What is Emotional Intelligence and how does it relate to your communication skills?
Everybody knows what IQ is, but fewer people know what EQ (emotional intelligence) is, and how EQ relates to your success in life. Since EQ is every bit as important as your intelligence quotient, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what it is–and how it relates to our favorite topic--savvy communication.
Emotional Intelligence, according to Wikipedia, is the capability of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one’s goal(s).
There are 5 categories to emotional intelligence (EQ), and they are as follows:
In this brief article, I’m going to deal only with the last one–social skills, because although all the categories require good communication skills, success in this category relies almost entirely on one’s possessing the ability to clearly communicate on all levels.
Imagine forming a friendship if you don’t know how to tell someone who you are, where you came from, and where you’re going in life. Imagine writing a love-letter if you can’t tell someone how you feel about them. What if you couldn’t interpret what others are saying to you? Plain and simply, if you don’t know how to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and can’t accurately interpret what others are expressing to you, you cannot possibly develop social relationships that have any meaning. Therefore, your emotional intelligence will be stunted.
The relationship between excellent social skills and excellent communication training
People with excellent social skills can influence and persuade–which means developing communication tactics, speech patterns, and body language that make them powerful salespeople (persuaders). They know when to apologize–and don’t see apology as weakness, but rather as strength, and an acknowledgement of their own humanity and imperfection. (We’re ALL imperfect, which should be an encouragement not to judge the shortcomings of others.) They express gratitude for and to the people in their lives. Apologizing so that your apology is heard, expressing gratitude in the language of the other person–these two are functions of powerful communication training. People with excellent social skills can “play well with others;” they can collaborate and work on teams–all things that involve savvy, mindful, clear communication. And finally, conflict resolution is another social skill that can be greatly enhanced by studying communication techniques–specifically studying handling difficult people and the most constructive ways to interact with them and persuade them to engage in civil and meaningful discourse. Once again–where do you go to find techniques, tactics and scripts for dealing with difficult people? To the best communication trainer you can find!
Most educators agree that you can actually raise your IQ with certain intellectual practices. ALL educators agree that you can raise your EQ through study and application of certain social/communication principles. If you want highly developed social skills–the 5th component to a high EQ–start with communication training. The next time you meet someone with whom you want to form a bond, you’ll be glad you did!
This was just a tiny glimpse into what constitutes emotional intelligence. If you’d like to hear more on this topic, email me at [email protected] and we’ll study the topic further–together!
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