Can Emotional Intelligence improve our relationships?

Can Emotional Intelligence improve our relationships?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is our ability to recognise the emotions we feel, how we manage our emotions and what behaviour we display as a result of our emotions. It also our ability to recognising others emotions, but in a different way to Social Intelligence(SI). 

 Although both require an ability to (consciously and subconsciously) understand emotions and body-language (including, but not limited to, facial expressions plus the tone, level and cadence of their voice) and have a good understanding of the nuances of socio-cultural behaviour, each are very necessary for quite different reasons.

· EI is more self-centred – in recognising and managing our own emotions and behaviour we are able to either positively or negatively impact the interaction between us and another. 

· SI is more other-centred – it’s about recognising the emotions and behaviour in others and in being empathetic towards them, make them feel special, help them work through their issues or display active listening that entrenches you in their conversation.

The skills required to build Emotional Intelligence are based on a level of self-awareness and self-mastery. Knowing and interpreting your emotions (what triggers them, what makes me react in that way, why is this emotion so strong/deep, etc) and how you then master your emotions in any given situation. This includes how much you are able to control your emotions, body language and voice to manage the situation in a positive, ‘grown-up’ way that is appropriate and positive. 

Although each of us have exactly the same emotions, the way we express these emotions is as individualistic and socio-culturally relevant as we are. Although there are lots of tools and skills you can learn to recognise and manage your own emotions, what we need to remember is that our emotions impact our behaviour (either positively or negatively). Being able to manage our own emotions helps us to manage the situations we find ourselves in and potentially impact the outcome of any given situation in addition to how we manage our relationships. So, yes, striving to build a higher EI will help us understand our own emotions, be better at understanding where they come from, help to communicate this in a more coherent way to others – leading to improved personal and work relationships, both in the short and the long run.

A few additional videos to watch:

Emotional Intelligence: From Theory to Everyday Practice:

Emotional Intelligence at work:

Strategies to become more emotional intelligent Daniel Goleman:

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