When thinking of intelligence, most individuals tend to picture something like IQ. While IQ can tell you a great deal about your ability to problem solve through learning, application, and logic, it does not paint a very accurate picture about your ability to succeed in complicated life circumstances. That's where emotional intelligence comes in.


Simply put, emotional intelligence is your ability to understand and influence emotions, both in yourself and in others. It is a measurement of awareness. Numerous studies show that emotional intelligence is directly linked to strong performance. Thankfully, emotional intelligence can be learned (unlike IQ). Certain individuals may be more naturally predisposed to high levels of emotional intelligence, but you can always work towards improving.

Below are five questions you can ask yourself to gauge your own emotional intelligence:

How aware are you of emotions, from yourself or others, on a daily basis?

Typically, people with emotional intelligence are not only aware of their own emotions but of the emotions of others as well. Emotions are projected through both verbal and non-verbal signals. An emotionally intelligent person can often sense emotions right away when entering a room. This does not require any verbal contact at all; someone’s facial expression or body language alone can communicate a great deal. In conversation, emotionally intelligent people usually put themselves in someone else’s shoes, connecting with the other person on an empathetic level.

Do you have the ability to manage your own emotions?

Take a moment to think about difficult moments you have had in your life. How did you react? Emotionally intelligent individuals do not typically wear their emotions on their sleeve. Though they may feel emotions strongly, they understand how their attitude impacts others. Throughout the day a host of negative emotions arise. Anger, jealousy, and irritation are things emotionally intelligent people actively seek to identify in order to resolve the core of the issue.

Are you able to use your emotions in a constructive way?

Emotions are a good thing. They are protective and allow us to make sense of our lives. However, sometimes emotions can be destructive. Simply put, emotionally intelligent people don’t let emotions become a negative factor in their lives. Reflect on the impact your emotions make on your life. If you struggle to identify positive outcomes from emotional situations, this can signal issues. Utilize your emotions to experience clear “wins.”

Do you do well under pressure?

Our lives are not perfect; they have many bumps in the road along the way. Another key to emotional intelligence is staying in control under pressure when it seems everything is falling apart. For example, if a stressful situation occurs at work, how do you react? Emotionally intelligent people are aware that remaining calm in those instances is crucial both for your professional and emotional well-being.

Are you honest with yourself?

Emotionally intelligent people take time to reflect. They think critically about life circumstances and occurrences. They enjoy “quiet time” and reflection. It is hard to turn off our cell phones or televisions and ask ourselves hard questions, but the payoff is invaluable.

How does your emotional intelligence compare?

If you are interested in growing your emotional intelligence, we have a free course called “How To Function Above Entry Level.” This course is delivered to your inbox daily and has powerful videos, worksheets, and essays to help you function at your highest capacity.

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