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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

When you hear the word intelligence, you probably think about a deep knowledge of problem solving. But researchers have identified another aspect of intelligence that was previously not considered: emotional intelligence. Those who are emotionally intelligent are able to understand and manage emotions well. They’re also able to understand other people’s emotions well, too.

The five components of emotional intelligence are:

  • Self-awareness – You’re aware of your own feelings and don’t let them control you. You have a good understanding of how your actions affect others.
  • Self-control – You don’t make impulsive decisions.
  • Motivation – You think about the big picture and have a plan for your long-term success.
  • Empathy – You understand other people’s feelings. You listen to and understand their needs.
  • Social skills – You work well with other people, have strong relationships and communicate well.

For example, someone who is emotionally intelligent is able to take criticism without getting upset or blaming someone else. Another example: an emotionally intelligent person can move past a bad moment or mistake and not get hung up on it.

Some people are naturally more inclined to these five components than others. Thankfully, like general intelligence, emotional intelligence can be learned through practice. Work on staying calm if you find yourself upset or stressed. Focus on face-to-face interactions and let others shine for their accomplishments. Ultimately, what’s most important is to learn to avoid letting your emotions guide your actions.