Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) includes the ability to understand and manage our emotions, as well as our responses to those emotions. Like any skill, you can train and sharpen it to produce desirable outcomes. However, emotional intelligence differs from intellectual ability, in that emotional intelligence is learned and not acquired.

Why is Emotional Intelligence important?

Emotional intelligence is very crucial since it gives the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s emotions in positive ways to communicate effectively, show empathy towards others, and defuse conflict. It is commonly defined by four attributes:

•Self-awareness – You recognize your emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
•Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, and adapt to changing circumstances.
•Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues and feel comfortable socially.
•Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Having a high EI does not only help in leadership, relationship management, and conflict resolution but it also makes you aware of your emotional state. Only by being aware of our emotional state and our reactions to stress in our lives can we hope to manage stress and maintain good health. Being emotionally intelligent can also affect our mental well-being positively.

Besides, emotionally intelligent people tend to be more successful. Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators, which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better networks of support, delay gratification and see the long-term directly affects our ability to succeed.