Emotions are the most powerful things in the universe.
Being able to understand emotions and being able to understand other people will give you an edge in most environments.
Psychology Today describes intelligence as: “a construct that includes problem-solving abilities, spatial manipulation, and language acquisition.”
Intelligence measured by IQ tests isn’t the most important thing.
Doesn't matter the number of languages that you learn to speak, the amount of information you can memorize, and even how well you can do math.
There are other types of intelligence that cant be measured by IQ tests.
These types of intelligence are more important than the more traditional form of intelligence.
According to Wikipedia social intelligence can be described as the following: “Social intelligence is the capacity to know oneself and to know others” and “aggregated measure of self- and social-awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change”.
To survive and thrive we have to develop higher levels of social intelligence.
A large part of social intelligence is your ability to manage and build relationships in your personal life and professionally.
You have to be a master at social dynamics to dominate your environment.
You need to develop your experience with people and social situations.
Learning how to navigate social situations and get the outcome you want is a big part of social intelligence.
This can also be referred to as “street smarts” or common sense.
Signs of Social Intelligence:
(1)Being able to have stimulating conversations with a wide variety of people and making these people feel comfortable in your presence.
(2)Being able to adjust and be a chameleon. This means playing different roles in different situations.For example sometimes being the leader, listener etc.
(3)Having the ability to being a great listener.
(4)They can mold themselves into any interaction with a wide variety of personalities without breaking a sweat.
(5)They can easily analyze people by watching and listening to them.
(6)They can manage the way others perceive them in different situations.This is not an easy skill to learn and takes practice and experience.
Psychology Today describes emotional intelligence as the following: “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.”
Emotion intelligence can be broken down into the following 4 parts:
(1)The Ability to Perceive Emotions.
Things like facial expressions and gestures can indicate complex emotions that influence our understanding of other people. Emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.
For example, happiness indicates to join with other people, sadness indicates a desire to avoid people.
Each emotion conveys a pattern of possible messages and the actions associated with those messages.
(3)Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought.
Scientists have figured out that emotions prioritize our thinking.
Therefore having a good system of emotional input can help you focus on the most important things in your life.
This is the ability to promote certain types of behavior using emotions and using it to your advantage.
For example, if you are sad you are more likely to be reflective and analytical.If you are happy you more likely to be social and outgoing.
These four aspects of emotional intelligence inform our decisions,predict our outcomes and help us understand people so we can build better relationships.
IQ and Book smarts.
IQ and book smarts usually get a lot more attention and focus. So many book smart people are surprised when they see less “smart” people excel and move past them.
These people that are moving past them are usually people with high levels of social and emotional intelligence.
We live in a society where technology is advancing at a rapid pace. However, the human brain still primitive and social intelligence is getting more and more important.
We are dealing with massive amounts of people both online and physically in our jobs or careers.
Even with all the technological advances and massive population explosion we are all still stuck in the same bodies that humans had thousands of years ago.
We have the same emotions and feelings that we had back in our days in small villages and farms.
The Problem is that the environment has changed and the tools we have is more complex.
We are already cyborgs with half our life being online.
We constantly live virtual lives with smartphones and computers constantly connecting us to the human hive brain which is the internet.
However, the most important part of our lives is still real-life interactions with other humans.
The problem is a lot of people are losing the ability to understand emotions and social interactions.
Therefore you will have a massive advantage if you study these 2 fields of emotional and social intelligence.
Developing Your Emotional And Social Intelligence.
If you develop both your emotional and social intelligence it means you are competent in self-awareness and relationship management.
This means you are you are able to understand your own and others emotions' in social environments.
Having a high level of emotional and social intelligence means you will be on a different level than anybody else when it comes to “IQ ” in general.
Most people think they are made because they got an MBA from a fancy university.
You can educate yourself and improve your emotional and social intelligence and win every time.
How Can We Improve Our Emotional Intelligence?
(1)Learn To Observe How You Feel.
Sit down somewhere quiet and become aware of your emotions. What emotions are you feeling right now?
How are they influencing your actions today? How are these emotions influencing how you behave?
Now imagine how other people are influenced by the same emotions?
You can do this every day for 5-10 minutes.
(2)Be Critical Of Your Own Opinions.
Every Week stop and sit down somewhere for 10 min and be critical of your own opinions. It's easy to just get pulled into the current of popular opinion and get brainwashed by the power of popular emotions and trends.
For example, if large parts of your community are angry about a certain issue are you really angry?
Or are you just angry because everyone else is angry?
Try being objective and take your emotions out of it.
(3)Take Ownership of Your Emotions.
Your emotional state is your responsibility and you have to take full ownership.
Once you become more conscious of your emotions you can start taking control by consciously influencing yourself to feel different using different tools.
For example, if you feel sad to go for a run in the mountain and go to the Sauna.
After that, your emotional state will be different.You took control of your sadness.
