How can emotional intelligence bring you happiness

Emotional intelligence: more success with EQ (with test)

According to scientists, there are 9 types of intelligence - including the logical-mathematical and linguistic Intelligence that interpersonal or intrapersonal Intelligence. The last two in particular form the so-called emotional intelligence, which is called EQ equivalent to IQ. Some consider it to be the most important form of intelligence of all. Especially in the job, where soft skills are often more important for success than pure specialist knowledge. But what exactly is behind the concept of emotional intelligence and EQ? And: are you emotionally intelligent yourself? We have compiled the most important answers to them, a definition (according to Goleman), examples and a Emotional intelligence test as well as tips on how to learn and improve emotional intelligence ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Emotional Intelligence Definition: The Goleman Concept

Ultimately, emotional intelligence is based on the idea of ​​understanding and assessing feelings in oneself and others, as well as being able to deal with them and react appropriately. The idea for this is around 100 years old and originally came from the American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike, who, however, still used the term “social intelligence” for it.

The concept of emotional intelligence first introduced the two US psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer - that was in 1990.

But it was her colleague, the US psychologist and bestselling author, that made the term really popular Daniel Goleman, around seven years later: In 1997 he dedicated an entire book to the EQ, which became an international bestseller. Since then, emotional intelligence has often acted as an alternative to classical intelligence research.

Goleman himself calls them "The ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others, to motivate ourselves and to deal well with emotions in ourselves and in our relationships."

According to Goleman, the essential characteristics of emotional intelligence are as a whole twelve competencies:

Noticeable to the outside and with it characteristic of emotional intelligence are, according to Goleman, above all:

  • Self-awareness

    This includes the ability to understand one's own feelings and moods as well as their effect on one's surroundings. It is therefore a form of self-awareness. It literally means to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. In the context of emotional intelligence, it means having a comparatively objective view of one's own actions.

  • Self-regulation

    This means that those affected can react in a controlled manner to negative moods, wishes and impulses - and not impulsively. This is especially true with strong emotions such as anger, fear or a thirst for revenge. In a professional context, for example, it is a form of self-management when you finish your task and only then go out for a coffee.

  • empathy

    Perhaps the strongest form of emotional intelligence. Empathy is the gift of being able to empathize with other people and to be able to react appropriately. It signals to the other person: "I understand you!" - and is crucial to gain trust and sympathy. At the work level, it not only helps to resolve and prevent possible conflicts, but also enables customer-oriented action.

  • dealing with people

    This point ties in with the previous one: What is meant is the ability to establish and maintain social contacts. This is particularly important when it comes to networking, but it also shows leadership skills.

  • motivation

    Means to dedicate yourself to certain goals with commitment and to be able to cheer yourself on again and again. This is especially important when things go differently than planned. Being able to motivate oneself means having a higher tolerance for frustration and thus energy and stamina than less emotionally intelligent people.

A high EQ also pushes inner emotional strength from, up to the so-called Resilience, so the ability to deal with severe crises and strokes of fate as well as the subsequent ones Roller coaster ride of emotions deal more confidently than most people.

According to surveys, most people rate emotional intelligence as far more important than rational intelligence (IQ). Sure, those who seek success shouldn't be stupid either. But without this interpersonal EQ, some oh-so-smart contemporaries like to mutate into Intelligence beast - in the literal sense.

Because professional success is not based solely on professional competence and emotional intelligence is playing an increasingly important role in the job, personnel decision-makers use this job interview More and more often to test the EQ of the applicants with specific questions. We have distilled 11 of these EQ applicant questions for you in a small eBook, which you can download HERE for free.

Emotional intelligence: a bundle of skills

Despite the already quite extensive definition of emotional intelligence according to Goleman, this remains a collective term for a whole Variety of skills. In addition, five more are listed here, which are mentioned again and again in this context:

  • Communication skills: This means the ability to listen actively as well as to formulate your own messages clearly and clearly and to interpret the messages of others.
  • Social competence: Behind this is the ability to build relationships with strangers and to cultivate those with acquaintances and friends. But it is also the ability to bring one's own action goals into line with the attitudes and values ​​of a group - and thus to influence the behavior and attitudes of this group to a certain extent. This includes the talent for cooperation as well as the constructive ability to deal with conflicts.
  • Knowledge of human nature: This is about the ability to assess people based on their own experiences, but also their behavior after a short period of time. Observable behavior includes body language, posture and facial expressions. On the verbal level, it is also looked at how the other person behaves: rather emotionally or objectively?
  • Curiosity: It describes a characteristic of a person who is eager to gain new knowledge. This includes the willingness to be surprised, to be amazed, to be open to new things. This property promotes creativity, because many experiments and thus discoveries would never have come about without curiosity.
  • Intuition: This includes the ability to listen to your gut instinct. Decisions are by no means made on the basis of feelings alone, but on the subconscious level, a wealth of information is accessed that is simply not immediately available at the moment.

