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How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence in a World of Social Distancing?

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Emotional intelligence is a concept introduced in the 90s by two psychologists, John Mayer and Peter Salovey. The two defined it as a form of social intelligence that involves monitoring one’s own and others’ emotions and using this information to guide one’s thoughts and behaviors. These are not separate skills. You need to identify and understand emotions in others and yourself and manage these emotions effectively to influence people and your environment.

The link between emotional intelligence and IQ

Emotional intelligence is not directly linked to cognitive intelligence. Some people have high cognitive intelligence and extremely low emotional intelligence. We all have a friend or loved one who is very intelligent but has serious problems interacting with other human beings or making decisions. One of the biggest differences between these two types is that cognitive intelligence is fixed while emotional intelligence can develop and evolve.

Importance of emotional intelligence

According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is more important than cognitive intelligence, especially for predicting success in one’s career. Various studies have shown that there is a direct link between career success and emotional intelligence.

Want to learn more about Emotional Intelligence? Read Daniel Coleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

Many service organizations now include emotional intelligence activities as part of their HR and recruitment strategies. You might have heard of this as “soft skills.” Apart from your career, emotional intelligence can help you in almost all aspects of your life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this type of intelligence is more important in our personal lives than ever. That’s why you need to concentrate on increasing your emotional IQ, or EQ, as it is also known.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to improve your EQ:

1. Self-awareness is key

In the past, people used to think that self-awareness was all about knowing their strengths and weaknesses. However, it is more than that in today’s world. Self-awareness helps you become aware of your feelings. You need to get in touch with your positive and negative emotions. Not only do you need to identify your feelings but also understand what gives rise to them.

For example, a common emotion in many men is anger. Behind anger, there is often another emotion, such as fear. You have to dig deep to find the underlying problem and become self-aware. There are a few techniques that you can use to become self-aware, especially during times of social distancing. They include prayer, meditation, and journaling. One of the simplest ways to explore your emotions is by opening up to a loved one or colleague.

2. Get feedback from other people

Another simple and effective way to improve emotional intelligence is by understanding that different people see things differently. This applies to how you perceive yourself, too. Keep in mind that other people see you differently from how you see yourself. To know how they see you, you need to ask them. You should always treat feedback as a gift regardless of who delivers it and how they do it.

Only a handful of people know how to deliver criticism perfectly. Therefore, don’t focus on how it is delivered but on the hidden message. Do not take criticism personally. Instead, think of it as a learning opportunity. This is at the core of emotional intelligence. Avoid taking criticism personally. Emotional intelligence is all that’s needed to understand how your friends and colleagues are feeling.

3. Observe

A significant portion of communication is non-verbal. It plays an integral role in how we perceive a person or interpret a situation. Body language can affect how other people receive our messages.

To become fully observant, you need to use your senses and emotions. You also need to pay attention to other peoples’ body language as this can help you interpret the subconscious messages that they are sending. In a world of social distancing, you can be observant when communicating with others virtually. By paying attention, you’ll notice a link between other peoples’ behaviors and your mood.

4. Empathize

Empathy revolves around putting yourself in other people’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective. Apart from seeing things from their point of view, empathy also involves understanding other people’s emotions. To empathize, you need to be in tune with your own emotions. Next, you need to identify and recognize the emotions of other people.

Now that we are in a world of social distancing, you can do this via your phone, virtual interaction, or reading messages. Try your best not to judge others based on their emotions. Keep in mind that emotions are energy. And in most instances, people don’t choose how they feel.


Now that you know how to improve your emotional intelligence in a world of social distancing, what will you start doing today?



rtor-guest author-leon collierAbout the Author: Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK who works with PhD dissertation writing help. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on providing good service as a writer in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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1 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence in a World of Social Distancing?

  1. Rakesh says:

    Nice article!
    Developing emotional intelligence is important in today’s world.
    How do you think that it would also be beneficial for children to develop emotional intelligence?
    And how it will affect their life and academics?

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