Emotional Intelligence

By Leo Gura - March 25, 2014 | 9 Comments

A deep understanding of emotional intelligence and why it’s critical to the quality of your life.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video we’re going to talk about emotional intelligence.

The Whys And Hows

Why is emotional intelligence important? First, before we get into that, let’s say emotional intelligence is also defined as EQ, kind of like you have IQ, which is your intelligence quotient, here you also have EQ, which is your emotional quotient.

I’ll be saying interchangeably emotional intelligence sometimes, other times I’ll be saying EQ, to be compared to IQ. Why is EQ important? What they’ve actually discovered, after doing lots of research in the last thirty years, they’ve done so much research about what creates performance and success in business and in career.

What they’ve really found is that people who are successful, the number one factor is not IQ, it’s not intelligence. The number one factor is EQ. It’s emotional intelligence. It’s your ability to work with emotions. That is what’s critical.

They’ve done so many studies in colleges and universities and corporations across the country and the world, that really document this and demonstrate it. You think we would commonly think that if somebody is smart, if they have a high IQ then that person can get a lot of stuff done.

Sometimes we even say “Well he’s so smart. He’s got a really sharp mind. He’s able to get stuff done.” That’s not actually very true. People that are extremely smart, technically speaking, on the IQ scale, if they have a very high IQ, actually tend to not produce that much. They tend to be not that successful.

The Downside Of Being Smart

When your IQ gets above 150, it tends to be counterproductive. You’re so much in your head all the time, and you lose touch with your emotions. The emotions are what really creates success in life, because life is about relationships. Life is about being able to be in relationships with others, and it’s also about understanding yourself and being able to control and manage your own emotions.

If you can do that, if you can develop strong emotional intelligence, then you are going to be successful. Your relationships are going to be more successful. You’re going to be happier there. You’re just going to be happier alone, by yourself naturally. You’re going to have better control. You’re going to be able to do things.

You’re going to be able to execute on things you want to execute on because you’re going to have the discipline and willpower. You’re not going to have those super high highs and super low lows in life. You’re going to have a more even keeled trajectory through life. That tends to be what produces success and high performance.

What EQ Is And Is Not

That’s ultimately why you should be interested in EQ. We should clarify what EQ is and what it isn’t. Let’s start by what it’s not. A lot of people will assume that EQ talks about sociability and what emotional intelligence means is that you’re extroverted and that you’re confident, a people person. You’re very gregarious. We know those types of people. That’s the cliche extrovert.

That’s not what emotional intelligence is about. Emotional intelligence, in fact, is something that dovetails very nicely with introverts. For example, I’m a very strong introvert, but I also have a high emotional intelligence. This is something that I actually measured through tests. I got tested for this. You can take assessments online and in books and other places.

The two are not opposed at all. The two are also not synonymous. Being sociable and being emotionally intelligent is not necessarily synonymous. What is emotional intelligence then? Let’s really define it. Let’s break into it.

Here’s the definition I got from a book called Emotional Intelligence 2.0, which I highly recommend you check out. They’ve got a very in depth explanation with examples, and then they give you assessments, so you can actually assess yourself and get scores, which is nice. It’s not subjective, it becomes very tangible.

The definition of emotional intelligence is, and I’m reading this off, “the ability to recognize and understand your emotions, in yourself and in others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and your relationship”. That is EQ in a nutshell.

The Four Pillars

There’s really four pillars, I’m calling them four pillars of emotional intelligence, and they were part of that definition, if you noticed. Pillar number one is your ability to understand your own emotions, being able to label your emotions and just recognizing what you have and having a broader range of emotions. Having more awareness there, that’s pillar number one.

Pillar number two is your ability to control your emotions. It’s one thing to just know your emotions, label what you’re feeling — it’s a totally different matter to be able to manage it, to be able to discipline yourself, control yourself, so you’re not having those crashes and ecstatic peaks, but you’re somewhere in the middle. You’re even keeled. That’s controlling your emotions, pillar number two.

Pillar number three is your ability to read emotions in other people. You might call this empathy. It’s your ability to understand what other people are experiencing and feeling, being able to relate to that using your mirror neurons, your understanding of their point of view. It’s really the ability to step into somebody else’s shoes and look at life or a situation from their perspective. That’s pillar number three.

Pillar number four is your ability to then manage your relationships. How smooth are your relationships going for you? How well are you communicating and interacting within them? That is also determined by your EQ.

EQ consists of all these four pillars, and actually in that book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, I took tests and I got a score for each one of those pillars. You might be stronger, and you probably are, in some of these four than you are in others.

Maybe, for example, you are really good at controlling your emotions, but you’re not so good at managing your social relationships. Or maybe you’re really good at identifying your emotions, but then you can’t really control them. So you know what you’re experiencing, you can label it, you’re self-aware and very conscious, but then you’re just struggling to actually practically manage that and channel it into your work, or the habits you’re trying to instill in your life, like your diet or your gym.

