Emotional intelligence is something that affects all of us, every day of our lives, and in each interaction that we have with others. It is said to be a fundamental key to being an effective leader and a critical factor to the quality of both our personal and business relationships. As such, emotional intelligence directly affects our quality of life, level of happiness and degree of self-satisfaction.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and effectively manage one’s emotions. People who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are able to better manage feelings like anger, happiness, insecurity, or fear and are therefore able to react to many situations in a more appropriate and effective manner than those who posses a lower degree of emotional intelligence.
Studies show that as much as 80% of the average person’s success, in both their personal life and career, can be attributed to their level of emotional intelligence. This means that as little as 20% of a person’s success is as a result of their IQ (intelligence quotient or cognitive intelligence). So, leading with your heart over what your brain is saying seems to be true in this respect. However, how often do we go with our intuition or that ‘gut feeling’?
Intuition is basically how you quickly tap into your subconscious mind, which is where you "archive" all kinds of information that you do not remember on a conscious level. It might be real fears, such as a phobia of spiders. I know that some people will not travel to countries that are known to have deadly and poisonous spiders such is their fear of this small animal. At some stage in their lives, probably at school, information about a deadly spider was stored away in the subconscious and that pops up whenever the subject is raised – despite statistical evidence of the un-likelihood of them being bitten at all. We thrive in a culture that believes rationality and prevailing scientifically proven logic, rules over our gut feelings.
In order to be happier however, my advice would be to go with your initial ‘gut feeling’ - it is so often the right thing to do, and will prevent much procrastination which not only holds us back, but can be hugely stressful and frustrating to all concerned. Great leaders in history have shown this time and time again, where their conscious ‘gut feeling’ proved to be correct, whatever the outcome!
So to be more emotionally intelligent, connect more with your heart and your gut feeling – you will seldom be wrong!