Emotional Intelligence in a nutshell refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate our emotions and those around us. It is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your emotions in positive and constructive ways. It’s about recognising your own emotional state and the emotional states of others. Emotional intelligence is also about engaging with others in ways that draw people to you. An analogy is given of two sisters, Gloria and Sandra. The two grew up like most little girls; helping each other with homework and other house chores just like sisters should. However when they reached the adolescent age, it was evident that they handled situations differently. Sandra started segregating herself from Gloria her big sister; a clear indication they were parting ways. Several events passed that made Sandra jealous of her blood sister. One day as they were headed home a gentleman seeking for direction stumbled upon them. But to her dismay Sandra was dismissed as the man begged to consult Gloria. Sandra quickly dashed home accusing her sister of flirting to her mother. At some point Sandra even contributed to the break up of Gloria and his boy friend, when the latter came looking for Gloria at her home. She told him that Gloria had turned into a slut and had requested her to direct any man looking for her to the community’s club. Due to miscommunication, he saw Gloria where he least expected to find her. The whole event was followed by a letter from the boyfriend calling it quits. Gloria could not comprehend Sandra’s jealousy despite being her blood sister. Her efforts to try to bring her sister to understanding hit a snag. While Gloria continued succeeding in life after getting a caring and loving family, her sister Sandra kept on pursuing to break it up. Emotional Intelligence is more about being ‘heart smart’ as opposed to being ‘book smart’. We look at a few ways to improve your E.I.
Social awareness: Take time to understand the underlying facts. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and empathise. If you judge others remember that the same will be done to you.
Personal SWOT Analysis: Identify your strong points, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Focus on how to improve your life. How can you improve your weakness? Will you need some help from friends?
Control emotions: Learn to manage your emotions in healthy ways. Do not let your feelings rule over you or blame others when it is not their fault. Adapt to different situations.
Avoid self praise: This could result to situations where you believe that you are always right in your doings. Thus every time, it’s either your way or the highway.