Emotional intelligence

Maxime Flacheron is an account manager at Synergie Hunt International

Member of the communications committee

Even if the holiday season is behind us, there is still excitement in the air. Generally speaking, this period of the year brings positive emotions to all, however it is still important to know how to manage those emotions, the same way we do the more negative ones. Our performance can be hindered by our emotional state, which more often than not is out of our control. This is the reason why I would like to talk today about emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware, control and express our emotions. Learning to manage those skills will have positive effects on our relationships, professional life and health.

Emotional intelligence consists of four fundamental capabilities according to the book “Emotional intelligence” written by the American psychologist Daniel Coleman:

  • Self-awareness and the ability to understand our emotions, recognizing their impact and using them to guide our decisions;
  • Self management, which is the ability to keep emotions and impulses under control;
  • Social awareness, which is sensing and understanding other people’s emotions;
  • Social skill, which is the ability to inspire and influence others while promoting their development and managing conflicts.

At work, it could happen that we are overwhelmed by many different emotions that diminish our productivity and impact our personal life. These emotions have an enormous influence on our wellbeing.

That is why it is important to be aware of what we experience in our everyday life so that we are better prepared to manage these situations. By doing this we end up knowing our psychological triggers.

Every day we face situations that make us experience positive but also negative emotions. The build-up of all those emotions often gives us the impression of losing control. That is why it is necessary to try to relax and let go of our emotions once they take control. It’s easier said than done, but there are many different methods that allow us to reach our “safe haven”. We can close our eyes, relax, slow down our breathing…it is important to let go, just for a moment!

Our relationship with others

It is important to show empathy towards our colleagues who are not feeling well. A method that works wonders is active listening. The person hints at a problem they are experiencing. What we need to do is reflect the feelings and words of the speaker so that they feel understood and can focus their ideas.

When we communicate, whether it is to inspire others, manage a conflict or confront someone, emotions can influence those discussions in a negative way. That is why before communicating it is recommended to be aware of our feelings, of what we think, what we do and what we desire.

If those emotions have too much influence on us, we need to try to distance ourselves from them but if we are disconnected from them, we need to try and reconnect. Next, we need to decide when to express our feelings: in the moment or later on? Should we talk to just anyone or to a confidant? This affects everyone, whether we are an employee, manager or CEO…

To describe emotional intelligence in one sentence: it is the capability to identify our emotions and those of the other person and then make choices that respect both individuals.

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