Emotional intelligence. This term first appeared in the 1960s but gained a lot of popularity in 1995 after the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman came out. John Mayor (no, not the singer), a psychologist, also played a big role in getting this concept the attention it deserves. Thank God for these two!
So, what is emotional intelligence? It’s defined as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions positively to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
In the 90s, I had a mentor/boss who was very emotionally intelligent. He saw something in me and said I had a high EQ. I thought he said IQ and was surprised because nobody has ever accused me of that (hah!).
I don’t believe that emotional intelligence is something we are born with. I attribute mine to my upbringing, lots of reading, practice, and having awesome mentors in my life.
There are tons of studies that show people with high EQ have greater mental health, job performance, and leadership skills. Those are some pretty important areas of our lives!
If you want to improve yours, here are five ways you can get started:
- Embrace self-awareness: recognize your emotions and realize how they impact your behavior.
- Practice assertive communication: tell people what you need or share your opinion respectfully.
- Assert yourself: no, we aren’t talking about being aggressive. State your opinions/emotions with confidence and respect for other people.
- Empathize with others: Seek to understand versus thinking about how to reply. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Be motivated: set goals that you follow through with and be resilient in challenging situations.
Life is good. – Jeff
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