You could have different levels. Of course, the idea is that the higher you are in each of these, the better. You want all of them maxed out, ideally. The more emotional intelligence you have, the better you’re going to do in life, the happier you’re going to be. You want to be maximally at a hundred, each one at a hundred.

Those are the four pillars. I’m sure you have a deeper understanding of what EQ is. Let’s also talk about how this actually relates to some of the stuff that happens in our life. It might still be a little abstract at this point. It might be a little bit unclear as to how EQ can really help you and how it impacts you already.

It’s already impacting what’s happening in your life. In fact, if you’re having struggle in relationships, whether your intimate relationship or relationships at work, with your boss, with co workers, with employees, that’s a really big sign that you have trouble in at least one of these four pillars, if not all of them.

The Effects

Let’s talk about that. Here’s a list of the things that EQ is controlling or is tied to. These are some of the effects of EQ. First is anger management. Are you able to manage your anger well? If you are, then you have high EQ. If you’re not, then you have low EQ, probably because you’re failing on those first two pillars. You’re not very conscious about it, about your feelings, and you’re not able to control them very well. That’s an example right there.

Next is accountability. How much accountability are you able to take on yourself, rather than blaming other people? That’s connected to EQ. How about honesty and trust? That one is connected to EQ, too. How honest are you with yourself, but then also how honest are you able to be in social situations, without having to be pressured into lying or telling white lies, or being distrustful of people? Honesty and trust are big, and those are really tied to EQ.

You’ve also got assertiveness and confidence. These are big. If you’re lacking in assertiveness and you’re lacking in confidence, then you’re also lacking in emotional intelligence. How good of a communicator are you? Can you communicate in your intimate relationship? How about communicating at work? If you’re not able to communicate effectively, that shows a lack of emotional intelligence.

How about stress tolerance? Are you always stressed? Are you frantic? Are you anxious? Thinking negative thoughts, always judging yourself, feeling guilty? That is a sign you don’t have very strong emotional intelligence. You’re faltering on one of those four pillars.

How about decision making? How strong of a decision maker are you? Do you find yourself waffling all the time, making a decision and then going back, and going forward, and going back, and going forward? Or not being able to decide between two things for a long time, procrastinating? This is a sign of low emotional intelligence.

How about flexibility? How flexible are you? Do you flow with life? Are you able to handle the challenges and situations that are coming up in life? Or are you very rigid and set in your ways, and everything is bumping into you and causing all sorts of pain and suffering? That’s a sign of low EQ.

How about presentation skills? Probably more related to work. How well are you able to give a presentation, to speak, to convince people, to motivate and inspire people? Especially if you’re a manager, this is very applicable. Good managers must have high EQ to be able to influence their employees in an effective way.

Also, the next point is listening skills. How about listening skills? How good of a listener are you? Are you able to really listen to what people are telling you? Are you able to understand it, to really empathize with it? Are you able to then show them, reflect back to them that you did understand? Do people think you’re a good listener? Or do people think you’re a poor listener? If you’re a poor listener, that’s tied to low EQ.

That is the list. I’m sure there’s more. These are just some of the most obvious ways EQ connects with your life in all these different areas. Of course, it relates to your intimate relationships very much, how you’re doing at work, how you’re talking to clients, all of that. It also relates very much to how peaceful and happy you feel just inside, by yourself.

If you’re always frantic, and you’re always sad or depressed, or you’re having any of these kinds of negative emotions — you’re angry all the time, you’re guilty — this shows a lack of emotional intelligence. You’re not recognizing them in yourself, first and foremost, but then you also don’t have tools and strategies for how to manage them.

You’re expressing them and it’s also impacting your relationships, out in the real world. It affects you and it affects the world. You can see how powerful this idea is and how many aspects of your life it affects. It literally — the tentacles from EQ literally spread almost every single aspect of your life. This is why this idea’s so important.

The Boosters

Now we know what EQ is, we’ve really defined it, I think you have a good, strong sense of how it relates to your life with all these examples. The question now is: How do you go about developing it, or even can you develop it? What can you do about this? What if you happen to be low in one of these areas? What if you don’t really have a strong sense of your emotions? What if you don’t have good control? What if can’t empathize? What if you are a bad communicator or bad in relationships? How do you manage that?

The good news is that, more so than IQ, EQ is highly developable. That means you can develop it, you can work on it. It takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not a weeklong process. It will take you months to do this, but you can work, in pinpointed ways, on those exact deficiencies you have in each one of these four pillars.

You can do things to retrain your mind to think in new ways, to make new distinctions, to understand new things and to put new communication skills into place, so that these things are brought up to the maximum. That’s work you can do.

I actually do a lot of that work through coaching. A lot of the videos I share with you guys, although I don’t explicitly say that this is about EQ, or emotional intelligence, ultimately this is what Actualized.org is all about.

