WHy Talk about emotional intelligence

Are your emotions  getting out in front of your intentions? Are your emotions in charge? Do your emotions or your thoughts take the lead? Do you find it difficult to engage with others without being emotionally explosive? If you are unable to express your thoughts effectively in tense situations, reading this article may be helpful.

If you believe your emotions run things, it might be time to take some steps toward improving your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is managing your emotions and is crucial to leading a happy and healthy life. It helps you improve your personal, interpersonal and social relationships; as well as your  overall sense of fulfillment and joy.

Join us as we discuss various strategies for understanding and monitoring your thoughts, feelings and emotions by unlocking the power of emotional intelligence. We will then connect social awareness, developing social skills and the power of being woke.

What is emotional intelligence

Let’s begin with the basics - understanding the concept of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to comprehend and recognize emotions in yourself and others, then use that understanding to inform  how you decide to move forward.

Before we go any further let’s distinguish between intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). IQ is the measure of your ability to reason. It is a gauge of how well you can use information and logic to answer questions and make predictions. Measuring your IQ determines how far above or how below your mental ability compares to your peer group. 

Just for clarity, IQ measures your ability to solve problems, use logic and grasp or communicate complex ideas. While EQ measures your ability to recognize your emotions and others while using that awareness to guide your decisions.

EQ has a greater impact on success than other factors. Most studies believe that IQ accounts for 20% of your success while 80% is determined by your emotional and social intelligence. 

An emotionally intelligent person will consider their own emotions in times of stress as well as those of others before forming an opinion or making a decision. They will monitor facial expressions and body language overheard during conversations, allowing them to read between the lines.

Being able to communicate effectively also plays a role in emotional intelligence, allowing you to truly understand what someone may feel despite their words or behavior. If you possess emotional intelligence, you are better prepared to handle hard conversations while being mindful about how you handle your emotions and responses, especially in emotionally charged spaces.

In the Weeds:

Are emotional intelligence and emotional quotient the same?
Emotional Quotient (EQ) is defined as an individual's ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. EQ is often referred to as emotional intelligence as the terms are interchangeable. For our purposes, we will refer to emotional intelligence as EI so there is no confusion. 

With that understanding, let's talk about how all of these traits come together to form a crucial part of our daily lives.

Women and emotional intelligence

how does emotional intelligence shape my life?

It is no surprise that emotional intelligence is a key factor in personal achievement and professional success. EI provides you with the ability to identify, understand, use, and manage emotions to foster positive relationships and fulfill your personal goals. When you have a heightened emotional intelligence, you are better at recognizing emotions and managing relationships with those around you. 

This heightened self-awareness also promotes better decision-making skills and your capacity to manage stressful situations with poise. The result? More peace, fulfillment and increased joy.

refining & devoping EI

Do you feel you’re in line with your emotions and have a perfect understanding of other people’s feelings? Well, not everyone can confidently give a positive answer to this question.

Each of us can develop and improve our emotional intelligence.

 Here are a few tips that can help you do just that:

gaining self awareness

Developing a high degree of emotional intelligence starts with becoming self-aware. Self-awareness is the act of understanding one’s own strengths, weaknesses, values, and emotions. Becoming more familiar with yourself - what motivates you, what sets you off, your thought processes and habits, each can help you better understand your own feelings and those of others. When you practice self-awareness, you are recognizing your emotional state at the moment. 

Self-awareness helps you identify areas you may need to improve upon to foster and maintain better relationships. It also helps you understand spaces where you are emotionally vulnerable i.e. hidden trauma, pain, or mental stress. Overall, achieving greater self-awareness provides a sound foundation for building emotional intelligence because it helps you see your words and actions from a perspective outside of yourself. Seeing yourself through the lense of others is self-reflective and purposeful to help you notice if you are presenting in your full brilliance - with empathy, honor, and respect for yourself, and others.

managing your emotions

With self-awareness comes the critical ability to manage your emotions and your reactions, including:

Being aware of your own emotional responses and reactions
Differentiating between the various range of emotional states
Being mindful of how you're feeling
Comfortability with appropriately expressing your emotions in various personal and professional spaces
Understanding how negative and challenging emotions functions in your life
Being able to identify what causes your emotional responses
Awareness of your emotional responses impact others
The ability to maintain control when receiving or confronting negative emotions of others
Being able to anticipate how your behavior and your reactions impact others
Willingness to support family & friends who may be nervous or apprehensive when it comes to expressing emotional spaces 

Once identified, it will be easier to take proactive steps to express, process, or shift your emotions to align with a preferred response or outcome. Managing your emotions is a skill that can be cultivated over time to lead to improved  habits, problem-solving capabilities and, ultimately, better decision-making.

