By the end of this lesson we expect you to:
– practice identifying emotions;
– discover the elements of emotional intelligence;
– learn how to improve emotional intelligence;
– understand the importance of emotional intelligence for communication.
Why Emotional Intelligence in Communication?
The concept of emotional intelligence has become a very hot topic of psychological research in recent years, especially with regard to how it affects today’s workforce.
Businesses are essentially people, so anything that impacts the effectiveness of people’s minds also impacts the businesses they run or work for.
Moreover, workers with high Emotional Intelligence are able to work better in teams, adjust to change and be flexible.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yOxx_4oOMs
Definition: an emotion is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
Emotions may signal a change in our environment, a change within us or a change in both. These signals are generally fleeting in comparison to other states of mind. It would appear that the function of an emotion is to get our attention and demand a response.
Emotions are motivators, agents of change and reactions.
Emotions also serve to maintain social bonds.
Emotional Intelligence can be defined as the ability to:
– Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions;
– Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others.
As emotions come in different flavours and intensity, here is a visual that can be useful to better put into words how we, and others, feel.
There are many authors writing on this topic – there are models for research and models that are more practical. This module does not aim at scientific accuracy and hence uses the model of Daniel Goleman, who popularised the concept in his book “Working with Emotional Intelligence”.
In other words, our level of ability to:
– recognise and understand our emotions and reactions;
– manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses;
– harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take appropriate action, commit, follow-through, and work toward the achievement of our goals;
– discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions, and utilise that understanding to relate to others more effectively;
– build relationships, relate to others in social situations, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team.
How do you react when things don’t go your way?
There is something that sets Stephen Curry, Golden State Warrior NBA player, apart from other known NBA players. When he goes mad (which isn’t often), he doesn’t fight or even talk trash. But he becomes a different player. Already among the most skilled and athletic guys on the court, anger makes him literally unstoppable.
Missed championship? “Now make that old!” challenges a young boy in the video.
With a streak of 73-9 last season, and losing at the very last step: the NBA Final.
“I will” seems to be the response.
All basketball fans are eager to see what this 2016-2017 season is going to look like for the Golden State Warriors.
The one take-away: Although you can’t always control how you feel, you can control how you react.
Practice Observing How You Feel
When we pay attention to how we’re feeling, we learn to trust our emotions, and we become far more adept at managing them. If you’re feeling out of practice, try the following exercise: Set a timer for various points during the day. When the timer goes off, take a few deep breaths and notice how you’re feeling emotionally. Pay attention to where that emotion is showing up as a physical feeling in your body and what the sensation feels like. The more you can practice this, the more it will become second nature.
Practice Responding, Rather than Reacting
Reacting is an unconscious process where we experience an emotional trigger, and behave in an unconscious way that expresses or relieves that emotion (for example, feeling irritated and snapping at the person who has just interrupted you). Responding is a conscious process that involves noticing how you feel, then deciding how you want to behave (for example, feeling irritated, explaining to the person how you feel, why this isn’t a good time to be interrupting you, and when would be better).
Create A Positive Environment
Creating a positive environment not only improves your quality of life, but it can be contagious to people around you too. Make time to notice what is going well and where you feel grateful in your life.
Effective Communication is a deliberate behaviour aimed at augmenting the result of an interpersonal interaction.
“To be emotionally intelligent is to effectively understand and express oneself, to understand and relate well with others, and to successfully cope with daily demands, challenges and pressures.” – Daniel Goleman
By knowing oneself more and better, and being more sensitive to others, developing Emotional Intelligence leads to improving effective communication.
Our emotional intelligence affects the quality of our lives because it influences our behaviour and relationships. Emotional Intelligence is synonymous with self-awareness because it enables us to live our lives with intention, purpose, and autonomy.
Many of us move through life making important decisions based on our current circumstances. We may perceive them as being beyond our ability to change, thus limiting our options and solutions. Taking time to reflect and examining why we decide to do what we do enables us to lead lives determined by our conscious intentions rather than circumstances alone.
Developing Emotional Intelligence can greatly influence our success. Our personal situations and intelligence are factors as well; however, Emotional Intelligence can profoundly affect our choices by creating options we may not have otherwise imagined or considered to be possibilities.