of life, versus what you don't want. If you can understand your motivations and then learn what motivates others you can help them to develop or perform. For example, leading a sports team or managing a team at work. This could also relate to encouraging someone to make a change in their life.

4. Understanding the Emotions of Others.

This is about learning to unlock empathy and compassion for others. To be able to learn reactions or through body language pick up that something may not be right with them. Some of this can be learned through people watching. The more you get to know yourself the easier it is to spot certain behaviour in others although be mindful not everything is as it seems. We must check for understanding and alignment. Be mindful and remember the analogy "just because you have a hammer, not everything is a nail"

5. Managing the Emotions of Others.

If you think about roles, such as a nurse, doctor, someone in the military, a counsellor, a therapist, somebody that has to manage the emotions of others or leaders within the workplace, these are where the demand for emotional intelligence is high. This is due to people management and high-pressure situations.

Situations where people are worried stressed, or anxious about a change or a process that's taken place. High emotional intelligence is about understanding those emotions that they're receiving and then reflecting on how they can adapt. Learning how to respond to help them to stay calm, to encourage them and support them to get through this particular change process or situation that they're experiencing.

"We can poke someone in the eye and it will really hurt, or we can go slowly and we can touch the whole eyeball pain-free." - Melissa Curran

That is what I say. That's what emotional intelligence is about. It's about taking that little bit more time to rephrase what you want to say and being prepared to say something in a different way to get a different response.

We can all go about poking people in the eye and saying very direct things that will hurt them. Remember people don't remember the words that you use, but they'll always remember the way that you made them feel.

Although you may be asking - What is it for you? Why do you need this emotional intelligence?

Well, you will have better mental health without a doubt, knowing your emotions and knowing how to manage your emotions and your energy levels will allow you to know when you need to take a break, step back, take some space from the relationship that you have to allow yourself some silence in amongst the noise or the chaos of life.

Greater job performance can be a benefit. Absolutely. The people that have the highest level of emotional intelligence, do have greater job performance and effective leadership of others. If you can't manage your own emotions, then it is highly unlikely that you'll be able to help somebody else manage theirs.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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