Knowing much about emotional and social intelligence doesn’t give you social-emotional skills over night. Of course, learning begins with knowledge, but only by practice can we transform our knowledge into an active and efficient tool. To become a social and emotional skilled person is a tough task but, if you want to bring success into your life, you have to: be self-conscious, be very motivated, be able of self-regulation, be able to motivate others and be able of empathy. Even if we like it or not, our feelings conduct our behavior, but not in a rational, coherent and perceptible way.
We all are made of a combination of strengths and weaknesses. The point is how to develop your strengths and minimize your weaknesses, so that these traits make your life and others lives better. Emotional intelligence is the psychological faculty that provides you with social-emotional skills. It has five components that can be translated into five essential social-emotional aptitudes:
- Self-regulation – to be capable to conduct ourselves and to control our emotional state;
- Self-consciousness – to recognize and understand our feelings;
- Motivation – management of feelings in order to achieve our objectives;
- Empathy – identifying and decoding the feelings of others;
- Social Abilities – being able to relate and influence others.
1. Self-regulation represents our capacity to conduct and control our emotional state. The key is not to give up in the face of your negative emotions. One way is to postpone immediate satisfaction and attenuate impulsivity; only so you can take advantage over your tendency to get immediate satisfaction (immediate satisfaction isn’t bad in itself, only that satisfaction that bring bad consequences on the long run). There is no better psychological trait than that of resisting your impulses. This is the base of emotional self-control, taking into account that emotions are in fact impulses. It is the capacity of resisting to the impulse of bad action.
2. Self-consciousness represents the self-perception at the emotional level or the capacity to identify your emotions and their effects. Being self-conscious you are able to identify connections between what you feel and what you think, what you talk and what you do. Also you can recognize the way your emotions affect your performance and productivity. The incapacity to observe and understand your true feelings may make you a prey for others.
We often have false and unrealistic perceptions about ourselves; usually we fall into one of these extremes: either we are too upset on ourselves, or we are too proud of ourselves. The best practice is to accept your inner feelings, not to deny them, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have to control and change them when they are destructive for you and others. The aim is to feel at peace with you and others!
3. Motivation. You have to be aware of the power of your emotions on the way to achieve a goal and to put them at work in this process. Emotional involvement in what you are doing is what fuels your motivation. To be motivated mean to be very involved in what you are doing and keep trying even if the situation seems to be against your attempts, to try to achieve your goals when there are a lot of difficulties and hindrances. The best practice is to see an obstacle as a provocation and failure as a learning situation (but make sure not to make the same mistake again). Very important is to consider your failure not only as a consequence of your own capacity to achieve goals (internal factors), but firstly as an effect of contextual conditions or external factors.
4. Empathy. There are four essential aspects of the empathy, in other words you have:
- to be sensitive or delicate with others and understand them;
- to take care of others’ needs and well being;
- to encourage others’ progress;
- to be concerned about social and political matters.
5. Social abilities. The ability to initiate and keep relationships represents the art to handle your own and others’ emotions (there are competences in relationships management that can be learned). Social abilities empower us to begin and keep positive relationships, to be accepted and integrated in groups, to act efficiently as crew members, to influence others’ attitudes, opinions and behaviors, to lead others.