What Makes Emotional Intelligence Important Today


The world is currently going through an interesting phase. Technology is transforming our lives – it’s eliminating and creating jobs, and changing how we think and take decisions.

The powerful invasion of technology has even impacted our relationships positively and negatively. Social media along with technologies like real-time messaging and video chatting helps people stay connected, thus reducing the impact of geographical distances. At the same time, relationships are turning increasingly superficial since the devices are electronic.

This has led to an increase in divorces, crimes, break-ups, suicides, depression, and even road-rage. The overall acceptance levels have dropped – by gender, region, religion, belief, or any other diversity factor.

All these result in negative feelings and emotions that cause stress and induce more negativity. It’s a vicious circle. No wonder there’s a surge in the professions linked to psychological wellness.

On the other hand, we find people around us who are generally peaceful, calm and happy. They seem to have everything under control.

We see a similar trend at our workplace as well. While some people are always under pressure and stress, others are peaceful, calm and smiling. The second set of people usually seems to have time and yet is successful. Such people are sought after and often regarded as role models.

So, what differentiates these people from the rest?

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence, also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ) and popularized by Dan Goleman, has emerged as one of the most sought-after skills. Various research studies and reports unanimously indicate that this is one of the key skills for the future – reports by World Economic Forum and LinkedIn are just a couple of examples.

You probably have a lot of questions running in your mind.

  • What is Emotional Intelligence?
  • How can I measure it?
  • Will I be able to improve it now or is there an age limit to it?
  • What should I do to improve my Emotional Intelligence?
  • How long will it take to improve my Emotional Intelligence?
  • Does Emotional Intelligence help me in my professional career?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

There are a lot of definitions that are prevalent for Emotional Intelligence. According to me, it is:

Your ability to channelize emotions appropriately.

source: Lifehack

Let us try to understand each aspect of the definition.

Emotional Intelligence is:

Your Ability – it’s a skill you can develop…

To Channelize – a skill that helps you direct, guide, manage or channelize…

Emotions – not just your own but also of those around you…

Appropriately – in a manner that isn’t manipulative.

By this definition, emotionally intelligent people tend to act in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner. This is why they’re sought after.

In subsequent posts, I’ll try to answer the remaining questions listed above. In addition, if you have any additional questions or clarifications, please feel free to list them in the comments section below and I will respond to them.

[Update: You can read Part 2 here: The Critical Role of Self-Perception in Emotional Intelligence]

(Aditya Kuchibhotla is a Career Coach and a Life Coach helping people with their personal and professional aspects. You can reach out to him on his website www.adityakuchibhotla.com)

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Aditya Kuchibhotla

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12 Responses

  1. How do we really understand, that we are emotionally intelligent or not, as behavior changes according to situations and demands presence of mind as well, before reaching at this stage.

    1. Very good question, Nikhil.

      There are two options to understand how emotionally intelligent are you –

      1. Self assessment – in the subsequent posts, I’ll be talking about the various components of emotional intelligence. Go through them and assess yourself against them. It helps you identify the focus areas.

      2. Speak to a professional

      Hope that helps.

      Thank you.

  2. How to improve the presence of mind to demand more effectiveness? or How to prioritize the situations?

    1. Hi Samayan,

      Thanks for asking the question.

      When you improve your awareness levels, you will not be driven by events or situations. This will help you stay calm and think objectively. This will help improve your effectiveness and assist in prioritization.

      Regards, Aditya

  3. Emotional intelligence is actually showing our human side to the world and which involve use of prefrontal cortex one of the most important thing of brain that separate us from mammals.
    Act = React (mammal brain )
    Act = understand (Prefrontal Cortex in Use ) = Respond (Human Brain)
    Human respond while mammals react which means EI makes human special.

    1. I really like the way you’ve brought in science to explain what differentiates humans and other creatures.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Balveer.

  4. I easily get emotional and get in tears when I come contact with emotional things like emotional videos and stories… does that mean my EQ is good??

    1. Hi Shubham

      Crying is a way to express emotion. When there is a valid and a powerful reason, an emotionally intelligent person chooses to express emotions in an appropriate manner – that includes crying as well. However, if it is done either excessively or for a prolonged period then it isn’t good.

      Hope I answered your question.

      Best wishes

  5. Emotional Intelligence could be defined as the empathy we feel for other human beings around us and the emotional support we extend to fellow human beings in their times of need and stress.

    1. Deepali

      You’ve correctly linked Emotional Intelligence with Empathy. I completely agree.

      In addition, Emotional Intelligence is also about knowing oneself. Without knowing self, it will be difficult to know about others. So, it’s really important for us to invest time in knowing ourselves before we extend a helping hand to others. Without this, we will not know how to manage the impact on us that is caused by the emotions which others are going through. Remember, we can’t serve from an empty cup – we have to have our cup full before we can begin serving others. In my subsequent posts, I will be talking about the various components of Emotional Intelligence.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Regards, Aditya

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