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Why is it Important to Learn Emotional Intelligence?

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Published on: 09 Aug 2022

Are you surrounded by an environment that constantly misunderstands or completely neglects how you feel? Or do you want to learn how to manage your emotions better so that they don’t take control over your life? This blog covers everything about why emotional intelligence is important and how it can help you grow.

As a constant advocate of mental health, I have come across many people and workplaces that undermine the significance of emotional intelligence. The rapidly growing world gives a huge relevance to high emotional intelligence and it's about time you understood its value.

So, let's understand together what emotional intelligence is and why it is such an important aspect of growth in 2022.

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

The scientific definition:

Science defines emotional intelligence as the boundary between cognition and emotion. It helps you grow resilience, stress tolerance, empathy, communication, and the ability to read and navigate.

Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is vital for creating a fulfilling and happy life. In simple words, emotional intelligence is the sheer ability to recognise and regulate a person's emotions. Higher EQ enables you to have more profound relationships, decrease stress, manage conflicts in a team, and improve overall satisfaction in life.

The general meaning of emotional intelligence:

In our day-to-day lives, emotional intelligence simply means a way to increase productivity by evolving your emotional awareness. It helps in setting an unforgettable impression not only at your workplace but also outside of it.

In our next section, let's get an in-depth view of how you can know if you are emotionally intelligent.  

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

I started working as a writer in 2018. I was full of passion and ideas but over time, the passion was replaced by bitterness, stress, and anger. I was constantly uninspired and uninterested. Not being able to give my 100% made me feel lost and all the pent-up frustrations led me to almost giving up on writing as a career. I took some time off and decided to sort things with myself.

Understanding what I felt and why I felt it helped me analyse the situation with a clear head. It wasn't that the passion to write was gone. The problem was that after dealing with various clients, positive and negative behaviours of my colleagues, and working mechanically day-after-day, I didn't address my frustrations and emotions the right way. Ignoring my state of mind had turned me bitter.

Every human comes with an emotional capacity. And, reading these emotions is what emotional intelligence is about. Still, wondering if you are emotionally intelligent. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What emotions do you feel throughout the day?
  • Can you cope with those emotions without them affecting your daily life?
  • How do you self-motivate? Can you motivate others?


The answers of these questions can be the way to develop emotional intelligence. You see, the core of emotional intelligence begins with introspection. When you know yourself and your emotions, the experience allows you to identify the same in others.

Emotional intelligence is advantageous not only for ourselves but for the community as a whole. You might think reading a person's emotions is easy and a juvenile job. But, there's a lot more to it than what a layman's perspective can see. Learning this skill on a daily basis can help you progress in both personal and professional parts of life. In the next segment, we will discover why emotional intelligence is one of the most important requirements in 2022.

What is the Importance of Emotional Intelligence?

A happy life spawns from satisfaction. And, satisfaction arises from understanding. Emotional intelligence can lead you to both happiness and satisfaction. Your beliefs, principles, and ideals can be a part of this framework.

Have you seen a workplace evolve? It is a gradual process for which employees need to work in harmony. This is why the corporate world is on a constant lookout for candidates with higher emotional intelligence. Anyone who can deal with changes positively, emphasise a cohesive work culture, and manage stress efficiently can be a great asset to the company.

There are 5 distinct categories under this skill domain. Each category puts an emphasis on how vital emotional intelligence can be in our lives. You can learn these skills at any stage of life. Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence is a lifelong learning skill that has no age restrictions. Without further delay, let's go through what these categories are:

1. Self-awareness

When you feel sad, you are aware of it. The same goes for feelings like happiness and anger. These are relatively easy to recognise. However, there are some emotions which are harder to point out. Feelings like resentment, guilt, and jealousy can be much more complex to understand. On your journey to be more self-aware, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • What triggers your emotions?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Knowing yourself better is the right way to build your emotional intelligence. Being intact with your emotions will help you connect with others on a deeper level.

When it comes to negative emotions like stress or demotivation, emotional intelligence can show you how to cope well. Take some time to check what's going on with you. Why do you feel how you feel? Labelling an emotion can help you in understanding what you are going through. Once you know what you are feeling, introspect to understand why you are feeling it. The more you understand, the easier it will get to untangle your emotions.