We’re helping you understand emotions. We’re helping you understand your psychology, and psychology is very emotion-laden. We’re helping you how to master them through all these different techniques.

For example, something like meditation, or something like journaling could be a technique you use to reduce your stress or to build more understanding of your emotions. Something like coaching is something you can use to understand your emotions better.

Reading books about this stuff can help you understand your emotions better, and then actually going out and actually practicing some of this stuff. There’s a lot of different practical techniques that you can use, and you should use, to actually go out and work on each one of these pillars.

I don’t really have time to go into them, it’s such a deep topic, there’s literally hundreds of them, so I can’t cover them all. I’m going to have other videos that cover how to work on each one of these pillars and share more of these techniques with you.

With this video, the purpose was just to show you that this is out there, get you to start to understand that emotional intelligence is important, and then hopefully give you a sense that this is something you should care about and you should probably have a sense right now, whether you are lacking in one of these four pillars, or in all of them.

Do you think you have low EQ or high EQ? Now you probably have a better sense. You can go out there and actually get it tested objectively, through some of these surveys they have in books and online, which I highly encourage you to do.

Ultimately, now you’ve got a sense of this and now you’re a little bit more bought in to this idea that emotions are important. Self-control is important, it’s all connected to your success in life.

Wrap Up

This is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. This is what I had to say about EQ. Go ahead and leave me your comments. Please like this and share this, I want to spread the message. Of course, check out Actualized.org because we have an awesome newsletter there that I want you to subscribe to.

It’s free — free weekly updates with new video articles, other goodies and really, you want to be signing up because you’re getting more information about how to develop self-awareness, how to interact with other people, how to understand your psychology and the psychology of others.

Once you understand yours and the psychology of others, and you have some techniques for to manage your psychology, then everything starts clicking for you. Your EQ raises and then you can accomplish amazing things. Sign up, we’ve got some free bonuses there, and new updates every week.

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marion says:

I am so glad that I found your website, I can visualize it taking off exponentially and ultimately becoming the gold standard in self help. I hope that many more people discover your website and benefit from your videos.

Leo Gura says:

Thanks for the support, Marion

Sierra says:

You probably won’t get to reading my comment because there are probably thousand of people watching and commenting. But I just want to express my appreciation for your videos. You and your videos helped me find self respect, confidence, and love for myself. I am a pretty negative thinker. But doing your exercises really helped me, I am looking at things differently with a more optimistic point of view now and I am working on changing my life for the better. Thank you so much. You are such an inspiration.

Leo Gura says:

Yes you are a negative thinker!! Tsk, tsk.

Thanks for the kind words

kym says:

I’m so glad I found this site and your videos. I’ve always been controlled by my mind, negative thinking and emotions. I have been trying extremely hard to learn to control my thoughts and emotions to have a happier life. Yet, I haven’t ever mastered it. I’ve actually put myself into depression by not being able to break my patterns. I was always teased as a kid and was in a very toxic relationship that damaged me years ago. It’s easy to controp thoughts when I’m calm, but when I’m feeling down at all it seems impossible. any suggestions on how to break free from these chains that bind me from the life I desire?

Leo. I said it earlier and I will say it again, where have you been all my life. I sincerely want to thank you. You now have another devoted follower. I don’t think that I have ever connected to a video as I have with what you are putting out there. Thank you again.

Capt Bill says:

I appreciated this video with my girlfriend last year. Think this clip belongs back in your Best section.

Wow, had a blow out with my gal. When I told her I needed a break, ..she was so stressed and let down, we had a blow out and yelling started (from her). … I eventually participated. It was the most anger I’ve seen from her and I sadly reacted with some of the same. … I apologized a couple of days later for my part via email and expressed looking forward to talking in person. She appreciated I am kind of guy willing to talk afterwards.

We both decide to listen to this Emotional Intelligence video early in our talk. This was Great food for thought and talk. We paused it when either one of wanted to talk. Wow … What a great session that was a like having a first class therapist with us (maybe better). ….

Then we decided to listen to your Mastering Emotions clip video. I consider that an advanced challenge. Since our history of blowouts are not a dominating theme, and we love each other, … we were able to embrace our blowout as a learning experience and challenge to our growth, … as in: we are each responsible for our own experience, PLUS you work on your issues, and I’ll work on mine. … So, Thank You Leo. Your work helped us big time in making a great insightful turn around.

By the way, I believe this video clip belongs back in your Best Videos section. I also want to share my thoughts that the young people of our generation need more pointing to your basic video topics, and that could possible be accomplished by putting your Enlightenment video in a separate Advanced section. Just my opinion. Hope that is all Food for Glowing Thought.

Zachary says:

Thanks man, your ideas have helped me in more ways than I can even imagine

Anna says:

This is a gem Leo.
I have a lot of work to do in this area and it’s super helpful to have such a great dissection of EQ.

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