In the twenty-plus years since the concept of Emotional Intelligence was introduced in by Daniel Goleman, the world has changed dramatically, and the need for emotional intelligence has only intensified. Consider that a fractured political climate is now the norm, with candidates using emotions like fear and anger as “weapons of mass persuasion.” Passionate followers— often quick to judge the “other” as stupid or incorrigible— pursue heated discourse and hurl attacks, making calm and rational discussion all but impossible.
By increasing your knowledge about your own emotions, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and the reasons behind the decisions you make.
My closest friends certainly wouldn’t pin me as religious, but when it comes to increasing emotional intelligence, I do my best to follow the following rules. It’s these eight principles that help guide my mind and heart toward more emotional intelligence.
Mistakes Are Normal, Keep Learning Those Lessons
I’ve found it’s often when you feel that you’ve “mastered” a facet of emotional intelligence that you’ll make your greatest mistakes. But how you handle those mistakes, will determine how emotionally intelligent you truly are. At these times, moments of reflection and practice will yield surprising insights and “aha” moments that can change you for the better, if you let them.
We are all students after all, and we continue to learn from each other. So, keep learning those lessons. Continue striving to harness the great power of emotion, lest you become a slave to your own feelings. Pursue knowledge and understanding with the goal of making yourself better.
Above all, remember that emotions are beautiful. They make us human. Enjoy them. Love them. Embrace them. But never underestimate their power, and their potential to do good AND harm. Learn to live in harmony with these fundamental truths— and you’ll be sure to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.
John Grover is the Chief People Officer and Owner of Endsight. John received his MBA from the University of Phoenix, a bachelor's degree from Auburn University, and earned technical certifications from both Microsoft and Cisco. He was also recently accepted into Harvard Business School's Certificate of Management Excellence program. John is a lifelong learner, constantly pursuing expanding his understanding both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to being an avid mountain biker and surfer, John is dedicated to reading over 50 books a year to improve himself as a leader, father, husband, and athlete. He is also passionate about empowering others to do the same. In the last year, John has written over 60 articles on such topics as leadership, company values, and learning.