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Are You Intelligent... Emotionally?

As individuals, we make thousands of choices every day. We interact with others (coworkers, family members, friends) regularly, engaging and in conversation and activities. We make decisions about our own actions and strategic movements constantly. Underneath all of these actives and motion is the inner workings of our multi-faceted behavioral makeup. Our primary DISC profile and dominant behavioral motivators work together to steer these processes based on the general set of traits that define who we are. Yet underneath this driving force of personal preference and dominant style, there is a third defining factor that weighs heavily on how we engage with the world around us. Our emotional intelligence is arguably one of the most critical factors in how we perceive our experiences and engage with the world around us. Emotional intelligence is, in fact, often considered the missing critical link that propels average individuals to star performers. Better understanding our own emotional intelligence is one of the most crucial things we can do as individuals to take control of future successes both personally and professionally.

What is Emotional Intelligence, and how does it differ from Traditional Intelligence? Emotional intelligence is “the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.” T hat is, emotional intelligence is the sixth sense we posses as human beings to understand and regulate our own emotions and the emotions of others, and effectively use this skill to promote more effective interactions.

Unlike our general "IQ," which is the ability to learn and does not change over time, emotional intelligence can be developed and increased throughout our lifetime. In fact, high emotional intelligence is often attributed as the reigning differentiator in an individual’s successfulness in life. Between individual’s with similar IQs, the one that possess a greater emotional intelligence tends to consistently experience a higher level of success professionally. And while some individuals are naturally more emotionally intelligent, EQ remains a skill that can be acquired and improved with practice. In fact, EQ may be one of the few manipulatable factors we possess that can have a dramatic effect on our future professional and personal successes.

How is emotional intelligence defined? Generally, emotional intelligence refers specifically to how we understand our own emotions and the emotions of others around us, and how we respond to those emotions. People with high emotional intelligence tend to:

  • Be aware of their own emotional states and the impact they have.

  • Be aware of others' emotional states and the impact they have.

  • Take action to manage or impact their own emotional states for the better.

  • Take action to manage or impact others' emotional states for the better.

These skills are generally believed to be developed with practice, which is why older individuals tend to naturally have higher emotional intelligence versus younger individuals. Consider how parents must teach their younger children how to respect and perceive the feelings of others around them, which only grows as their experience does. However, while some individuals are more naturally inclined toward understanding emotions, others can actually develop this skill through practice and knowledge. Once we understand emotional intelligence, we can begin to develop this skill within ourselves.

So what defines our emotional intelligence? EQ is based on 5 main factors:

Self-Awareness - is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.

Self-Regulation - is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior. Motivation - is your ability to use your emotional energy to move closer to your goals.

Empathy - is how actively/accurately we observe others' emotional temperature and adjust accordingly.

Social Skills - is how actively we manage the emotional states of others.

Being emotionally intelligent human beings helps us not only better understand ourselves and our own emotions, but ultimately form more lasting and meaningful relationships. Professionally, emotional intelligence is a particularly critical set of skills. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they're feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. This is essential in any environment where you work together with others to achieve a shared goal, but is particularly important for anyone in a leadership role.

Learning about your current level of emotional intelligence (and how you can enhance your current level of EQ) may be one of the most important things you can do professionally to ensure a greater level of future success. To find out more, visit, and have our skilled professionals walk you through understanding this integral science.


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