What is emotional intelligence? Is it possible to improve my emotional intelligence as a man? Can I learn how to improve emotional intelligence? How can I become more emotionally intelligent? These are just some of the many questions people ask when it comes to emotional intelligence. If you seek answers to these or more questions, this article is for you.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla, a men’s group facilitator for more than ten years and I know all about emotional intelligence. Part of my facilitating work involves introducing men to emotional intelligence, which is vital in everyday life. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about emotional intelligence for men, including how to improve emotional intelligence.
Table of Contents:
What is Emotional Intelligence?
You have probably met people in your day-to-day life, whether co-workers or in your personal life, who are excellent listeners with excellent communication skills. They always have the right thing to say no matter the situation and know how to frame it to ensure the delivery is just right, even using their body language. These people come off as compassionate, caring, and considerate and leave you feeling optimistic whenever you talk to them.
You have also come across people who have mastered the art of managing their emotions. They seldom get angry or stressed in different situations and instead work calmly to find a solution. These people are excellent at decision-making and seem like they trust their intuition. Regardless of their strength, they take criticism positively and always look for growth opportunities.
The two instances describe people who pay attention to their emotional intelligence. These are people who are self-aware and aware of other people’s emotional needs.
Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is a person’s ability to control, perceive and evaluate own emotions. Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as ‘the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle negative emotions.’
People who exhibit high emotional intelligence can recognize their emotions and the emotions of others. They often see emotional information as a guide to their thinking and behavior, discerning different feelings and labeling them appropriately, and adjusting emotions to adapt to different environments.
People with high emotional intelligence mostly succeed in everything they do because they have adequate self-management and self-control to use emotions and mindset into getting results. When working in a team, they can influence others to achieve success.
While the term emotional intelligence has been them since the 60s, it became globally popular thanks to Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. In this book, Goleman defines emotional intelligence as a range of skills and characteristics that drive performance and leadership.
Humans need to master the art of emotional awareness while still possessing competencies like the ability to interpret, understand and respond to other people’s emotions. Some specialists argue that high eq (emotional quotient) is more important than IQ when leading a successful life.
Today, more and more people are coming to terms with the fact that emotional intelligence is as important as the technical ability for professional success. For this reason, organizations are using emotional intelligence as a criterion for hiring or promoting workers.
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Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
As it is common knowledge, the smartest people are not always the most successful or lead a more fulfilled life. You probably know brilliant academic individuals who are unsuccessful in their work or personal life because they lack social awareness. This shows that having a high IQ alone is not enough to achieve all-rounded success in life. While it may make it easier for one to get academic scholarships and accolades, it may not be as helpful when they need to manage their emotion and stress in everyday life.
On the other hand, having emotional intelligence skills can go a long way in making it easier for individuals to manage their emotions and stress levels even in the most difficult circumstances. IQ and EQ can exist in tandem and become most effective when used together.
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The Effects of Having High Emotional Intelligence
In aiding performance
Having high emotional intelligence makes it easier to navigate difficult situations in your day-to-day life. In the workplace, it makes it easier for you to motivate others and excel as an individual or a team. This is why most companies are not looking for emotional intelligence when picking candidates to fill different roles.
Effects on physical health
When you have low eq, you have a difficult time managing your own feeling and stress levels, which is a root cause of many health complications. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, a weakened immune system, increased risk of strokes and heart attacks, infertility, and fast-tracked aging. When you improve your emotional intelligence, you learn how to manage stress, which improves your physical health and overall well-being.
Effects on mental health
Inability to control your emotional state also negatively impacts your mental health, making you more prone to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. When you improve your emotional intelligence, you are able to understand, better process, and manage your emotions, which in turn improves your stress management capabilities. Having a high EQ is the best way to enjoy improved mental health.
Effects on your relationships
Improving your emotional intelligence makes it easy to understand and better control your emotions. You are better placed to express your feelings and interpret other people’s feelings and actions. This makes you a better communicator, therefore strengthening your relationship management skills.
