What is Emotional Intelligence, and why is it important?

Emotional Intelligence or EI is the other kind of smart.

It started to appear to the masses in the mid-’90s and seemed to be the missing link in these peculiar findings: people with an average IQ outperformed those with higher IQs 70% of the time. These findings threw a massive spanner into what many people had assumed for so long, to be the sole source of success – IQ

Emotional intelligence is in all of us and is that “something” that seems to be a bit intangible. It affects how we manage our behaviour, make personal decisions to achieve the results we want, and how we navigate social complexities. EI is made up of four core skills that come under two primary competencies: personal and social competence.

Personal competence is made up of self-awareness and self-management skills. The focus is on the individual more than how you interact with others by being mindful of your emotions and managing your behaviour.
· Self- awareness is your ability to perceive your emotions accurately and be aware of them as they happen.
· Self-management is your ability to manage that awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and to direct your behaviour positively.

Social competence is made up of your social awareness and how you manage relationships. The ability to understand other people’s emotions/moods, behaviour and motives to improve the quality of your relationships.
· Social awareness is the ability to pick up emotions in other people accurately and to understand what is happening inside.
· Relationship management is your ability to use the awareness of your emotions to manage these interactions successfully.

EI, IQ, and personality are different.
EI is the fundamental element of human behaviour, and that is distinct from your intellect. You can’t predict an emotional response based on how smart someone is.
Intelligence is your ability to learn and is the same regardless of your age. EI is a set of skills that is flexible and can be acquired and improved with practice. Even if you aren’t born with high EI, you can develop this over time.
Personality is the other piece to the puzzle. The stable ‘style’ that defines who we are and is the result of hard-wired preferences, such as an inclination towards being introverted or introverted. Like IQ, personality is not an indication of a person’s EI. Personality is stable and doesn’t change over a person’s lifetime. They each cover the unique makeup of a person and helps to explain what makes a person tick.

Decades of research suggests the impact EI has on performance and professional success. It’s the most significant predictor of performance in the workplace, the most influential driver of leadership and personal excellence. It is a powerful way to focus all your energy into one area to achieve tremendous results.

Talent Smart tested EI alongside 33 other essential skills in the workplace and found that EI is the strongest predictor of performance and explains 58% of success in all occupations. There is a mass of evidence to suggest these findings. People with higher emotional intelligence make an average of $29,000 more per year than people with low emotional intelligence. There is a direct link between emotional intelligence and earnings that shows at every point of increase in EI adds $1300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for every industry, every level and every region in the world. There is yet to find an industry in which performance and earnings aren’t tied directly to EI. Unlike IQ, EI can be developed.

Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centres of the brain. Neurologists use the term “Plasticity” to describe the brain’s ability to change. As you learn new skills, your mind grows new connections; your cells develop these connections to speed the efficiency of the new skills learned. Finding strategies to increase your emotional intelligence allows the billions of microscopic neurons a lining between the rational and emotional centres of your brain. Which then branch off like arms to reach other cells. These create a chain reaction of growth to enable your brain to kick this new behaviour into gear in the future.

By repeatedly using new EI strategies, these behaviours become lasting habits. How do we implement these strategies into a workplace and into our personal lives to get the most effective results, and boost overall productivity?

Larisa Vakulina, owner and founder of Askara and a successful business woman provides transformational business coaching. Using her advanced coaching approach, Larisa facilitates and supports entrepreneurs and leaders to achieve balance and move into higher levels of success. By adopting these concepts, you’ll be a step ahead of those following a more traditional approach. Take the next step to higher levels of emotional intelligence today.