Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.
Despite this criticism, the concept of emotional intelligence—sometimes referred to as emotional quotient or EQ—has gained wide acceptance.
What Does It Mean to Be Emotionally Intelligent?
An emotionally intelligent individual is both highly conscious of his or her own emotional states, even negativity—frustration, sadness, or something more subtle—and able to identify and manage them. Such people are especially tuned in to the emotions that others experience. It is understandable that sensitivity to emotional signals both from within oneself and from one’s social environment could make one a better friend, parent, leader, or romantic partner. Fortunately, these skills can be honed.
Building Emotional Intelligence Is Not as Hard as You Think.
Especially in the midst of the pandemic, people must work to develop freedom within the pushes and pulls of powerful emotions.
- Emotional Intelligence and Mental Health
The coverage of mental health has increased in both popular press and academic research. There is no doubt that mental health awareness is on the increase and may reach proportions that will stretch services.
I am proposing the use of emotional intelligence in supporting strategies to help people with mental health.
Self-awareness is the ability to assess own emotions and understanding the impact they can have on oneself. Through self-awareness, one can identify their own strengths and areas to improve. Mental health is an important topic and reality would enable us to deal with issues earlier. In other words, prevention is better than cure.
Therefore, the implementation of self-awareness becomes integral for own mind and balance. For example, if I am self-aware of my actions and can identify that these are not helping me control my emotions, I have started to develop awareness. Based on this recognition, I am able to develop strategies to control my emotions. Indeed, it is through building self-confidence that one creates positivity to enhance the mindset and feeling of happiness to facilitate balance.
The ability to regulate emotion could be integral to dealing with mental health. Our emotions can fluctuate throughout the day and their very nature can dictate whether we can control these emotions.
Through setting goals, one can regain focus and direction to complete tasks. Having achieved these goals one can start to regain emotional control. Mindfulness enables us to stay in the present moment. Humans tend to focus on past and future events. Crucially, we do not spend enough time on the present. In other words, the present is in our control and we can do something about it.
Mindfulness can help people to deal with their current situation and find ways to deal with each aspect. For example, deep breathing enables people to stay in the present and provide more control to regain balance in mind and body.
Clearly, someone with mental health issues may not feel positive to change their thinking. However, some small changes can lead to positivity and one example could be from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I will do this’. Mental health patients require encouragement that they are doing well, and reflective practice provides them opportunities to self-assess their own progress.
To enable growth, motivation is a necessity and need that has been proposed by theorists. We all have intrinsic and extrinsic needs. Within mental health one of the key drivers to support people is the use of motivation as it can create the required energy. Arguably, a lack of motivation can be related to one aspect of mental health. Therefore, the use of motivation strategies (such as goal setting and positive self-talk) could reverse this trend.
- EQ and Stress
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to restrain negative feelings of anger, stress, and anxiety, and focus on positive feelings of patience, confidence, and empathy.
How stress can affect your emotional intelligence?
Uncontrolled emotions and stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. 8
Do you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster? Identifying your emotions can help.
With physical distancing, tensions are on edge, and arguments are erupting.
Every person is under tremendous stress right now. You cannot be the emotionally generous person you want to be unless you work through your big emotions and replenish your reserves.
- EQ and Loneliness
Loneliness is an experience, a feeling of social disconnection. It can be induced by loss or a major life transition. Changing schools, a miscarriage, or a breakup can result in feeling lonely. All of these experiences share in common a broken connection. But more importantly, they share the perception one lacks an emotional bond, a bond we are meant to have with others. How we perceive it may depend on us.
We are meant to connect and share our lives because our survival depended on it. We have become hard-wired to be social.
We know the distress loneliness causes human beings in extreme cases of social disconnection. Our need to connect is strong.
Our understanding of and positive response to emotions is important in protecting us from the undesirable feeling of loneliness.
There is still much to learn about loneliness. In other words, our understanding of and positive response to emotions is important in protecting us from the undesirable feeling of loneliness.
How can we use EQ to overcome feelings of loneliness?
Identify the cause: Is it lockdown or social isolation?
