Forget IQ Scores, Worry About Your EQ
A short but powerful guide to help develop your Emotional intelligence
Emotions colour our very existence, can you imagine life without them, Things would be pretty dull.
We shouldn’t demonize our emotions but begin to appreciate them.
This article will present a framework to help you better manage your emotions, so you can gain greater freedom in how you decide to express yourself.
But before you embark on a quest to improve your emotional intelligence, it is of enormous value to accept yourself as a decidedly imperfect human being, who by no means functions as you would like to at all times.
Setting realistic expectations is crucial to your success in any endeavour, remember we’re all a work in progress and perfection doesn’t exist.
So, let’s get started. I would like you to consider the radical proposal that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions only toxic methods of reacting to them. Don’t believe me? Employ this counter-intuitive method and see for yourself:
Rather than judging or resisting, allow yourself space to feel the feelings. By mindfully experiencing the emotion the intensity usually dissipates naturally; provide you with the freedom to choose how you next respond.
Once the heat is turned down and if you wish to seek self- understanding, you are now better equipped to build an understanding of where they’re coming from, imagine emotions as little messengers communicating with you the only way they know how to.
The truth is emotions are extraordinarily complex. And there are many theories that speculate upon the exact sequence followed before an emotion is generated. The interaction likely involves a combination of events between our physiology and the appraisals made.
The research is still unclear, nevertheless, there is still much to be learnt, and navigating through emotional minefields requires a thorough understanding of what we do know paired with some gracefulness.
The question “How are you feeling?” Is heavily associated with therapy. The intention is to help connect the receiver of the therapy to their emotions. Don’t wait until you are in therapy, be kind to yourself now, and begin to regularly check in with your emotions.
When I ask others how they’re feeling, the usual response I get is ‘fine’ or if I’m really lucky ‘I’m good’. I sometimes wonder if people don’t feel comfortable sharing their genuine emotional states due to the stigma and vulnerability associated with doing so, or if they actually don’t know how they feel so the easier way to respond is with a default answer.
Remove the taboo of speaking about your emotions.
This attitude is usually lacking and in fact is compounded by the unfortunate reality that many people treat emotions as something which needs to be avoided, ridiculed, or judged.
And thus, the vicious cycle repeats. You can’t avoid your emotions, they’re here to stay. So, why not ignite your curiosity and live in the present moment? Experience and appreciate each nuanced sensation as it is, not how you think it should be.
Wouldn’t you like to develop your emotional repertoire? The next time someone asks, you can select the emotion from your palette of emotions and paint your experience in the present moment with an artistic flair.
No emotion is completely isolated, many experienced are complex combinations blending to form the melody of your emotional life. The core emotions are usually regarded as being; happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise. Although, according to recent research there could actually be up to 34,000 emotions!
Don't worry, no you don’t need to memorize all 34,000 emotions.
Often times I have difficulty identifying the exact emotion I am feeling. To counter this, I have conjured a solution to the problem. I’m all for simplicity so let’s not complicate things.
You can refer to the wheel below:
* Places magic wand back in coat pocket **
The core emotions are in the centre and the degree of intensity decreases as you move away from the centre of the circle.
Feel free to screenshot the emotion wheel and open the image on your phone to help you label the emotion as you feel it. This will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of how these emotions are expressed and the impact they have on behaviour.
Name it to tame it.
Like any skill, developing your Emotional Intelligence requires progression through multiple stages:
- Unconscious incompetence
- Conscious incompetence
- Conscious competence
- Unconscious competence
Once you begin to reach the later stages, you may begin to better recognize the emotions of others.
For managerial and leadership roles, it is especially necessary to move beyond the individual level, this will require you to become more aware of your own attitude and how this may influence those around you.
It will also require you to employ active listening and the use of an assertive communication style.
An assertive communication style involves listening for clarity, not for your chance to speak. Seek to understand others. Assertive communicators are prepared to persist or compromise in an attempt to reach a solution.
For most, it is incredibly difficult to understand the differences between you and another. It’s even more difficult to make a connection and understand where someone else is coming from.
To avoid interpreting a situation through your limited perspective, when approaching a situation construct foliage of perspectives. Do not judge and condemn the emotional displays of others, ask how you can help, or better yet ask them how can they help themselves? This way not only are you helping mediate the immediate situation but you’re aiding them in building their own emotional intelligence to tackle future problems.
Imagine a world where everyone was emotionally intelligent knowing how to understand themselves and others would allow for the best decisions to be made and the reduction of unnecessary conflict with the promotion of tolerance and inclusion.