Our emotions are an integral part of our personal style. Fear, love, anger, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and disgust are seen by many psychologists as the “primary emotions”. Our emotional make-up influences both our general temperament and our day-to-day moods.
We know that rational intelligence means little when emotions take over. The jealous lover, the angry boss, the upset partner and the frightened child all find it difficult to listen to reason or to act rationally. Yet if we are not able to manage our emotions, they will take over completely. As the Greek philosopher Pythagoras said, “No man is free who cannot control himself.”
Emotional intelligence is therefore a very valuable skill for your career. But what must we do to reach a level of emotional intelligence that allows us to operate successfully?
1. Knowing your emotions
This means being able to monitor your emotions so that you have a surer sense of what you really feel. This ability allows you to make clearer decisions and deal with difficult situations. One method is to imagine that you are standing next to yourself and are watching what is going on. With practice, you can slip into this role whenever you feel that strong emotions are taking over. Once you have recognized what is happening, it is easier to do something about it.
2. Managing your emotions
This means being able to express your feelings appropriately and to shake off negative ones more quickly. Some people are engulfed by their emotions or simply accept them fatalistically. People who are depressed, for example, can not easily shake off a mood even when they are aware that it is distressing.
3. Motivating yourself
This is the ability to make your emotions work for you. This skill is necessary if you wish to be creative in your work. It will help you to manage your workload and to focus your attention. Great people often become great because they continue to believe in themselves even after repeated failures.
4. Recognizing emotions
If you can quickly recognize emotions in other people, it is easier for you to show empathy and react to what others want or need. The two key skills we need are sensitive observation and attentive listening.
This infographic explains emotional intelligence and provides practical tips on how to understand and manage emotions. It was created by Jennifer Gueringer from NetCredit.