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Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a critical aspect of navigating adult life. Despite its importance, our busy lifestyles mean people are often too busy to spend time reflecting on and improving their emotional intelligence.

Leading psychologist Daniel Goleman argues that emotional intelligence is twofold. It refers to how well we understand and handle ourselves, as well as how well we understand others and manage relationships.

Understanding ourselves involves a combination of self-awareness and self-management. Self-awareness is the ability to know what we’re feeling it and why we’re feeling it. Self-awareness forms the basis for intuition and decision-making skills. Self-management allows us to be attuned to our emotions and deal with them constructively. This means we can experience negative emotions without allowing them to be crippling. Similarly, it’s important to experience positive emotions by allowing ourselves to feel enthusiastic and passionate about our actions and activities.

Understanding others is possible by building on our self-awareness and self-management. It’s important to feel empathy by attempting to understand how others are feeling and why they may be feeling this way. An awareness of both our own emotions and the emotions of others allows us to build meaningful and important relationships.

Developing EI

Jennifer Miles is a trainer in emotional intelligence at MSA Training and Professional Development. According to Jennifer, the first step in developing emotional intelligence is reflecting on our own experiences and behaviours.

“Through better understanding ourselves as grounded in our unique experiences, we can subsequently develop greater insights into others and the ways their behaviours are also grounded in diverse experiences,” she said.

“Understanding how to develop emotional intelligence can help us be more conscious in managing our own and others’ emotions and emotional patterns.”

Jennifer says this understanding can be applied in a range of situations.

“We can build connections and a range of practical strategies to respond in our personal and professional lives when confronted by challenging situations and communications,” she said.

Building EI at MSA Training and Professional Development

MSA Training and Professional Development offers the Develop Emotional Intelligence course for those wishing to formally develop their emotional intelligence. The course explores key components of emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, empathy, relationship management and effective communication.

Students also study work from leading emotional intelligence researchers, including Daniel Goleman and Brene Brown.

Jennifer Miles says self-reflection and exploration is also a key element of the course.

“Through attending MSA Training’s Develop Emotional Intelligence, participants have the opportunity to reflect on and build stronger insights into their own experiences and behaviours,” she said.

“[The course also] contemplates how this informs and is informed by our everyday experiences.”

The course can be completed in a single seven-hour session, with more information available here.