Emotional Intelligence Test: How Much EQ Do You Have?

Are you curious now how high your EQ is? Most people have a very good sense of how strong their emotional intelligence is. However, we also tend to see ourselves differently from what is true.

Incidentally, this applies in both directions: either we gloss over - or we judge ourselves far too harshly. The following - short - Self test Above all, it should serve as an objective corrective and give you clues as to how your emotional intelligence is doing.

Of course they can 25 questions do not deliver a final judgment, especially since we learn emotional intelligence, but can also unlearn it. However, the Emotional Intelligence Test is always good for initial orientation and stocktaking.

Test: What is your EQ?

This is how the test works: Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible - everything else is a waste of time for you - and add up the points behind the relevant answer.

In order to arrive at an even more precise result, it can be helpful not only to reflect on your own strengths, but ideally also on one or two people you know well. Ask them about the Self-assessment again to get a better comparison between the image of others and the image of oneself.

The people you choose should be kind to you, otherwise someone else could use the results against you and harm you. If you really want to change something, listen carefully to your friend's comments. Use this option for only one honest assessment and by no means as a return carriage!

  1. I am patient.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  2. I understand the reason for my feelings.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  3. I see the good in everyone.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  4. I try to put myself in other people's shoes and understand why they act that way.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  5. I am confident.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  6. I can express my feelings in a detailed and differentiated way.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  7. I am good at dealing with stress.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  8. I focus on opportunities rather than obstacles.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  9. I stay calm under pressure and stress.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  10. I can understand how experiences influence other people's feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  11. I am optimistic about the future.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  12. I can control my impulses.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  13. My interest in others makes me a good listener.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  14. I am good at handling other people's emotions.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  15. Even with upcoming changes, I remain optimistic.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  16. I can control strong emotions such as anger, fear and joy well and I know how to use them for the benefit of others.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  17. I'm good at responding to different, sometimes contradicting requirements.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  18. I can easily understand other people's points of view, even when I represent someone else.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  19. I can react flexibly to unexpected changes.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  20. It's important to me to understand other people's motivations.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  21. I can easily adapt my goals and plans to changes.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  22. I can describe my emotions at the same time I experience them.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  23. I can adjust easily when a situation is uncertain or changes frequently.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  24. I understand how stress affects my mood and behavior.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.
  25. I can change my priorities quickly.

    • always 3 p.
    • Mostly 2 p.
    • Never 1 P.

Resolution to the test

PS: If you don't feel like taking the test - there are also some indications that suggest that you have a high level of emotional intelligence. We have these in one Free PDF summarized, which you can download HERE.

Learning emotional intelligence: this is how it works

At the same time, the question arises whether learn emotional intelligence leaves? The short answer: yes, in part. We actually have a lot of talent in our cradle. Other partial characteristics, on the other hand, can be learned - for example, more self-confidence, better listening to your own Manage emotions and to reflect more consciously, for example.

Especially the frequent ones Self-awareness and self-reflection play a crucial role in this - especially when it comes to regulating one's own emotions. In order to perceive or to understand yourself and your feelings (triggers, reactions) and to control, there is three helpful methods:

  • Practice mindfulness

    Originally, the term is a Buddhist concept. Scientists today also define mindfulness as that intense attention that we focus on the present - in a way that is as open as it is accepting.

    Ulrich Ott from the University of Giessen found out that mindfulness makes people mentally more stable and healthier. His colleague, the Berlin psychologist Willi Zeidler, was again able to determine in his investigations that mindfulness changes fearfulness: Mindful people reacted to stress stimuli in a physiologically measurable manner less tense.

  • Talk to yourself

    Talking to yourself acts like an outlet: anger, sadness and frustration cannot eat their way into you so easily; unclear thoughts and feelings are put into words and sortedMaking decisions so easier. And last but not least, what you hear is usually better remembered than just thought.

    And as scientists have recently shown the dialogue with the self can reduce stress, Reduce aggression and provide a more differentiated view, as the US psychologist Thomas Brinthaupt showed in his investigations.

  • Accept feelings

    Many people tend to ignore any emotion as much as possible or to deal with it as little as possible. This logically leads to the fact that no emotional intelligence can arise. For a strong EQ, you need to accept feelings and deal with them.

    this applies not only for your own, but especially for other people's emotions. Whoever evades when emotions arise, cannot learn emotional intelligence. Instead, address these issues and question your own feelings and the emotions of others.