You can do this consistently and transform your life.
(4)Take Time To Be Thankful for The Positives in Your Life.
Its easy in today's world to get swept into the massive river of negativity.
Negativity is in so much abundance it's not difficult to drown in negative emotions.
See the negatives and accept them as part of life. Don't pretend they are not there.
Its fine to experience negativity but don't soak in it.Every morning when you get up to take 5 minutes to focus on the positive in your life and the world.
There is a reason that some great eastern religions like Buddhism focus on breathing so much.
They figured out a long time ago that breathing influences our emotions and the way we feel.
One of the best ways to take control of an emotional rollercoaster is to stop and take control of your breathing.
If you feel stress stop and take 10 slow deep breaths in and out. This will calm you down.
(6)Figure Out What Motivates You.
Look back your past and see where you achieved best in any area of your life. Look at the areas you failed in.
Then try and figure out what emotions played a big role in you being highly motivated and what emotions make you give up and fail.
(7)Eat Good Quality Food.
This should be an obvious one but many people don't realize what they put in their body has a direct effect on your emotions.
You can experiment on yourself. Eat just junk food for 3 days and observe your emotions.
Then go healthy for 3 days and see the effect of your emotions.
The emotional difference will be like night and Day
(8)Be Open To Listen.
In your business or career be open to listening to people.
If you keep your mouth shut and really listen to people they will start trusting you.
While you listen acknowledge when something resonates with you by nodding your head and sincerely saying things like “I understand” and “I see your point”.
You will start building relationships and connections.
(9)Put Yourself in Someone Else's Situation.
Visualize how other people in certain emotional states feel.
If you can practice that you will get great insight into someone even before approaching them.
For example, if you want to talk to a woman in a coffee shop.
Imagine her emotions. Is she relaxed?Nervous?Happy?
Then adjust the way you approach the situation.
How To Improve Your Social Intelligence.
(1)Learn How to Tell Stories.
Stories are part of human DNA. Since ancient times humans have been telling stories.
Still today we are fascinated by stories and the human brain naturally follows stories. Whatever you want to talk about turn it into a story.
For example, just saying “I went shopping yesterday” is boring and nobody will care.
But if you say “Yesterday I had such a fun experience when I went shopping. I ran into this interesting Professor from Nepal.He had an amazing life and the stories this guy tell stunned me”.
What story is more interesting? The second one right?
(2)Attention Is Everything.
Attention in life means value. In business and in marketing you need attention.
In your personal and professional life attention has the same importance.
In a world that is distracted all the time attention is king.
If you can give people 100% of your attention for short periods of time you will skyrocket your popularity.
Go sit down with people, listen and engage. They will think you are the greatest.
They will see you as different,kind, interesting and most importantly you made them feel special.
(3)Smile More Often.
Being serious is something I feel more comfortable with but I adjust my facial expression according to circumstances.
If you can be friendly and put a smile on your face in social situations people will open up to you.
People feel more comfortable approaching someone that has a smile on their face. Try to relax and smile.
(4)Practice Small-talk With Strangers.
Become comfortable starting conversations with strangers. Be able to be chameleon-like and adjust your personality to the circumstances and the type of person you talk to.
This will take time and practice but it's a fun exercise that will improve all areas of your life.
In all situations communicate openly and clearly so people understand what you want and know where they stand.
This will reduce miscommunication and misunderstandings.Ask if you don't understand and adjust your tone to the type of person you are dealing with.
(6)Try and Understand The Politics.
In any social environment try and study the body language and interactions of others to understand the politics of the group.
You need to understand the leadership and hierarchy of other people and individuals.
Listen and watch to learn more.
(7)Try Understand Other Viewpoints.
Try and put yourself in other's shoes. Try and understand why they think the way they think.
Why do you think they have these opinions and viewpoints?
Maybe the person was raised in a specific society that created his viewpoints.
Maybe he or she was raised in an orphanage?
Whatever the story is try and understand others better by watching, asking, listening and imagining being them.
(8)Stop Looking for Approval.
If you are looking for approval it's stopping you from being more socially intelligent. Accept the fact that everyone can't like you and that is OK.
It will set you free. When you are free to say and do what you want you will be more open to new experiences and relationships.
(9)Understand The Different Cultures and Traditions.
Whatever group or society you are in find out about the rules and traditions so you can understand the individuals better.
By respecting their way of doing things you will be respected more and will be trusted more easily by the group.
For example, you might think someone does not like you in Japan because they didn't smile, but they are just following the official rules in the big company they work for
If you knew the office culture you would understand the situation better.
You Need To Practice Your Skills and Learn New Ones.
If you want to improve your Emotional and Social Intelligence it means you need to practice it and learn more about it.
Getting better means continual learning and development.
Becoming better at these skills are actually fun because you can put yourself in challenging social and emotional situations and see if you can navigate your way through it.