Written By: Pamela Tudor

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of your emotions and how they affect your behavior, and being able to use this greater awareness in your relationships. Emotional intelligence (EI or sometimes referred to as EQ) differs from cognitive intelligence (IQ). There is much research shows that emotional intelligence is more of a factor for success in life than IQ.

This is not to denigrate brainiacs. Personally, I love being around really smart people! But how many of us know a really smart person who is fairly clueless about his/her impact on others? Misunderstandings, confusion and irritation often surround those who are unaware of their impact.

For example, have you known a boss whose anger on some days spills out so volcanically that people developed a boss barometer, communicated like wild fire, for keeping heads down or becoming invisible that day? This person might be quite cognitively smart, but unable to manage his emotions and therefore not very emotionally intelligent.

This simple guide will break down the generally recognized components of emotional intelligence into bite-sized pieces. There are many subdivisions of EI that are worthwhile examining – we’ll have fun with them. I will provide a few practical tips for you to incorporate into your daily life with each aspect of our exploration. Take what works for you – and practice using the tips.

My main suggestion is to approach the whole issue of EI as a means for building emotional know-how, which will improve your relationships at work and at play. The by-product of this practice is increased inner fitness: effectiveness, self-empowerment, peace and happiness. Just like you might practice your dance steps, practice gaining emotional smarts– it will help you to achieve your goals.

Okay! So we’ll start with the first aspect of emotional intelligence: being aware of your emotions and your moods as you are having them. Questions you might ask yourself are: What do you do when you get anxious or stressed? What feelings do you have in your body as you experience your emotions? Do you have reflexive or automatic behaviors that might have earned you some unpleasant labels?

Do you hole up when you feel angry and communicate your anger non-verbally? Are your snippy responses a clear signal of anger that you are expressing sideways? When you are anxious do you start talking so fast no one can get a word in “sledgewise”? Or do you get bossy when you feel fearful or anxious?

These are questions to ask yourself as you practice becoming more aware of your emotions and their impact, as you are having them.

Practice tip:

Choose to spend the next 14 days becoming more and more aware of your emotions, as you go about your day. What are your behavioral manifestations when you experience your emotions? Become aware of your emotions as you feel them: joy, anger, sadness, irritation, anxiety, nervous, fear, hurt. What do you do when you experience these feelings?

This is not easy and requires practice. Most of us are expert at “reading” other people’s emotions and how it affects them. Many of us lose our expertise when it comes to reading our own emotions and how we convey them.

You needn’t change anything– simply take note of your behaviors as you react to your emotions. Jump in! We’re on the road.

Leave a message below for Pamela or email her at: ptudor@boomer-living.com or visit her website at www.tudorconsulting.net.

Tags: components of emotional intelligence, Inner Fitness, peace and happiness

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