by Angie Harvey
Most folks won’t know what I mean when I say Emotional Intelligence (EI). Our lack of knowledge is mainly due to the vocabulary but also involves our challenges when practicing the deed. EI is really just a fancy way of describing our ability to be aware, in control of, and able to express our emotions while dispensing good judgement and empathy in our relationships with others. If you think that was a mouthful to type you can imagine the challenges that come along with being able to employ the practice. Although there are many barriers to being able to successfully practice EI we’re all capable of doing so.
You can imagine that having such skills can and does enhance our professional and personal relational skills. Imaging being at work and being fully aware of your emotions and able to use them to your advantage. Picture yourself being in control of your emotions in such a way that no one had to guess what you were feeling and treated you accordingly. Allow yourself to visualize what being able to appropriately expressed yourself and that be just what is needed to be more productive. All these superpowers (that’s what they feel like when we’re able to exercise them accordingly) give way to creating, nurturing and maintaining professional and business relationship that keeps folks wanting to work with and for us.
In personal relationships the ante is even higher, more purposeful and potentially more self fulfilling. I can assure you that the folks who are able to nurture successful marriages, create respect and authority in their families, and foster GROWTH in their relationships are those that have some basic knowledge, employment and practice of EI. Folks that are aware of their emotions are better able to manage them appropriately thus avoiding many adverse circumstances. Being able to express our needs and desires to our friends, partners/spouses and family leaves us at an advantage of having those needs met. More importantly being in control of our emotions creates an inner peace and self confidence that improves our encounters with loved ones.
I imagine just to make the tasks a bit more grueling they threw in being able to dispense good judgement and empathy in our relationship with others into the definition. These tasks done separately can actually be done by most of us. However, in the midst of being vulnerable (aware), tested (in control), and exposed (expressing emotions) with the one thing that causes us the most drama and trauma in our lives is a stretch that most of us will pass on. However, those of us that can see the professional, personal and relational advantages are very interested and even willing to take the risk for the reward.
Although most of us weren’t raised by folks who spoke about EI we should be clear that it’s needed and necessary. I would venture to say that although we didn’t GROW up hearing about it we’ll be more challenged in life attempting to GROW up without it.