Research suggests that emotionally intelligent people have the potential to achieve more in life and in the workplace and also help create harmonious teams. A definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is:
“the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
In other words it is the ability to tune into people and get on their wavelength. Clearly, the first aspect of this process is the ability to tune into oneself and glean a better understanding of self. Much has been written about ‘mindfulness’, which is the process of becoming self-aware, the tuning in to the self behind the clutter and noise of modern life. Stripped down, the self is not defined by our thoughts and emotions, but is much purer and transcendent.
If we marry EI with mindfulness then we have the chance to create a better version of ourselves and that gives us a better chance of creating positivity in our colleagues. An emotionally intelligent person conversant with mindfulness accepts that the modern workplace is chaotic and demanding with never-ending ‘to do’ lists. Instead of focusing on these never-ending ‘to-do’ lists, EI challenges my ‘to-be’ list: who am I being while I’m doing these things? Am I optimistic, vivacious and energetic? Am I a positive support for my colleagues or am I a negative drainer of energy? Am I self-aware and in-tune with other peoples’ feelings? Or am I overly-critical and focused on what has gone wrong rather than what is going well? Do I recognise that emotions are merely mental constructs, the noisy chimps inside me?