Becoming socially aware

Developing social awareness is a fundamental component of increasing emotional intelligence. Empathy is the foundation for social awareness. Empathy gives you insights into how others may think or feel. It helps build trust in order to better understand why people act the way they do, as well as what influences their decisions and behavior.

To be socially aware is to first be self-aware. Being intentional, thinking differently, changing context, and skill building can be the difference between being passively self-aware and actively conscious. Active consciousness involves readily seeking new perspectives and being open with curiosity about different ideas and thought processes. The ability to recognize and acknowledge strengths in others demonstrates social awareness. This skill is further shows empathy and compassion for others.

Being aware of the impact of your words and actions on other people’s emotions helps improve self-awareness, as well as understanding how people experience you. It can help you build greater insight to improve communication by understanding what inspires and motivates people as well. This helps you interact in various social situations confidently, effectively, and with purpose.

Social awareness positively influences social behaviors, the quality of interpersonal relationships, will help you better cope with challenges in establishing, maintaining  and building relationships.

managing your social skills

Strong social skills are increasingly becoming a crucial factor in society and are an essential piece of emotional intelligence. The ability to understand and empathize with the experience of others makes you a better sister, friend, colleague, business owner and human. Improving social skills is a vital step towards further honing emotional intelligence. 

Here are a few skills that develop social awareness:

1. Identify social cues (verbal, physical) to determine other's feelings

2. Being thoughtful about others’ perspectives and experiences

3. Demonstrating empathy and compassion

4. Showing concern for the feelings of others

5. Understanding and expressing gratitude

6. Recognizing strengths in others

7. Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones

8. Recognizing situational demands and opportunities

Caring about and being motivated to contribute to the well-being of your family, friends, colleagues, your various communities, the environment, and the greater good of society.

Putting effort into refining your relationship skills, especially with diverse individuals and groups is beneficial in many areas of your life. They impact you personally, interpersonally, and professionally in profound ways.

culture diversity

NOTE: Here are a few relationship skills worth building:

1. Initiating contact with others and cultivating friendship

2. Sharing one’s thoughts and feelings (appropriately)

3. Communicating effectively

4. Developing positive relationships

5. Demonstrating cultural humility

6. Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving

7. Resolving conflicts constructively

8. Approaching relationships with positive presuppositions

9. Resisting negative social pressure(s)

10. Resisting stereotypes

11. Standing up for the rights of others

12. Showing leadership in groups

13. Seeking or offering support and help when needed

Ultimately, social awareness, relationship skills and being woke are equally yoked, they all play nicely together for the highest good.

What does this looks like?: when you attempt to resolve a conflict with a difficult coworker (relationship skills), it makes the process easier when both of you can empathize with each other (social awareness). Further, considering cultural, racial, ethnic or religious differences, bias and experiences (woke) will help you show empathy and respect for each other, thereby increasing the chances of building a mutually beneficial understanding.

final thoughts

A history teacher cultivates students’ empathy by encouraging them to “put themselves in the shoes” of people on opposing sides of an issue or event to help them understand how they come to their views and how those views shape their thoughts and emotions. It is from this standpoint that we begin to understand how to best form opinions and resist one-sided narrow thinking.

In the above example, understanding history also helps you realize pertinent issues associated with society and various communities. This clarity breeds social concern for others who may experience spaces differently than you. This level of cultural sensitivity is the highest form of emotional intelligence. You are considered woke (aware) in this socially conscious space of respect, care, empathy and intellectual curiosity for others.

One of the core pillars of emotional intelligence is social awareness. Our ability to perceive, understand, and respond to the needs of others is key to our understanding of our needs. This level of being woke helps us to be better friends, sisters and humans.

Learning and understanding the lenses of other minority groups has been enlightening. Raising my consciousness about the experiences of indigenous peoples, AAIP, and Hispanic communities in America has made room for relationships that would not have otherwise existed. Learning our common grounds has enriched my understanding of not only U.S. history but also world history at large.

I would love to hear your thoughts, reactions or personal journey of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, social awareness or the spaces of being woke.  Comment below and kindly share. You're awesome and I appreciate you.

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I guide women to display their best attributes and strengths in the best possible light while boldly exhibiting their genuine genius.

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