2. Self-management

Self-awareness is followed by self-management. It is defined as the ability to manage one's emotions. Higher emotional intelligence does not mean that you don't go through periods of mood fluctuations, grief, anger, or any other negative emotion. Having a higher emotional intelligence means that despite having these negative emotions, you have the ability to control them from taking over your life.

You would be lying if you didn't let negative emotions take over your decisions even for once in your life. When I was a kid, I would unleash my anger by skipping meals. It only made things worse because being hungry added to the anger. Bottom-line, I didn't get to eat good food and my behaviour didn't help me get any brownie points from anywhere.  

What I am trying to say is that you are a human and you will always have those negative emotions in your head. How you deal with those emotions is what matters the most.

Additionally, you should try to "sleep on it". You get disappointing news, an angry email from a customer, or an off-putting situation. Don't react impulsively. Instead, take your time to understand the matter. Think it through with a clear head without letting those negative emotions cloud your judgement. Solving matters using emotional intelligence can be much more productive.

3. Motivation

You wake up everyday. You have your breakfast. You go to work. You do what you have to do mechanically. You eat your lunch. You continue working until the end of the shift. You return home. You grab your dinner. You sleep. And, the cycle continues.

Sounds mundane, doesn't it?

More than mundane, it sounds like you are devoid of motivation. It sounds like you are living life because you have to and not because you love to.

Motivation is not only what makes you move forward. Motivation is what makes you feel excited for what comes ahead. After years of observations, I have come to define obstacles in two ways:

  • The aggressive obstacles: These are clear setbacks. Obstacles like shortage of money, family restrictions, fear of failure, and lack of skills. These obstacles are easy to point out and hence, have a potential to be solved.
  • The silent obstacles: These obstacles are not obvious ones. They are rather set in the depths of our minds for various reasons and seldom people talk about these obstacles. For example, constant demotivation from colleagues, family, and peers; childhood traumas; fear of shame in following a passion; and, unrealistic goals to stand up to someone else's (or their own) expectations.

Both aggressive and silent obstacles force us to not move ahead. By constantly losing motivation to follow our passions, we self-limit ourselves.

Low motivation also means you will cause more problems and find less solutions. It can lead to more anxiety and stress. Your lack of inspiration can demotivate others around you. Your goals, aspirations, duties, and responsibilities take a back seat. All you feel is the longing to crumble underneath a blanket and sleep.

But, this is no time to give up. The world is speeding towards new goals every day and if you want to keep up with it, you will have to upgrade yourself and your skills.

Don't work just because you have to pay for your monthly groceries. Work because it inspires you to be a better version of yourself.

There is no limit to the things you can learn in life. Find your motivation. Find what makes you feel the electricity in your veins and what gives you a boost of energy.

Your mind is capable of brainstorming countless ideas. You just need to find the motivation to put it on a platter.

More motivation will make you work smarter and better. It will pump up the team to work alongside with the same energy. You will be more than just an employee, friend, or family member. You will be an asset to the world.

4. Empathy

Empathy is a person's ability to walk in someone else's shoes. Every relationship should share a bond of empathy.

Understanding how a person is feeling and connecting with them on that level can have a life-changing impact. This is the kind of skill that will help you grow not only professionally but also in your personal life.

Empathy also means that you understand the needs of a person and act accordingly. In the corporate world, reading the emotions of a client can be very useful. You can evaluate what they want and negotiate accordingly.

Empathy can also help in building long-lasting relationships. A person who understands you and your wants is a treasure that you can't let go. It also cultivates a positive environment which can encourage people to be the best version of themselves.

If you are involved in teamwork, empathy is the key to win everyone over. Noticing the emotions of your teammates and responding accordingly can build a network of trust. More trust can strengthen the performance of the team. It builds a happy work culture that can lead to a satisfactory experience.

5. Relationship management

One of the key categories of emotional intelligence is relationship management.

Have you ever seen workplaces where certain seniors have handled relationships with juniors poorly? This includes constantly demeaning the junior employees, discouraging them from producing ideas, and yelling in front of others to "set an example".

Relationship management is an important skill that helps in building trust and respect. If you think being a senior in a company will fetch you the respect you desire, you are wrong. It's not uncommon for people to crib and complain about their bosses and how much they hate them.

A cliché way to make this clear would be : trust and respect are earned.

