Emotional IQ and Wellness
Emotional wellness is linked to our emotional intelligence.
This term in itself can sometimes trigger a defensive
response. It is often interpreted as “maturity”;
and in many ways it is. Our maturity is based upon our
learning and experience. If we are confronted with a
situation outside of the range of previous emotional
experiences; or if we have never been taught how to
manage new emotional experiences, then of course, we
will not have the emotional maturity to deal with it.
Too often, we expect both ourselves and others to have
emotional maturity, purely based on age. This is nonsense!
If we have not previously dealt with aggression, grief,
failure, success or any other emotion, we will not have
learnt the tools required to manage the process surrounding
these ‘normal’ life experiences. If you
have never before encountered a manipulative person,
you may easily be seen by others as ‘stupid’.
In reality, you were naïve, but only because you
had yet to experience this type of personality or relationship.
Active participation in life experiences requires a
co-ordination of thoughts, feelings and actions. Understanding
how these three elements work together provides a stable
platform upon which to build our coping mechanisms.
Emotional intelligence is about understanding that
yourself and that you will continue to develop your
emotional management capability throughout life.
Emotional intelligence has been defined as:
“It is the capacity for recognizing
our own feelings and those of others, for motivating
ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves
and in our relationships”. - Daniel Goleman, 1998
Emotional intelligence is consciously choosing your
thoughts, feelings and actions to get the most possible
out of your relationship with yourself and others. Emotional
Intelligence integrates the three elements:
- Feelings - emotional development
- Thoughts - cognitive development
- Actions - behavioral development
It is not always so that we are equally capable in each
of these three areas. We know that our feelings are
largely controlled by our thoughts, but sometimes we
have difficulty in managing our actions. The feelings
and thoughts may just be too passionate at the time
that controlled action is beyond our current capability.
This requires a realistic self awareness of how we are
currently interacting with our world and continually
striving to improve our capability.
From this basis we can recognise our strengths and
weaknesses and use tools to help us grow.
How To Improve Emotional Intelligence
Our emotional intelligence grows as we learn how these
three elements work together and knowing how to apply
them to your own life. To improve our emotional intelligence
in these three important areas we need to:
- increase our self-awareness –
knowing how you typically react in certain situations,
knowing your hot buttons and your typical response
behaviours is the key to emotional intelligence.
- develop self-management skills –
using the power of controlled thoughts, feelings and
- develop self-direction –
self confidence develops through empathy and good
decisions. Learning to trust your instincts so that
you may give of yourself freely, with confidence that
you will stay in control of your own destiny.
To Increase Self-Awareness
- Recognize how your own feelings and actions affect
- Understand and accept your strengths, weaknesses,
feelings and personal power.
- Value your Independence – your choice of
thoughts, feelings and actions.
To increase self-management
- Learn how to ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’
- not being paralyzed by depression, stress or anger.
- Balance long term success with short term gratification
– make choices based on what is "best"
not what provides instant satisfaction.
- Develop Priorities – make decisions based
on what is most important at any given time or circumstance.
Not giving in to impulses that don’t contrite
directly to the pursuit of your goals.
- Be Optimistic – make a personal choice to
be positive rather than negative. Use effective self
talk on a daily basis. Remove negative influences
from your life.
- Be Persistent - in the face of setbacks. Action
removes all doubt
- Be Accountable – take responsibility for
your thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Develop Relationship & Social Skills –
learn good interpersonal skills to successfully interact
and communicate with others. Be able to understand
and articulate the unspoken feelings of a group.
Developing Self Management Skills
- Values – understanding your
personal value system is one of the most important
things you can do. Your values control your feelings
and thoughts, which in turn impact your decisions
- Goals – having a strong
awareness of your own goals, so that you may continue
to progress in your life, whilst helping others achieve
their goals. Many times your goals conflict with those
you share you life with and careful consideration
of the costs and benefits for those involved is required
to make sound decisions.
- Learning to Let Go - by letting
go of your own baggage, you improve your ability to
relate to others.
- Continual Personal Growth –
accepting that we are in a process of lifelong learning
and growth. You won’t always have all the answers,
or make the right choices, but you do always have
the opportunity to grow and prevent making the same
mistakes again. Personal growth is about learning
how to let go or eliminate painful, limiting emotions
that cause stress and prevent you from performing
at your best; and incorporating positive, motivating
skills that propel you towards reaching your goals.
- Interdependence – understand
how your emotional intelligence impacts those your
interact with, and how best you can contribute to
their emotional growth.
- Empathy – show compassion,
understanding and forgiveness to others. reading other
people's emotions without their having to tell you
what they are feeling. Understand that they may not
share the same values, goals or emotional intelligence
as you. They have the right to feel or act in ways
that are right for them.
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
According to studies, Emotional Intelligence of each
generation is falling. A survey of American employers
- More than 50% of employees lack the motivation
to keep learning and improving in the job.
- 40% are incapable of working cooperatively with
- Over 80% of entry level applicants lacked self-discipline
in their work habits.
- 70% of all change initiatives are failing to deliver
the desired results due to people issues.
The competitive edge of todays corporations largely
depends on the relationships of its people. Emotional
intelligence has a ripple effect in organisations. Leaders
possessing emotional intelligence will create an effective
work climate that will further develop emotional intelligence
at the subordinate levels.
An organisational leader needs emotional intelligence
- Make a commitment to the organisations strategy
- Build open and trusting relationships with stakeholders
and venture partners
- Not buy in to negative corporate politics –
know how to shut down disruptive influences
- Collaborate, support and share resources
- Encourage personal development, and organisational
- Holistic approach to the workplace – combining
human and financial goals
The impact of EI depends largely upon the complexity
of the job. The more complex the role, the more emotional
intelligence will support the person to achieve success
through goal planning, commitment, persistence, searching
quality and motivating teams.
Emotional intelligence has been shown to contribute
85% of what defines star performers from the average.
Emotional Intelligence Test [Provided by Hay Group]