When you grow up, you learn that there are certain things that are considered essentials in life in order to be successful.
You learn to take care of yourself. Your physical appearance and how you present yourself to others is crucial, especially when it comes to meeting people for the first time.
Graduating high school, attending college, and getting your first job are natural stages when you’re growing up. In school, your homework and tests are all judged and graded. You have to fill out applications and score well on the ACT or SAT. Your GPA was something you always kept in mind throughout your education.
You’re familiar with an IQ or Intelligence Quotient, but have you heard of EQ or emotional intelligence?
Let’s learn more about cultivating emotional intelligence and why it’s one of the best assets to have.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Before we dive into cultivating emotional intelligence or the reasons why it’s important, let’s learn more about what exactly it is. While IQ is a score that measures how an individual stands mentally, having EQ or emotional intelligence means that you are able to use and manage your own emotions in positive ways with yourself and others.
How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
If you want to become better at basketball, you practice. If you want to become faster at running, you carve time in your day to run. If you want to become a faster swimmer, you swim.
Emotional intelligence requires a little time, effort, and dedication, as with anything else in life. You can’t get better at emotional intelligence unless you practice. Practice makes perfect, right? When you take the time to practice how to respond in certain interactions or react to certain situations, you’ll be working to improve your emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence means being proactive rather than reactive. This means taking a few extra seconds to pause and think before responding or reacting. Over time, you’ll be able to put yourself into the other person’s shoes to see where they’re coming from. Emotional intelligence can also mean listening, absorbing, and asking questions before responding. A little self-reflection can go a long way.
Why Emotional Intelligence is Important
Emotional intelligence is an important asset to have within both your personal and professional life. In today’s world, it’s not uncommon to see qualities of emotional intelligence listed on job requirements or skills. Let’s learn more about some of the benefits of having emotional intelligence.
Individuals with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to build better and healthier relationships. They’re more likely to understand someone else’s point of view, even if it conflicts with or opposes their own views. Instead of getting defensive, they’re more open and willing to accept and implement feedback, especially if it involves a sense of improvement.
Listening is Improved
Listening is a skill that is relatively easy, but it can be difficult to implement in most conversations. Many people will think of their next point instead of listening to someone during a conversation. Emotional intelligence allows someone to put their own thoughts and feelings to the side in order to understand someone’s perspective. They are better able to pick up on tone, body language, and any emotions.
Emotionally intelligent individuals are able to make decisions not only based on their own wants and needs but the wants and needs of others. They’re able to see how their decisions can impact others in positive and negative ways. This allows them to be proactive rather than reactive, especially in stressful or negative situations.
If you’re interested in learning more about emotional intelligence or how to improve your own, reach out to us today to set up a consultation for career counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy to help you cultivate emotional intelligence.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.