Effects on social intelligence
Since having a high EQ makes you in tune with your emotions, you enjoy better self-confidence and you feel more self-motivated to connect to other people socially. With social intelligence, you are able to pick your friends better, measure other people’s interests in you, balance your nervous system in social settings, improve social communication, and enjoy an overall healthier social life.
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How to Improve Emotional Intelligence
A low emotional IQ is not set in stone. According to Salovey p, it is possible to grow your emotional intelligence the same way people grow knowledge. Developing a higher EQ is like working on a muscle; the more it is used, the stronger it gets.
Practice assertive communication
Assertive communication is the ideal way of earning respect without coming off as passive or aggressive. Emotionally intelligent people can effectively communicate their opinions while maintaining respect for others.
Learn to respond and not react
Emotionally intelligent people have mastered the art of remaining calm even in stressful situations. The best way to manage emotional reactions is to practice assessing situations. This will allow you to understand other people’s perspectives and make problem-solving easier.
Become an active listener
Emotionally intelligent people listen for clarity while waiting for their turn to speak. They take time to understand what is being communicated before responding while paying attention to the nonverbal details of a conversation, like facial expressions. Active listening prevents misunderstandings and shows respect for the person speaking.
Cultivate a positive attitude
Emotionally intelligent people are mindful of their attitude. To become emotionally intelligent, you need to start practicing mindfulness regarding the emotions and moods of those around you. Learn how to ensure you cultivate positive emotions. Little steps like having a great meal, engaging in meditation every day, reading books, or listening to uplifting music can make a significant difference.
Be open to constructive criticism
Part of growing your emotional intelligence is learning how to take a critique. While most people would get offended or defensive, high EQ people strive to understand where the issue is coming from and how it affects others. This way, they are able to resolve issues constructively.
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Learn to empathize with others
People with high EQ have mastered the skill of empathizing. To them, empathy is a trait that displays emotional strength, not weakness. By being empathetic, high EQ individuals are able to relate to others on a basic human level. Empathy is the gateway to mutual respect and understanding for people with differing opinions and situations.
Utilize your leadership skills
Emotional intelligence goes hand in hand with excellent leadership skills. People with high emotional intelligence set high standards for themselves and strive to be a good example for others. Learn how to take the initiative and cultivate great problem-solving and decision-making skills. This will propel you to a higher and more productive level of performance in life and at work.
Be sociable and approachable
People with high emotionally intelligent are approachable. They often smile at others and give a positive presence. They use appropriate social skills to make whomever they around feel comfortable. They also possess excellent interpersonal skills and have mastered the art of proper communication, whether verbal or nonverbal.
While many of these skills may seem suited for people who understand basic human psychology, they can be cultivated by anyone.
While high EQ skills seem to come more naturally to empathetic people, anyone can develop them. If you consider yourself a less empathetic person, you only need to practice becoming more self-aware and conscious of how you interact with others.
Practiced the five categories of emotional intelligence
The five categories of emotional intelligence are the roots on which the whole practice is based. To improve your emotional intelligence, you need to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Join a support group
Sometimes the best way to cultivate new skills is to have someone holding you accountable. To master emotional intelligence for men, you can consider joining a support group like Men’s Group. This group comprises like-minded men interested in self-improvement and personal growth. By joining a support group, you can work on your communication and social skills while making new friends in an all-male environment.
There are numerous benefits associated with having a high emotional intelligence as a man. This article highlights all the critical aspects of emotional intelligence for men, including how to cultivate the skills. By utilizing the steps highlighted, you will be on the right path to higher emotional intelligence. If you feel like you need an accountability partner, MensGroup is one of the best support and accountability forums available for men today. The support and push you get from being part of a group will ensure you attain your goal in no time while making new male friends.
*Sources: 1. How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence 2. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS: WHAT THEY ARE & HOW TO DEVELOP THEM 3. How Can We Create An Emotionally Intelligent Future? 4. What Students Are Saying About Emotional Intelligence, Speaking Their Mind at School and Underappreciated Sports 5. Understanding emotional intelligence and its effects on your life