What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s emotions as well as other people’s emotions. This is an important skill to have as it can not only be used in the workplace, but also in everyday life. It is a major part of being a great and understanding caregiver. Whether you are a nurse, parent, or anyone taking care of another person, it is important to be aware and understand one’s emotional intelligence to provide the most quality care possible.

To better understand what emotional intelligence is, we must dig in deeper. EQ is composed of four different areas: Self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and social management.

What are the Areas of Emotional Intelligence?

Self-management: managing your emotions in healthy ways

  • Self-control – controlling feelings
  • Self-motivation – taking initiative
  • Honesty – being trustworthy and true; holding integrity
  • Adaptability – changing to cater appropriately to environment
  • Positivity – optimistic outlook

Self-awareness: recognizing your emotions and how they affect your actions

  • Emotional understanding – understanding your own feelings
  • Accurate self-awareness – understanding your own strength and weaknesses
  • Confidence – trusting and having faith in oneself

Social awareness: understanding other’s emotions and having empathy

  • Empathy – ability to make connections with others
  • Team member – contributing to group efforts and having great listening skills
  • Organized – being aware of how you’re being understood

Social management: developing good interactions with others and communicating clearly

  • Leadership – being a good mentor and/or role model
  • Motivating others – being a good influencer
  • Developing others – teaching knowledge and helping others to build skills

What are some tips to improve emotional intelligence?

  • Fully emerge yourself in the situation and listen. To understand what others are feeling, you must pay close attention to the situation. You should not only listen to what is being communicated verbally, but also what is communicated through body language as this can be a huge indicator to what is happening in a certain setting.
  • Empathize with yourself and others. To fully empathize with others, you must imagine yourself in their shoes and analyze how you would feel yourself. Practicing this may help you build an emotional understanding of different situations as well as developing different skills that may help you in the long-term.
  • Analyze your conscious and unconscious feelings. Reason with your emotions and really try to understand the way that you feel. Your emotions influence the way that you think and act. Also, think positively while you do. Practicing positivity can give you a completely different perspective in certain environments.

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