In 1995, author, psychologist, and science journalist, Daniel Goleman, wrote a book entitled, Emotional Intelligence which made its way to The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half. It was a relatively new concept designed to assist companies in determining which characteristics defined leadership qualities in their employees. Certainly one's level of intelligence, (IQ), was critical. Their technical skills, such as accounting and business planning, played an important role as did one's cognitive abilities such as analytical reasoning, big picture thinking, and long term visions. But what he found regarding one's emotional intelligence (EQ) was that it was twice as important as the others for jobs on every level.
What exactly is EQ and how does it apply to the average individual?
1. You are in tune with your emotional self. You are able to thoughtfully identify and express your feelings. Your vocabulary extends far beyond the standard angry, happy, sad, tired or I don't know. You have a deeper understanding of specifically what you are feeling, why, and how you need to handle it.
2. You're curious about people. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. Empathy is the ability to connect on an emotional level with what others are experiencing and can bond people together on a deeper level.
3. You welcome change. Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and adapt readily to life's uncertainties. Fear of the unknown is a limiting factor in one's overall enjoyment and success in life. They can embrace change because they have the confidence to handle it and the ability to make it advantageous for themselves as well as others.
4. You know your strengths and weaknesses. EI people do not feel compelled to always be strong nor are they concerned with what others think about them. They recognize their weaknesses and work at strengthening them. At the same time, they are confident enough to fully utilize their strengths to get the most out of life.
5. You're a good judge of character. EI people feel connected to others and notice the little nuances that reveal insights into the other person's character. They understand who they are and why they do what they do.
6. They don't take personal offense. For the most part, they have a thick skin and aren't easily offended by what others say or do. In this regard, they don't get their feelings hurt as often, thereby reducing the amount of anger generated by being offended.
7. No is an important part of their vocabulary. Not only do they have the ability to set boundaries and limits regarding the demands others put on them, they can also say no to themselves. They understand what appropriate behavior is and resist the urge to allow their emotions to inappropriately be expressed, not matter how tempting. They also have the ability to delay gratification and avoid impulsive behaviors, giving themselves the much-needed time to carefully consider the best course of action.
8. You put mistakes into their proper perspective. EI people recognize that mistakes are a necessary part of the life experience. They consider the value of each attempt, learn the lessons, and put the experience behind them. They refrain from the temptation to rehash old news and prefer to move forward.
9. You give without thought of recompense. You are truly generous and altruistic, seeking to enrich the lives of others without thought of personal gain. This enables them to build strong relationships with others as they are viewed as honorable, trustworthy, and genuinely caring.
10. You don't hold grudges. You recognize that everyone makes poor choices in life and you are willing to put past issues behind you. Holding on to prior offenses is judgmental and leads to increased levels of stress, anger, bitterness, and resentment, all of which are harmful to you. Letting go is a sign of self-love.
11. You neutralize toxic people. You can readily identify those who are toxic and choose to either remove yourself from their presence, limit the amount of interaction you have with them, and/or know how to diffuse their behaviors and protect yourself from their harmful effects. They do not have a negative impact on you or your life.
12. You are not a perfectionist. EI people seek excellence rather than the impossible state of perfection. They strive to be better or do better, knowing that trying to achieve that which is unattainable only leads to stress, low self-esteem, self-degradation, and unhappiness. They delight their accomplishments rather than failures.
13. You live in a state of gratitude. This is a daily mindset. Doing so reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. People who choose an attitude of gratitude as a lifestyle experience improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
14. You know how to disconnect. Taking time off, creating a balance between work and play, dealing with issues and knowing when to disregard them, keeps stress levels down. Disconnecting from work, people, and technology and reconnecting with yourself, nature, hobbies, and God allows you much needed time to recharge your batteries and be more effective in all aspects of life.
15. You give your body what is healthy. This means limiting caffeine, eliminating or reducing the use of medications, getting the proper amount of sleep and exercise, and consuming nutritious foods, properly hydrating, and so forth.
16. You end negative self-talk. The most important voice is the one in your own head. Self-talk will either enrich your life or destroy it. EI people recognize the importance of positive self-talk and its impact on every aspect of our lives from one's emotional, physical, spiritual health to our relationships, professional and personal success and more.
17. You take ownership for your own happiness and joy. You don't' allow others to push your buttons and make you angry, to determine how you feel about yourself, to decide how and when you will be happy. Your feelings, actions, and life are solely the result of your personal choices. You blame no one and take full ownership for your happiness or lack thereof. Self-responsibility is a key component to being emotionally intelligent.
In conclusion, the core components of one who has a high level of emotional intelligence is one who possesses common sense, takes personal responsibility, and practices self-love. By developing each of these attributes we have greater control over the quality of our lives, thereby greatly reducing the amount of anger and negativity we experience.
Special thanks to my guest Erica Peitler: Erica@ericapeitler.com 201-486-1099
Thanks to Travis Bradberry of www.wakingtimes.com for sharing his knowledge.
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Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows (including Fox News Radio), is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net and Between You and God (iHeartRadio.com).
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 100 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."