With the different crises, the different reorganizations, we are crossed by moments of fear, sadness, anger. Emotions are part of our lives, it is normal, but the question that arises when we talk about emotional intelligence is: how do emotions influence our behavior at work?
Emotional intelligence is not about denying emotions, nor is it about managing emotions as if we could put them in boxes. Emotions are there, they live and it is normal. It is part of our head, it is part of our body, it is part of our way of being. The subject with emotional intelligence is: how not to be overwhelmed by our emotions? How not to be dominated by our emotions?
There are four basic emotions that are well known: joy, fear, sadness and anger. We sometimes add two others which are surprise and disgust. The first dimension of emotional intelligence is to be aware of these emotions. Being aware of them, because from the moment we feel these emotions, they will impact our way of relating to others. We will not react in the same way depending on whether we feel anger or joy.
The second dimension of emotional intelligence is the expression of emotions. To be able to talk about them, to be able to say: "Today, I am in such a state of mind, so I am very efficient", or on the contrary: "I am tired and therefore, I need to be able to concentrate to work in an optimal way. It's quite simple, sometimes saying: "I'm happy", expressing joy, is also an expression of emotional intelligence. So being able to talk about these different emotions that run through us: joy, fear, sadness, anger, surprise or disgust.
The third dimension of emotional intelligence is how we are going to be in relationship with each other. The expression is what I say, but the relationship, there is what I say, and then, there is what the others say to me, and how I welcome, how we can be fluid in our relationships. Because we feel emotions, but so does the person in front of us, and we are not necessarily in the same place. How do we welcome emotions too? How do we welcome what is happening to the other person, when we give them news, good news, bad news? How are we able to manage relationships, the dynamics of the exchange.
The fourth dimension of emotional intelligence is decision making. Depending on whether we are able to go to several people, to listen to what people are telling us, to express our doubts, our questioning, etc., we will be able to make the right decisions. This will help us gather good information. It will also allow us, eventually, to manage the hazards, the doubts, the questioning that we may have. This will facilitate, in fine, the decision making.
Finally, but this is not a small topic: the fifth dimension of emotional intelligence is stress management. How do we deal with stress? Do we get depressed by it? Are we able to look for new solutions, to go to other people, to rely on our environment to find solutions? This is all part of emotional intelligence. The good news is that emotional intelligence develops. Life experience, quite simply, leads us to develop our emotional intelligence. What is also interesting is that in order to develop it, we are going to identify our strengths and we are going to rely on our strengths, and this is going to create a virtuous circle, where by relying on our strengths, we manage to develop our emotional intelligence.
This is a vast subject that can still be developed, but starting by mastering these five dimensions is the best way to master, in the long run, emotional intelligence and to take advantage of it in a professional context, but also personally.