The world is currently going through an interesting phase. Technology is transforming our lives – it’s eliminating and creating jobs, and changing how we think and take decisions.
The powerful invasion of technology has even impacted our relationships positively and negatively. Social media along with technologies like real-time messaging and video chatting helps people stay connected, thus reducing the impact of geographical distances. At the same time, relationships are turning increasingly superficial since the devices are electronic.
This has led to an increase in divorces, crimes, break-ups, suicides, depression, and even road-rage. The overall acceptance levels have dropped – by gender, region, religion, belief, or any other diversity factor.
All these result in negative feelings and emotions that cause stress and induce more negativity. It’s a vicious circle. No wonder there’s a surge in the professions linked to psychological wellness.
On the other hand, we find people around us who are generally peaceful, calm and happy. They seem to have everything under control.
We see a similar trend at our workplace as well. While some people are always under pressure and stress, others are peaceful, calm and smiling. The second set of people usually seems to have time and yet is successful. Such people are sought after and often regarded as role models.
So, what differentiates these people from the rest?
Emotional Intelligence, also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ) and popularized by Dan Goleman, has emerged as one of the most sought-after skills. Various research studies and reports unanimously indicate that this is one of the key skills for the future – reports by World Economic Forum and LinkedIn are just a couple of examples.
You probably have a lot of questions running in your mind.
- What is Emotional Intelligence?
- How can I measure it?
- Will I be able to improve it now or is there an age limit to it?
- What should I do to improve my Emotional Intelligence?
- How long will it take to improve my Emotional Intelligence?
- Does Emotional Intelligence help me in my professional career?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
There are a lot of definitions that are prevalent for Emotional Intelligence. According to me, it is:
Your ability to channelize emotions appropriately.
Let us try to understand each aspect of the definition.
Emotional Intelligence is:
Your Ability – it’s a skill you can develop…
To Channelize – a skill that helps you direct, guide, manage or channelize…
Emotions – not just your own but also of those around you…
Appropriately – in a manner that isn’t manipulative.
By this definition, emotionally intelligent people tend to act in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner. This is why they’re sought after.
In subsequent posts, I’ll try to answer the remaining questions listed above. In addition, if you have any additional questions or clarifications, please feel free to list them in the comments section below and I will respond to them.
[Update: You can read Part 2 here: The Critical Role of Self-Perception in Emotional Intelligence]
(Aditya Kuchibhotla is a Career Coach and a Life Coach helping people with their personal and professional aspects. You can reach out to him on his website www.adityakuchibhotla.com)