When you hear “Emotional Intelligence (EI)”, you might think of someone kind, empathetic, and always there to lend an ear. While these traits are undoubtedly important, emotional intelligence is much more than being nice.
In fact, emotional intelligence is a set of skills that allows people to read, understand, and influence emotions – both in themselves and in others. It’s like having a superpower that allows you to connect with people on a deeper level and to easily navigate even the most challenging situations.
Sure, using emotional skills to be kind and pro-social is always encouraged. But it’s important to realise that EI can also be used in more machiavellian ways. Just look at some of the world’s most sophisticated criminals – many are incredibly emotionally intelligent, using their empathy to manipulate and exploit others’ desires and fears.
It, therefore, bugs me when people refer to EI as “soft skills.” It makes it sound like emotional intelligence is some fluffy, feel-good nonsense that’s only useful for talking about when crocheting with your mates. But in reality, emotional intelligence is a tough son of a bitch that gives you the power to disarm, and even attack, those who come to bring you harm. And when it comes to fighting fire with fire, EI is your secret weapon.
People with high levels of EI are great at managing their emotions, allowing them to stay cool and collected in the face of conflict. They’re also skilled at reading and understanding the emotions of others, which helps them to empathise and respond in a way that de-escalates the situation or, in the right circumstances, recognise it’s time to battle down the hatches and roll up your sleeves.
But emotional intelligence isn’t just about diffusing conflict – it’s also about achieving positive outcomes. Leaders with high levels of EI can inspire their teams to achieve great things by tapping into their emotions and motivating them to work towards a common goal.
In short, emotional intelligence is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil. It’s not just about being nice – it’s about using your emotional skills to navigate the world, connect with others, and achieve your goals. So if you want to be a badass with a heart of gold, it’s time to start working on your emotional intelligence skills.