Goleman's (1998) popular book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, suggests that emotional intelligence accounts for 67% of the abilities needed to be a successful leader and is twice as important as technical proficiency or IQ. This research has subsequently been supported by a number of studies.
In this article, we summarise the key 5 elements of emotional intelligence, the benefits of each and how to improve them.
What is emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify and manage your emotions, as well as other people's emotions.
If you're emotionally intelligent you have the ability to:
Identify what you're feeling
Know how to interpret your emotions
Understand how your emotions can impact others
Regulate your own emotions
Manage other people's emotions
Some people naturally inherit high EQ but it's a skill that you can practice and develop. By practicing emotionally intelligent behaviours your brain will adapt to make these behaviours automatic and replace less helpful behaviours.
The 5 features of emotional intelligence
Daniel Goleman determined that there are five fundamental features of EQ, each with their own benefits:
Self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognise your: emotions, strengths, limitations, actions and understand how these affect others around you.
Increases the likelihood of you handling and using constructive feedback effectively.
By knowing your strengths and weaknesses you can improve your organisation's performance, for example, you may hire individuals who perform well in areas you struggle with.
Improve self-awareness by:
Keeping a diary of the situations that have triggered disruptive emotions in you, such as anger, and your thoughts and behaviours during those situations. With this information you can form an understanding of your emotions and reactions and work towards self-regulation.
Receiving feedback from staff as this can highlight how others perceive you and it also helps you target unhelpful reactions.
Observing the response others have to your behaviour.
Self-regulation allows you to wisely manage your emotions and impulses - you show or restrain certain emotions depending on what is necessary and beneficial for the situation. For example, rather than shouting at your employees when you're stressed you may decide which tasks can be delegated.
Self-regulation helps earn the respect and trust of employees.
Useful when adapting to change.
Allows you to react rationally.
Improve self-regulation by:
Taking responsibility if you have made mistakes. Rather than blaming others admit that you are at fault. You'll feel less guilty and your team will respect you for it.
Responding to situations calmly as your communication is more effective when you're in this state and this feeling will spread to others. Breathing techniques, such as controlled breathing, can be useful practice.
To be empathetic means you are able to identify and understand others' emotions i.e. imagining yourself in someone else's position.
Provides you with an understanding of how an individual feels and why they behave in a certain way. As a result, your compassion and your ability to help someone increases because you respond genuinely to concerns.
Especially helpful when delivering constructive feedback.
Being empathetic shows your team that you care. For example, if a manager reacts angrily after finding out that an employee has been arriving to work late because their child is unwell, the team is likely to react negatively towards the manager. It would be more favourable for the manager to be understanding and agree on a plan of action with the employee, such as, the employee starting work earlier and finishing later.
Employees will respect you more and subsequently job performance will improve.
To develop empathy:
Imagine yourself in someone else's position. Even if you have not experienced a similar situation, remember a situation where you have felt the same emotion your employee is experiencing.
Practice listening to your employees without interrupting them.
Observe your employees and try to gauge how they're feeling.
Never ignore your employees' emotions, for example, if an employee looks upset don't disregard this - address it.
Try to understand first rather than form a judgement. For example, you may initially feel annoyed at an employee who seems cold and disinterested. However, after discovering they suffer from social anxiety you may feel more sympathetic.
To communicate your empathy keep your body language open and regulate your voice to show your sincerity.
Being self-motivated consists of: enjoying what you do, working towards achieving your goals and not being motivated by money or status.
Reduces your likelihood of procrastinating
Keeps you motivated even if you face setbacks
Makes you focused on achieving your goals
Spreads to the team
To increase your motivation:
Remember why you're doing your job - maybe think about why you wanted it initially.
Set new goals if you lack them.
Remain optimistic because to be motivated you must be positive. Even when there is a setback or a challenge identify one positive factor about it.
To increase your employees' motivation explain why they are valuable, using example, as this will provide them with a sense of purpose.
5. Social skills
Effective social skills consist of managing relationships in a way that benefits the organisation.
Effective social skills helps you to build rapport with your employees and earn their respect and loyalty.
Employees will trust you which is especially valuable if unwelcomed decisions have been made, such as a rise in performance targets.
When you interact with your employees you can identify the best way to meet their individual needs and identify how their abilities can be used to achieve the organisation's aims.