Relationship management is all about having interpersonal skills that allow you to gain a genuine rapport in any space. A person with excellent interpersonal skills will always inspire, guide, and push the team forward. They will bring the best out of you by using the sheer power of emotional intelligence.

We know now that emotional intelligence is important to grow in life. But, is emotional intelligence more important than regular intelligence a.k.a IQ? The next section answers this question in depth.

Is Emotional Intelligence More Important Than IQ?

Science describes IQ as academic intelligence. It focuses on a person's cognitive abilities that include memory storage and problem-solving. Unlike emotional intelligence, IQ is linked straight to a person's brain capacity excluding emotions.

Initially, IQ was used as a measure of intelligence to derive a person's success. However, studies have found that high IQ doesn't always deliver great success. Success can be a mix of IQ and emotional intelligence. The combination of both can help you perform the best.

Let's look at the IQ (regular intelligence) vs EQ (emotional intelligence) debate in depth with the pointers below:

1. Cognitive skills vs predictability

When it comes to IQ vs EQ, the question isn't which aspect is better. The right question would be, how each aspect can be used to improve our skills in various sectors of life. IQ is important to build cognitive skills and academic achievements. On the other hand, EQ is important to manage teamwork and build a positive work environment. These are two sides of a coin and separating one from the other can only give chaotic results.

2. Success with IQ vs success with EQ

Two decades ago, IQ was the ground on which a person's ability was judged. The world has studied and evolved with time.

Did you know that IQ denotes only 20% of the success a person gathers in life? IQ is no longer the sole factor in a person's success. It may help you brainstorm ideas and come up with excellent opinions. But, work is more than just about new ideas. It also includes managing teams, controlling emotions, dealing with day-to-day frustrations, and creating a safe space where each person can grow. That's where EQ comes in handy.

Even today, there are many people who live with the misconception that IQ is the ultimate requirement for success. But, we all know someone with a higher IQ who is still struggling or hasn't been doing "well" in life. This is why people and workplaces need to be more aware of emotional intelligence and why it is the need of the hour.

3. Improvement in IQ vs improvement in EQ

IQ can be developed to an extent but with age, our brain faces its own set of limitations. But, EQ has a high chance of improvement with time. You can refine your emotional intelligence just like any other skill. Take one step at a time. With the help of micro-learning, it gets easier to gain more knowledge. Learn bit by bit daily so that you can acquire the knowledge gradually and permanently.

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Emotional intelligence can also be therapeutic. In your hectic schedule, you can't escape stress. Let's understand how having emotional intelligence can help you deal with stress in a better way.

How Does Emotional Intelligence Help With Stress?

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It's normal and completely understandable if you are facing it right now. What matters is how you deal with stress and how you let it affect your life. Let's look at the different ways emotional intelligence can help you curb stress:

1. Dealing using self-awareness

A person with high EQ is self-aware. The first step to sorting your emotions is to acknowledge them. Being aware of how you feel can help you respond to the situation accordingly before it takes a toll on your mind. Uncontrolled negative emotions can escalate to the point of causing severe mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

2. Dealing with negative emotions using a positive outlook

Why do negative emotions harm us? Because they make us feel lost or defeated. Negative emotions bring out the pessimistic side which cuts us from focusing on the happy parts of life. Being emotionally intelligent will give you the power to control these emotions rather than them controlling you.

The best way to effectively cope with these negative emotions is to answer with a positive response. An optimistic outlook can help you control emotions.

For instance, you feel that you have a deadline you aren't able to meet because of genuine reasons. Instead of taking stress, analyse the situation. You can ask your supervisor for an extension and that will help you complete the deadline.

Another example is not being able to meet the month's end every time. You keep a note of your expenses and make a strict budget that you can follow so that there is still some savings by the end of the month.

Understand that everything has a solution and with a clear mind, you can sort all the problems.

3. Coping with occupational stress

For most adults, the biggest factor of stress is the working sector. When a professional environment lacks emotional intelligence, it creates a chaotic atmosphere. Everybody is stressed in such workplaces even when the work is not really a mountainous task. The stress in such professional cases is related to dealing with people you don't want to deal with.

Moving from an environment that prohibits you from being your best version can be a good solution. However, not everyone's privileged to act upon it immediately. What you can do is cultivate emotional intelligence around you. You can take the initiative of being emotionally intelligent by building trust and respect in your team.

