The ability of human beings to learn to adapt to challenges is what makes us the most intelligent species on the planet. This is a fact we can see simply by looking at how we can transform societies and lifestyles to better fit the world.
However, beyond this fact, there are many nuances about our potential that have only recently been discovered. Emotional Intelligence is one of those concepts that have emerged in recent decades to help us learn new ways of relating to others, facing problems and making projects.
In this article we will see why EQ is one of the most relevant phenomena that every psychologist and coach should know , and how we can apply this knowledge both to our lives and in the professional context when dealing with people.
What is EQ?
Before we go into detail and look at examples, let’s start with basic definitions so that we know what we are talking about.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of psychological skills related to the recognition and management of emotions , both in oneself and in social interactions with others. It is, on the other hand, one of the plots of intelligence, which groups together all the psychological potentialities that a person has when it comes to learning and applying their knowledge and mental ability to solve problems.
So, someone who takes advantage of EQ will not be using skills that are totally separate from what we usually call “intelligence”, but a part of it.
What happens is that, for historical and cultural reasons, when most people talk about how intelligent such a person or entity is, they tend to consider only certain forms of expression of intelligence that do not contemplate EI. In the end, until recently it was believed that rationality and the emotional were separate and conflicting spheres , and EQ serves, among other things, to refute this idea.
Examples of the use of EI at work
If the work context is full of challenges and a good part of these go through the management of emotions… why shouldn’t we consider EQ as part of our professional success? The truth is that not knowing about EI does not mean that it does not influence us while we work in contact with team projects and while we deal with clients or colleagues; on the contrary, ignoring it makes us more sensitive to failures in management than we feel (and the way we communicate it).
These are several examples of how boosting EQ is useful for professionals such as coaches or psychologists, who are always in touch with people.
1. Contributes to generating motivation
One of the things we know about motivation is that it is not based on objective criteria, but on the ability to recognize goals that are meaningful to people, that allow them to live more hopefully. EQ helps to isolate and recognise those concepts that help to motivate others , both when it comes to recognising patterns of emotion in the way others express themselves, and when it comes to setting goals so that they correspond to those motivations.
This is something fundamental both in coaching applied to the organizational or sports environment and in psychotherapy, since in all these cases it is essential to do what is necessary for people to commit to a plan of action that forces them to leave their comfort zone, to break with what they have been doing until that moment.
2. Facilitates conflict resolution
Both in psychological assistance tasks and in situations of teamwork or facing challenges under pressure (something typical in sports and competitions, for example) it is very easy to lose a lot of time and resources because of confrontations that arise from not knowing how to manage stress or frustration.
Beyond the unpleasant sensation of seeing that there is still a long way to go to reach a goal, this kind of event not only does not bring anything good, but can also make the progress of a project come to a halt or the dynamics of teamwork be hampered by the rarefied atmosphere. If something is not done to tackle the problem, this implies not reaching the objectives, in some cases, or ending the psychological intervention and referring the patient or client, in others.
For example, thanks to EQ we can adopt a more neutral perspective and realise in real time that responding badly to an accusation would only fuel a conflict that we are in time to tackle.
3. Allows for the adoption of a constructive mentality
Being able to find the value of even so-called “negative emotions” allows one to use practically any relevant experience at a learning source , instead of facing bad experiences with sterile cynicism.
For example, if a person shows defensiveness without a reason for it, no matter how unpleasant their responses may be, that gives information that they may feel insecure, perhaps because they feel exposed or unprepared for certain kinds of tasks they must perform.
4. Improves communication flow
Both the psychologist’s and the coach’s work are, in most cases, based on communication . That is why it is very important to develop the skills related to detecting the emotional subtext of what those around us are saying, and at the same time knowing how to express oneself well through verbal and non-verbal language, taking into account the way in which the context changes the meaning of words.
It is not the same to congratulate a happy employee for his work performance as to congratulate one who feels overburdened by his responsibilities, and a small detail like this can totally transform that person’s attitude towards us and the organization we represent.
5. Helps predict emotional response
Through EQ it is easier to anticipate the way our body is predisposed to react to a certain situation , which allows us to prepare ourselves and do what is necessary to modulate this emotional flow. This is especially useful in moments of crisis and in situations where important events occur and we have to act quickly.
Where to train in Emotional Intelligence?
There are some organizations specialized in training for professionals that have interesting courses in Emotional Intelligence. One of them is Escuela Europea de Coaching, an organisation that has a presence in several countries beyond Spain, where the Emotional Awareness Programme is carried out.
This course of about 65 hours is aimed at coaches in training, psychologists, CEOs and managers and other positions in whose performance it is essential to interact with people at both a formal and emotional level. It includes both theoretical learning sessions and stages of practical exercises supervised by coaches.
If you are interested in knowing more about this training programme in Emotional Intelligence, you can find EEC’s contact details by clicking here.