According to Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our emotions and the emotions of others. This means being aware that emotions affects our behaviour and how we respond to people especially when we are under pressure.
Emotional intelligence can be deployed both negatively and positively. Our ability to deploy the power of emotional intelligence positively depends solely on how we choose to respond to situations. As humans, our ability to respond (response-ability) can be regulated if we choose to build our character ethics around principles.
When we recognise that we have the ability to choose our response in every situation, we are able to set up principles that will guide our reaction at all times.
Setting up principles helps to strengthen our emotional intelligence and character ethics. This is the foundation on which we can achieve long term results. The following tips can serve as a guide to maximize the power of emotional intelligence:
1) Take a Pause: When faced with a situation that requires your response, stop to think and rehearse your response in your mind before you speak. Do not be under pressure to give an immediate response. Responding to a situation under pressure doesn’t always bring out the best in you. Avoid spontaneous response.
2) Control your Expressions: This might not be easy to do especially when it has become a habit for you to be moody when you express negative emotions. However, when you are able to mask your facial expressions in reaction to an event, you become less vulnerable to exploitation by others.
3) Internal Conversations: Having internal conversations with yourself helps you keep your emotions in check. When you make this act a habit, you are better able to regulate your response to events around you.
4) Make yourself Accountable: Make yourself accountable by keeping track of your emotions per time. Make an effort to be sensitive to incidents that change your mood during the course of the day. Document and review your immediate reactions to such incidents on a regular basis. This will help you make a decision about how to respond to similar incidents in the future.
5) Be sensitive to the Emotions of others: Being sensitive to the emotional needs of others guides your reaction to a situation. When you are sensitive to the needs of others, you are able respond to events / situations in ways that depict the strength of your emotional intelligence.
6) Think Character over Personality: Building strong character ethics over personality ethics helps you respond in a consistent manner to various situations. Character ethics are ingrained and based on values while personality ethics are superficial. It is easier to maintain a personality when you have succeeded in building your character around principles.
Emotions affect virtually all areas of our life. Though it may be tough to remain positively disposed in extreme situations, the benefits of positive emotions far outweigh negative emotions. Remain calm in every situation and draw on the lessons of the past before you respond. With constant practice, you will strengthen your emotional intelligence.
Written by Temitayo Abiri (Hepzibah)