Staff will feel comfortable presenting ideas to you and discussing concerns.
Improve social skills by:
Developing your communication skills. Problems can arise if there is bad communication, such as, misunderstandings upsetting employees. Listen to feedback to work out what to target, for example, the manner in which you speak may need work or perhaps your body language.
Finals week can be the most stressful time for a student, whether in high school, college or graduate school.
Ensure you’re prepared for your exams with these study tips, which can help you conquer your finals.
Follow this list as finals week approaches (the earlier you prep, the better) so you can ace your exams from start to finish:
1. Create your own study guide.
While many teachers provide a study guide, creating your own can help you understand the material better. Outlining the important information you need to learn can be helpful, both in creation and to refer to during your studies.
2. Ask questions.
Your professors and TA’s are there to help! Ask them questions regarding the material and the exam so that you’re prepared when exam time arrives.
3. Attend the review session.
Review sessions offer vital information on exam format, what will be on the exam and key concepts you should be focusing your studies on.
4. Start early.
If you always start ahead of schedule, you’ll never be cramming the night before an exam. You’ll almost always perform better in doing so!
5. Organize a group study session.
It can be helpful to study in groups – sometimes. Evaluate whether or not studying with others will be beneficial to the subject as well at your learning process.
6. Study things not on the study guide.
Study guides aren't always comprehensive – they’re just suggestions of the main concepts to learn. Use your study guide for its intended purpose: a guide. Be sure to fill in the blanks with related information.
7. Take breaks.
You won’t be able to memorize or comprehend all the material at once. Balance is key - ensure that you reward learning with break times to recharge and relax.
8. Stay well-rested.
There’s a lot to be said about a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re well-rested so that you can be fully focused during your exams.
9. Create a study schedule - and follow it.
Splitting the material into chucks you can actually achieve can be very beneficial. That way, you can keep track of what you’ve accomplished instead of looking at the big picture and getting overwhelmed.
10. Prioritize your study time.
Some exams will be more difficult than others, some you may find easier to study for. Some may be worth more of your grade than others. Make sure to evaluate all of your exams to consider and determine all of the involved factors so you can study accordingly.
11. Study for the style of exam.
If it’s multiple choice, you’ll need to know definitions and concepts. For essay exams, focus on your understanding of all the concepts presented, with examples in mind.
12. Quiz yourself.
If you think about and create actual exam questions, you will likely become more familiar with what you need to study and, in the meantime, familiarize yourself with the type of language that will be on the exam. Draft potential exam questions and quiz yourself so that you can set expectations of what you need to focus on.
13. Meet with your professor or TA.
Often times, meeting with an instructor, whether it’s a professor or a TA, can give you helpful hints for what to study and ways to prepare for the exam.
14. Reorganize your notes.
Evaluate and reorganize your notes into what’s important, outlining important concepts, formulas dates and definitions so they’re easy to understand.
15. Pace yourself.
Make sure you stay focused and don’t burn yourself out. A great way to do so is to pace yourself rather than opting for the dreaded all-nighter. You can easily pace yourself by following tips like starting early, creating a study schedule and taking breaks when necessary!
16. Teach classmates.
Learning by teaching is a method that really works! If you work with a study buddy and explain concepts to one another, you're re-learning the material all over again. It's a great way to reinforce what you've learned and help someone in the meantime!
17. Revolve your focus.
Switching up your subjects is a helpful way to learn everything for your exams while preventing burnout on one topic. Make sure to switch it up before your eyes glaze over! That way, you can keep studying for longer periods of time while maintaining your focus.
18. Color code it.
Create a system that allows you to color code material that's going to be on the exam by what's most important, less important, etc. This will help you focus on the most pertinent information and prioritize the material.
If you're a visual learner, it can help to create mind maps or diagrams to visualize how the concepts you're learning relate to one another. This is especially beneficial when learning concepts that build upon the understanding of one another, like in science courses.
20. Make it fun.
It's easier to focus if you adapt to studying by quizzing yourself, creating acronyms or rewarding yourself for a job well done. Create a game plan - literally - that allows you to accomplish tasks and be rewarded for each.
For example, why not reward yourself with a piece of chocolate or a sip of your coffee after you've accomplished a new chapter or allow yourself five minutes of free time for every chunk of material you digest?
You can even add in fun factors like power-ups every time you learn a new definition and lose a life, which means you add another definition to your list, when you get an answer wrong!