Check your thinking: Because loneliness is an internal experience of how we think and feel about a situation, it is important to check our thinking. We want to make sure we are reasonable about the situation, not overreacting or misjudging it
Commitment to actions that may alleviate loneliness is an important ingredient for success.
- EQ and Coronavirus Survival
With emotional intelligence, you learn to insist, to control your impulses, to survive despite adversities and difficulties, to hope for, and to have empathy.
It is official: We are in a pandemic. Actually, two of them. One, we all know, is the spread of the coronavirus. The second is a pandemic of fear.
Being in the grip of panic hurts us in any crisis. Just when we need to think clearly and stay calm, panic pitches our brain into foggy thinking and our body into tension.
Here is the trouble: We cannot control what we feel when we will feel it, nor how strong the feeling will be. Feelings like panic come unbidden.
Our choice point comes once the feeling—panic, fear, worry— arises. Then we can choose to either act from those feelings or in ways that help
The worrisome challenges COVID-19 poses us all are countless.
Worry that’s productive peaks as we face some urgent threat then vanishes once the danger passes. But panic indicates the worst kind of worry, where we ruminate on a threat —like a coronavirus—and end up imagining the worst that can happen without coming up with any positive steps we could take.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its unparalleled, global effects has caused most organizations to look hard at their readiness to meet major crises. Many have discovered that they were woefully underprepared, threatening the existence of their organizations.
The best way to deal with a crisis is to be prepared. While we cannot go back in time and be better prepared for this crisis, we can learn from our mistakes and ensure our organizations are better prepared for the future. Managers and supervisors play key roles in these preparations. Here then are five ways to ready your organization for the next crisis.
- Plan Ahead
The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is never truer than when a crisis hit. The last thing any organization needs is to be caught unprepared when something goes majorly wrong. Develop detailed contingency plans to guide your organization through sudden difficulties. More importantly, ensure everyone knows and understands the plans and how to execute them.
- Develop and Communicate Clear Guidelines
This needs to happen long before a crisis happens. Workers need to know what to expect and what is expected of them when a major crisis occurs. What is your organization’s telework policies? How will jobs and responsibilities change? What do workers need to do in advance to be prepared? How will the organization communicate vital information to workers? These questions and many more need to be answered in advance.
- Ensure Your People Have What They Need
Almost overnight, millions of office workers became a remote workforce. Many may have never previously worked from home and may not be prepared to do so. They may not even have a home computer or high-speed Internet. Organizations need to have policies in place to mitigate these issues. For example, you may allow workers to take their office computers home if needed or pay them a stipend to hook up Internet service. Remember: Preparation is the key.
- Be Patient and Flexible with Parents
When schools are closed, teleworking parents have a lot more to think about than doing their jobs. When kids are out of school for an extended period, parents will have the additional burden of keeping their learning on track. In such cases, parents may not be as available as usual during typical work hours and take longer to respond to phone calls, texts, and email. Supervisors and co-workers need to keep these additional challenges in mind, be patient and flexible waiting for responses from parents, and trust that they are doing their best in difficult situations.
- Have Reasonable Expectations
The reality is that productivity will likely suffer when a major crisis occurs. A lot of things we take for granted in a typical work environment will suddenly get more complicated and less efficient. Teleworking alone can lead to lots of problems. For instance, issues with meeting software and Internet connectivity may hamper communications. For these and lots of other reasons, project deadlines may need to be adjusted, certain non-critical tasks may need to be temporarily suspended, and you may need to accept a lower volume of work to maintain quality.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, following these five suggestions will go a long way in helping your organization to prepare for a crisis, survive, and thrive.
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that define emotional intelligence:
People with high EI understand their emotions and they don’t let their feelings rule them. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work in these areas so they can perform better.
This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don’t make impulsive careless decisions. They think before they act.
People with high EI are willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They are highly productive, love a challenge, and are effective in whatever they do.
This is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you. Empathetic people avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly, and they live their lives in an open, honest way.
- Social skills
People with strong social skills are typically team players. Rather than focus on their own success, they help others to develop and shine. They can manage disputes, are excellent communicators, and are masters at building and maintaining relationships.