Emotional Intelligence by Monica Thakrar (F’96)

Emotional Intelligence is such an important topic these days when it comes to leadership. The best leaders are of those with high emotional intelligence skills as that allows for a person to understand themselves, manage their own emotional state, understand others, and build strong healthy relationships with others. As people move up in leadership positions people skills and the ability to focus on developing, guiding, and influencing people becomes the essence of what is required for success. So what are the skills for emotional intelligence. Using the EQ-I 2.0 model the five major components of emotional intelligence are:

1. Self-Perception: understanding and awareness of your own emotions
2. Self-Expression: expressing your emotions
3. Interpersonal: developing and maintaining relationships
4. Decision Making: using emotions to make better decisions
5. Stress Management: coping with stress and other challenges

So how can you build up your emotional intelligence?

1. Know what emotional state that you are in – how often do you know what you are feeling? Are you in tune with your own emotions and understand how they are impacting you? Take an inventory every so often about how you are feeling.

2. Develop your capacity to manage your emotions – sometimes emotions can rule us. Have you ever gotten road rage or got upset at a boss/coworker who didn’t do something the “right way?” Imagine being able to take a breath and control the emotions prior to making a decision, acting out with people, and/or speaking up in a meeting. By taking a pause, breathing, and controlling your emotions first you can take the next step in a more centered way.

3. Develop more organizational awareness – once centered you can begin to understand what might be going on for other people. Noticing how other people are feeling, when they are upset, or how to understand when they might need to vent is a critical piece of emotional intelligence. Begin to expand your awareness by noticing their body language, expressions, and/or tones of voice can be a good way to enhance your own organizational awareness. Emotional intelligence can be developed. As leaders from Georgetown University (whether is a leader in your organization, community group, or home) it is important to develop the people skills necessary to develop and influence people in your lives for relationship success is the key to your success.

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