In this blog I will be introducing the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), what it is to be emotionally intelligent and the difference this will have on our own lives and the people that matter to us.

There is an established societal value of IQ, a person’s reasoning ability.  However, as important is a person’s EQ, the ability to understand, use, and manage one’s own emotions in a positive way.

Daniel Goldman (1990), a thought leader in EQ, advocates that to be emotionally intelligent we must, as individuals, understand the pillars of EQ and what we can all do to build greater capacity for ourselves and the people that matter to us.

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence think about what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

If we take each pillar in turn, we can begin to make a proper assessment of where, as individuals we are now – a baseline if you will.  So, that we can begin to identify the changes we want to see and commit to action for ourselves and those who mater most.

• Self-Awareness – The ability to know how you feel, and you know how your emotions and your actions can affect the people around you.
• Empathy – The ability to put ourselves in someone else’s situation. Think of this as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, all be it in different socks.
• Motivation – The ability to work consistently toward our goals, whilst possessing extremely high values and standards for our behaviour aka actions.
• Self-Regulation – The ability to stay in control, not act out. On those days when it is difficult can you retain control, compassion and manage yourself?
• Social Skills – The ability to communicate well, managing change and resolve conflicts diplomatically, sensitively and compassionately.

So, to foster greater EQ consider each of the five pillars and begin by scaling yourself from 1-4. Consider this as percentiles; 1 <25% 2 26%-50%, 3 51%-75% and 4 >76%. This is a broad and generic way of achieving a baseline, it is not perfect however, it will give you a snapshot of your EQ. Think of it as metaphorically checking your EQ pulse at that moment in time.

Whatever your score for each of the five pillars, there is no right or wrong only different, ask yourself the following two questions;

What can I do to move from a ‘2’ to a ‘3’?

And, importantly

What will be different for me when I achieve this?

It is essential that you know where you are, where you want to move to and what will be different for you when you arrive. The mind is a problem-solving machine however, it needs structure. We must think about the small steps we can take to nurture our emotional intelligence and so move forward, develop and grow as a person.

Committing to develop our EQ provides both the opportunity and diagnostic tool to take back control, mange our emotions constructively, positively and calmly, fostering more confident choices that improve our sense of wellbeing, quality of life and mental health.

Brett Rennolds is a qualified psychotherapist DSFH, HPD, MNCH NCH Supervisor and registered with the Complimentary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).  Brett specialises in a solution-focused approach, complimented by the principles of CBT, ACT, mental health first aid and hypnotherapy.  He continues to provide therapy online, via an encrypted platform.  For more information please visit his website.

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