Remember, you may not be able to create emotional intelligence in the entire workspace. But, you can help it grow in the team you work with so that there's less stress for everyone to deal with.

4. Evaluate situations beforehand

Being emotionally intelligent can help in predictions. I call this "mental magic". While dealing with clients, you need the ability to see through them. Reading what your client needs and how you can propose an advantageous deal can be a stress-buster. It not only lessens the chances of gathering more stress but also, adds a sense of achievement.

These are the ways how emotional intelligence can improve your mental health and give you better hold on your life. The sheer ability to manage emotions increases your overall capacity to cope with various situations in a healthy manner.

There's another aspect of emotional intelligence that is extremely useful in life: the art of decision-making. Let's see how emotional intelligence improves your decision-making skills.

How Does Emotional Intelligence Help in Decision-making?

Emotional intelligence has a deep impact on your personal and professional progress. It is more than just the ability to read emotions. It is about how we navigate our behaviour to deal with the social complexities in life. In simpler words, it helps you deal with a variety of situations that life throws at you.

So, how does EQ become an improvement factor of decision-making skills? We have a list to help you understand this. Take a look at it:

1. Preventing bad decisions

Making good decisions is the result of avoiding bad ones. And, you can't separate the good from the bad if you can't analyse the repercussions. Understanding bad decisions would mean predicting how they would impact you in life. Lower EQ can give you anxiety when you have to make a decision. Higher EQ will help you decide with a clear mind. Moreover, knowing the potential effects of bad decision-making can wary you about what you don't want.

2. Removing unrequired emotions

We face tons of emotions when we have to make a decision. Confusion, dilemma, fear, stress, and thrill are some of the many emotions that create a hotch-potch in our brains. Emotional intelligence will help you remove the unrequired emotions from the puddle. So, your decision will not be impacted by any unnecessary emotion. Hence, instead of making impulsive decisions based on your emotions, you will think through and then, decide.

3. Improve observational skills

Emotional intelligence is about perceiving how others feel and act. Focusing on and observing the people around you will create an emotional awareness. This emotional awareness can help you while making a decision. From your observations, you will learn and understand more. This will help you make a decision with a more definite mind.

Understanding what emotional intelligence is and why it is so crucial in today's times can allow you to conquer not only professional success but also the hearts of people. Instead of saying no to life because you are "just not in the mood", emotional intelligence gives you the opportunity to understand why you are not in the mood. This helps you liven up the mood and live better.

We have walked you through the various aspects of emotional intelligence and how deeply it can impact your life in various ways.

The question now is, how do you want to proceed from here? You understand emotional intelligence in theory. How can you practice it in real life and can the change happen quickly?

KoolStories is forever ready to answer such questions for you. You can log into our app for free and reach out to our expert creators. Our goal is to create a more aware world that grows steadily with dynamic learning. Bring value to your social behaviour and upgrade to the best version of yourself. Sign up today to discover the world of micro learning and meet like-minded people from around the globe. We promise we won't waste your time.

 

FAQs

Can I learn emotional intelligence in a week?

Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be gained over time. Exploring emotions and using the knowledge in practical life is a lifelong process. The good thing is there is no time restraint. You can learn when you want at your own pace. I would suggest that you learn through bite-sized content that is easy to understand. Bit by bit, you can learn more each day.  

 

How can I tell if I am emotionally intelligent?

You can test yourself by asking yourself these 3 questions:

"Do I know myself well enough?"
"How often do I observe the emotions of other people?"
"How do I react when I get negative criticism or feedback?"

The answer to these questions will help you understand how high your emotional intelligence is.

How do I improve emotional intelligence?

There are 3 steps that can help you enhance your emotional intelligence:

Write a journal that records your feelings and emotions.
Observe your surroundings and the emotions of other people.
Perform breathing exercises that can help you concentrate and recognise your emotions.

 

How do you measure the growth of emotional intelligence?

Higher emotional intelligence would mean a better ability to deal with emotions. People with higher emotional intelligence can evaluate emotions, manage and control negative emotions from influencing their lives, and provide more value overall.

 

Is it easy to learn emotional intelligence?

With the right mindset, nothing can be difficult to learn. Emotional intelligence does not need any special tools for you to learn. All you need to do is have an open mind and the readiness to accept emotions as a part of life. Once you start practicing emotional intelligence in real life, you will realise how natural it is.