Many years ago, after graduating from college, I moved to the West Coast and got a job at a well-known Hollywood entertainment company.
I was thrilled to be working in “the biz.” Not only did I make a good living doing what I loved, but I also had awesome perks like movie premiers – and occasionally, my favorite movie stars would show up at work.
The road ahead was bright, but one thing was holding me back, I wasn’t very good at managing my emotions. I would often get upset when my writing was critiqued, or my colleagues disagreed with something I had written. And I would take constructive criticism of my work as a personal attack.
One day, my boss pulled me aside, told me I needed to work on my emotions, and recommended I read the best-seller at the time, Emotional Intelligence by Brandon Goleman (1). I was taken aback, but I soon realized she was right. I read the book and took its advice to heart.
I started practicing mindfulness techniques to help me regulate my emotional responses. I also became more aware of how my emotions affected those around me, and I started taking more responsibility for my own reactions.
Over time, I noticed a big difference in how I approached my work. Instead of getting offended when I received feedback, I started seeing it as an opportunity to improve. Instead of becoming upset, I became known for having thick skin. As a result, I was able to build stronger relationships with my colleagues (and have made lifelong friendships). My co-workers appreciated my ability to handle criticism with grace and professionalism, and I was rewarded with more responsibilities and opportunities for career growth.
The benefits of Emotional Intelligence didn’t just stop at work, either. I was able to manage stressful situations in my personal life with more ease and clarity, and my relationships with my family members improved as well. Today, I’m so grateful that my boss pointed out the importance of Emotional Intelligence early in my career. It has made all the difference in my professional and personal life.
I want to share the value of Emotional Intelligence with you. Keep reading to learn how you can benefit.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, emotional quotient, is a critical factor for success in life. Unlike the traditional intelligence quotient (IQ), which measures cognitive abilities and academic performance, EQ refers to the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and express emotions effectively.
One of the most significant advantages of Emotional Intelligence is its impact on interpersonal relationships. People with high EQ are more empathetic and are more able to understand the feelings of others. They’re better at forming and maintaining positive relationships with those around them. This ability to understand and connect with others can be especially valuable in the workplace, where teamwork, collaboration, and effective communication are essential for success.
Developing EQ can provide many benefits in your personal and professional relationships. On the personal side, having a higher level of EQ can help you manage stress more efficiently and stay calm in difficult situations. It can also promote better communication within relationships since it allows you to communicate your needs more clearly and effectively while understanding others’ perspectives during conflicts or disagreements.
At its core, EQ consists of five main components: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Social Skill, Empathy, and Motivation.
Self-Awareness aims to understand your emotions better and become more effective at managing them in every situation. Through Self-Awareness, you can recognize your values, manage your feelings productively, and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
With elevated levels of Self-Awareness, you can better regulate your emotions and make informed decisions as you understand your feelings and how they may impact others. Developing Self-Awareness can be challenging, but practicing mindfulness, journaling, and asking for feedback helps you realize a higher level of Self-Awareness.
Self-Regulation involves regulating and controlling emotions and behaviors. Individuals with high levels of Self-Regulation are better equipped to handle stress, make effective decisions, and maintain a positive outlook on life.
Self-Regulation allows you to control impulses, adapt to changing circumstances, and support a growth mindset. By setting clear goals, practicing mindfulness, and developing healthy habits, you work towards achieving Self-Regulation. You can better control your emotions and behaviors by improving Self-Regulation, leading to increased well-being and success in all areas of your life.
Social Skills allow you to recognize and understand the emotions and perspectives of others and help you navigate social situations, communicate effectively, and form positive relationships.
To enhance your Social Skills, seek out diverse perspectives, actively listen to others, and practice Empathy. By improving your Social Skills, you can become more attuned to the needs and feelings of those around you, leading to stronger relationships and happier life.
Like Social Skills, Empathy helps you form positive relationships with others. Being open to feedback and practicing active listening helps improve your Empathy, which boosts your leadership skills and will likely lead to more success in building partnerships. With high levels of Empathy, you communicate effectively, can resolve conflicts, build strong networks, and inspire and influence the people around you.
Finally, Motivation is the ability to identify and harness your emotions and those of others. Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence are particularly good at communicating their vision to their teams and can inspire them to work towards specific goals. Motivation involves understanding the emotional needs of each team member and tailoring the leadership style to suit each person’s unique personality and strengths.
A critical aspect of Motivation is Self-Motivation, the ability to drive yourself towards a particular goal without external encouragement or reward. Self-Motivation comes from drawing upon your internal resources, such as your values, beliefs, and purpose, to stay motivated when facing challenges and setbacks.
Even when times are tough, you can maintain a positive outlook. When you’re Self-Motivated, you recognize when your emotions are hindering progress, and you can take steps to address those emotions constructively.
The Road to Emotional Intelligence
I highly recommend you read Emotional Intelligence, written by Brandon Golemon. This book gives you a comprehensive overview of EQ, including its components and practical applications. It also provides a deeper understanding of how emotions influence your behavior, decision-making, and relationships. Moreover, the book offers valuable tools and techniques to improve your EQ. By improving EQ, you can build stronger relationships and better maintain your mental well-being.
Adaptogens may also aid your journey toward higher EQ. Adaptogens are compounds that help your body and mind better cope with stress. Adaptogens can help calm an overactive brain, sooth an exhausted nervous system, and reduce feelings of anxiety. (2)
The most studied adaptogens are functional mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, which have been shown to improve mood, reduce mental fatigue, and enhance memory. (3) The mushroom Reishi has been used for centuries to reduce stress levels and improve sleep. (4-5)
By supplementing a healthy lifestyle with functional mushrooms found in Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Mushrooms™, you may gain more control of your emotions and achieve a sense of calmness and clarity in life.
1. Emotional Intelligence by Brandon Goleman
2. Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals. 2010; 3(1):188-224. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph3010188 | mdpi.com/1424-8247/3/1/188
3. Friedman, Mendel. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | pubs.acs.org/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1021%2Facs.jafc.5b02914&href=/doi/10.1021%2Facs.jafc.5b02914
4. Xiang-Yu Cui, Su-Ying Cui, Juan Zhang, Zi-Jun Wang, Bin Yu, Zhao-Fu Sheng, Xue-Qiong Zhang, Yong-He Zhang. Extract of Ganoderma lucidum prolongs sleep time in rats. ScienceDirect | sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874111008981
5. Dr. Jordan, Meg, PhD, RN. Red Reishi: King of Adaptogens GLOBAL HEALTH MEDIA | reishi.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Red-Reishi_-King-of-Adaptogens.pdf