Analysts are more empathetic than intuitive

To be able to adjust to other people; empathize with what you feel - who does it easier with it? Most intuitively, most people would say that people who have a strong intuition and can rely on your Gut feeling hear, more likely to have this emotional intelligence. A current study paints a different picture, however: After that are above all Analyst more empathic.

Scientists Christine Ma-Kellams from the University of La Verne and Jennifer Lerner from Harvard University wanted to investigate this more closely. So they designed several Test series and in one of them, for example, gave their test subjects a choice: They should help an emotionally confused person and to do so ...

  • either one intuitive approach and find advice
  • or one analytical.

As expected, the intuitive approach was more popular. The majority of the test persons chose this route of emergency aid. But was that also the better strategy?

So the researchers also examined the other side: which advice was better received by the recipient and which of it was also after objective standards the better one?

Of course, they suspect the result: Whoever did not try to help immediately following his gut feeling or intuitively responded to the person concerned, but rather the situation in peace first probed and analyzed, not only got better feedback - he also understood the person better and was therefore better received.

Or as the researchers put it: "Reasoning led to the right outcome. Those participants were significantly better at reading the emotions of their counterpart. "

Cons: The negative sides of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence enjoys you good reputation - and rightly so. It can contribute to a better understanding of one another, increase self-confidence and noticeably improve the atmosphere in the workplace.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also possible if the EQ is used to manipulate others and yourself to provide an advantage. And that happens more often than we'd like.

A growing body of research suggests that there is a link between understand a person and take advantage of a person gives. In other words: Quite a few people with pronounced emotional intelligence use it Knowledge of the emotional world of othersto take advantage of this selfishly. Of course, you shouldn't assume that every friendly colleague has malicious intent.Often it is enough to be aware of the possible motives behind the friendliness in order not to become a victim so easily.

But in order to paint a complete picture of emotional intelligence in this dossier, we would also like the Downsides This - otherwise positive - characteristic should not be left unmentioned:

  • Emotional intelligence can make you selfish

    Research from 2010 suggests that emotional intelligence in the workplace is not just used to improve the common good. Those capable of doing so often used their talent for purely selfish career purposes: for example, to make themselves more popular with important people, to outperform direct competitors, to influence or control opinions and emotions among colleagues in their minds.

  • Emotional intelligence can make you more ruthless

    A particularly explosive mix is ​​the combination of emotional intelligence and a tendency to manipulate other people. A study found that this combination makes you particularly inconsiderate towards the feelings, but also the public reputation of other people. In the specific case, despite high EQs, those affected did not shy away from embarrassing others publicly in order to put themselves in a better light and to better pursue their own goals.

  • Emotional intelligence encourages taking advantage of others

    An equally alarming result came from a study in 2014: It showed that emotional intelligence is the key to being able to take advantage of other people in the first place. Only those who understand the feelings and thoughts of their counterpart can get them to act in their own interest. Exactly this function fulfilled the emotional intelligence because it makes it possible to actually carry out the malicious thoughts.

  • Emotionally intelligent people are often narcissists

    Narcissism can become an enormous burden for people around you and for work colleagues. Researchers found in research that there is a strikingly strong correlation between emotional intelligence and narcissism. The problem: The combination leads to the fact that the narcissists abuse their talent for their own purposes and deceive others.

The trolley dilemma: emotional intelligence makes you more helpful

The more we ourselves have put them into a person's world of thoughtthe more willing we are to stand up for that person later. Or in short: EQ makes you more helpful. This is the result of a study by the Viennese psychologist Claus Lamm. To this end, he examined decision-making processes in fictitious emergency situations. In addition to moral reasons, empathy, i.e. compassion for others, plays a major role.

Ultimately, it was about a classic in psychology - the so-called Trolley dilemma: A train is racing towards a group of five track workers and would mercilessly run over them. However, the test person has the chance to switch points at the last second. The train would evade, the five track workers would be saved, but another ignorant worker works on the siding, who in this case would be run over for sure. The test person must therefore weigh up whether he saves five track workers in order to send another safely to his death. By the way, most people opt for it, motto: Five lives weigh more heavily than one.

The Vienna experiment showed, however, that if the test subjects had put themselves in the shoes of this one person beforehand, this person promptly became less frequent sacrificed. In addition, the participants felt in their decisions significantly more stress. One could also say that they found it harder to suppress the irrational alternative in favor of the majority. The result strongly suggests that our social behavior is influenced by whether we perceive others with their thoughts and feelings - and not just in emergency situations.

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November 27, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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