How emotional intelligence manifests in everyday life

Daniel Adjei, Managing Partner, Spint Consult Limited

We all know someone who is incredibly bright and yet cannot seem to pull their life together. The brilliant student who flunks out of university, or the incredibly intelligent worker who can’t seem to get ahead in their company.

We know from our familiarity with them that they have a good-to-superior intelligence level – but that doesn’t seem to be enough to ensure success. And at the same time, we can probably describe in some form why we feel these people have not been successful. Our descriptions would include certain traits or behaviours that have nothing to do with intelligence.

Over time, scientists have begun to study why standard intelligence alone isn’t enough to predict the performance in an individual. They have realised that there is another type of intelligence that isn’t related to the standard cognitive intelligence – it’s called Emotional Intelligence.

Those who have high levels of Emotional Intelligence or EI for short, are able to understand the physical, mental, and social impact that negative emotions have on their bodies, minds, relationship and ability to pursue and achieve goals. They then are able to moderate their own emotions so that they support their activities and enhance their quality of life.

People with highly developed EI are proven to be more successful in the workplace because they can understand their emotions. They can use their emotions as clues to what their body and mind are trying to tell them. Spint Consult designed an exclusive module for professionals and workplace environments to train them to understand, balance, and use the emotions to be an emotionally intelligent person and travel their life-journey successfully.

Justin Bariso, Founder of Insight, shared the following 13 Signs of people with High Emotional Intelligence in any environment – be it formal or otherwise. Here is what emotional intelligence looks like in everyday life:

  1. You think about feelings

Emotional intelligence begins with what is called self- and social-awareness, the ability to recognise emotions (and their impact) in both yourself and others.

That awareness begins with reflection. You ask questions like:

What are my emotional strengths? What are my weaknesses?

How does my current mood affect my thoughts and decision-making?

What’s going on under the surface that influences what others say or do?

Pondering questions like these yields valuable insights that can be used to your advantage.

  1. You pause

The pause is as simple as taking a moment to stop and think before you speak or act (easy in theory, difficult in practice). This can help save you from embarrassing moments or from making commitments too quickly. In other words, pausing helps you to refrain from making a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.

  1. You strive to control your thoughts

You don’t have much control over the emotion you experience in a given moment. But you can control your reaction to those emotions – by focusing on your thoughts (as it’s been said: You can’t prevent a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest). By striving to control your thoughts, you resist becoming a slave to your emotions – allowing yourself to live in a way that’s in harmony with your goals and values.

  1. You benefit from criticism

Nobody enjoys negative feedback. But you know that criticism is a chance to learn, even if it’s not delivered in the best way. And even when it’s unfounded, it gives you a window into how others think. When you receive negative feedback, you keep your emotions in check and ask yourself: how can this make me better?

  1. You show authenticity

Authenticity doesn’t mean sharing everything about yourself with everyone, all of the time. It does mean saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and sticking to your values and principles above all else. You know not everyone will appreciate your sharing your thoughts and feelings. But the ones who matter will.


  1. You demonstrate empathy

The ability to show empathy, which includes understanding others’ thoughts and feelings, helps you connect with others. Instead of judging or labelling others, you work hard to see things through their eyes. Empathy doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with another person’s point of view. Rather, it’s about striving to understand – which allows you to build deeper, more connected relationships.

  1. You praise others

All humans crave acknowledgement and appreciation. When you commend others, you satisfy that craving and build trust in the process. This all begins when you focus on the good in others. Then, by sharing specifically what you appreciate, you inspire them to be the best version of themselves.

  1. You give helpful feedback

Negative feedback has great potential to hurt the feelings of others. Realiding this, you reframe criticism as constructive feedback so the recipient sees it as helpful instead of harmful.

  1. You apologise

It takes strength and courage to be able to say you’re sorry. But doing so demonstrates humility, a quality that will naturally draw others to you. Emotional intelligence helps you realise that apologising doesn’t always mean you’re wrong. It does mean valuing your relationship more than your ego.

  1. You forgive and forget

Hanging on to resentment is like leaving a knife inside a wound. While the offending party moves on with their life, you never give yourself the chance to heal.

When you forgive and forget, you prevent others from holding your emotions hostage -allowing you to move forward.


  1. You keep your commitments

It’s common nowadays for people to break an agreement or commitment when they feel like it. If you can’t keep your commitments to yourself, how will you keep the lunch-dates, promises and agreements you have with other people? In order to be the best version of yourself, you’ve got to keep those personal resolutions and decisions you’ve made. When you decide to become accountable to yourself, others will notice. Accountability is a huge quality employers, friends and even romantic partners look for. Keeping those promises to yourself is the first sign that you are mature enough and ready to be accountable to others.

And when you make a habit of keeping your word – in things big and small – you develop a strong reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.

  1. You help others

One of the greatest ways to positively impact the emotions of others is to help them. Most people don’t really care where you graduated from, or even about your previous accomplishments. But what about the hours you’re willing to take out of your schedule to listen or help out? Your readiness to get down in the trenches and work alongside them?

Actions like these build trust and inspire others to follow your lead when it counts.

  1. You protect yourself from emotional sabotage

You realise that emotional intelligence also has a dark side – such as when individuals attempt to manipulate others’ emotions to promote a personal agenda, or for some other selfish cause.

And that’s why you continue to sharpen your own emotional intelligence – to protect yourself when they do.

EI is ‘morally neutral’. It can be used to help, protect, and promote oneself and others, or it can be used to promote oneself at the cost of others. How are you using your EI?

The writer is a Managing Partner | Spint Consult Limited | |


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