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Your parenting style can affect everything from how much your child weighs to how she feels about herself. It's important to ensure your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development because the way you interact with your child and how you discipline her will influence her for the rest of her life.
Researchers have identified four types of parenting styles:
Each style takes a different approach to raising children, and can be identified by a number of different characteristics.
1. Authoritarian Parenting
Do any of these statements sound like you?
You believe kids should be seen and not heard.
When it comes to rules, you believe it's "my way or the highway."
You don't take your child's feelings into consideration.
If any of those ring true, you might be an authoritarian parent. Authoritarian parents believe kids should follow the rules without exception.
Authoritarian parents are famous for saying, "Because I said so," when a child questions the reasons behind a rule. They are not interested in negotiating and their focus is on obedience.
They also don't allow kids to get involved in problem-solving challenges or obstacles. Instead, they make the rules and enforce the consequences with little regard for a child's opinion.
Authoritarian parents may use punishments instead of discipline. So rather than teach a child how to make better choices, they're invested in making kids feel sorry for their mistakes.
Children who grow up with strict authoritarian parents tend to follow rules much of the time. But, their obedience comes at a price.
Children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of development self-esteem problems because their opinions aren't valued.
They may also become hostile or aggressive. Rather than think about how to do things better in the future, they often focus on the anger they feel toward their parents. Since authoritarian parents are often strict, their children may grow to become good liars in an effort to avoid punishment.
You put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with your child.
You explain the reasons behind your rules.
You enforce rules and give consequences, but take your child's feelings into consideration.
If those statements sound familiar, you may be an authoritative parent. Authoritative parents have rules and they use consequences, but they also take their children's opinions into account. They validate their children's feelings, while also making it clear that the adults are ultimately in charge.
Authoritative parents invest time and energy into preventing behavior problems before they start. They also use positive discipline strategies to reinforce good behavior, like praise and reward systems.
Researchers have found kids who have authoritative parents are most likely to become responsible adults who feel comfortable expressing their opinions.
Children raised with authoritative discipline tend to be happy and successful. They're also more likely to be good at making decisions and evaluating safety risks on their own.
You think your child will learn best with little interference from you.
If those statements sound familiar, you might be a permissive parent. Permissive parents are lenient. They often only step in when there's a serious problem.
They're quite forgiving and they adopt an attitude of "kids will be kids." When they do use consequences, they may not make those consequences stick. They might give privileges back if a child begs or they may allow a child to get out of time-out early if he promises to be good.
Permissive parents usually take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems, but they usually don't put much effort into discouraging poor choices or bad behavior.
Kids who grow up with permissive parents are more likely to struggle academically. They may exhibit more behavioral problems as they don't appreciate authority and rules. They often have low self-esteem and may report a lot of sadness.
They're also at a higher risk for health problems, like obesity, because permissive parents struggle to limit junk food intake. They are even more likely to have dental cavities because permissive parents often don't enforce good habits, like ensuring a child brushes his teeth.
You don't ask your child about school or homework.
You rarely know where your child is or who she is with.
You don't spend much time with your child.
If those statements sound familiar, you might be an uninvolved parent. Uninvolved parents tend to have little knowledge of what their children are doing.
There tend to be few rules. Children may not receive much guidance, nurturing, and parental attention.
Uninvolved parents expect children to raise themselves. They don't devote much time or energy into meeting children's basic needs.
Uninvolved parents may be neglectful but it's not always intentional. A parent with mental health issues or substance abuse problems, for example, may not be able to care for a child's physical or emotional needs on a consistent basis.
At other times, uninvolved parents lack knowledge about child development. And sometimes, they're simply overwhelmed with other problems, like work, paying bills, and managing a household.
Children with uninvolved parents are likely to struggle with self-esteem issues. They tend to perform poorly in school. They also exhibit frequent behavior problems and rank low in happiness.
Sometimes parents don’t fit into just one category, so don't despair if there are times or areas where you tend to be permissive and other times when you're more authoritative.
The studies are clear, however, that authoritative parenting is the best parenting style. But even if you tend to identify with other parenting styles more, there are steps you can take to become a more authoritative parent.
With dedication and commitment to being the best parent you can be, you can maintain a positive relationship with your child while still establishing your authority in a healthy manner. And over time, your child will reap the benefits of your authoritative style.