Emotional intelligence is defined as “one’s ability to know, feel and judge emotions in cooperation with a person’s thinking process for behaving in a proper way, with ultimate realisation of happiness in him and in others”.
Like general intelligence, emotional intelligence is also developed in a person by birth. Normal development of emotion leads to healthy life, but too much variation in emotional level damages the individual’s life.
The level of emotion in a person is called Emotional Quotient (EQ). This can be obtained by using emotional intelligence tests, same way as we assess the IQ of a person.The success of a person in his job or profession depends not only on his IQ, but also on his EQ. The nurse with high emotional quotient can identify and perceive her emotions and of others like patients easily through face reading, bodily language, voice tone, etc.
She can have a proper understanding of the nature, intensity and outcomes of her emotions. High EQ also helps the nurse to exercise proper control and regulation over the expression and use of emotions in dealing with her and others, so as to promote harmony and peace.
Hence, it is very important for nurses to develop a high level of emotional intelligence because; they come across many emotional situations in their duties. They see the suffering of patients from many serious diseases, death of patients, and the sorrowfulness of the relatives with patients.
Many times she will come across the situations which lead to a lot of anxiety, tension, anger, etc. To deal with such emotional situations effectively and to have proper control over her emotions, the nurse should have a high level of emotional intelligence.
If not, she can learn to manage her emotions by modifying, changing her existing level of emotions and to use them in an intelligent way.
Concept of Emotional intelligence:
Emotional intelligence has prominence in organizational effectiveness. It is defined by psychological theorists as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations. The cognitive abilities of an individual to learn from experience, to reason well, and to cope effectively with the demands of daily living. Other theorists stated that Emotional intelligence involves the “capabilities to perceive, appraise, and express emotion; to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth” (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).
Elements of EI:
Self-Awareness: It is the skill of being aware of and understanding one’s emotions as they occur and as they evolve.
Self-Regulation: It is about controlling one’s emotions i.e. instead of reacting quickly; one can reign in one’s emotions and thus will think before responding.
Internal Motivation: It includes one’s personal drive to improve and achieve commitment to one’s goals, initiative, or readiness to act on opportunities, and optimism and resilience.
Empathy: It is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from the point of view of others.
Social Skills: It is applying empathy and balancing the wants and requirements of others with one’s. It includes building good rapport with others.
Improving Emotional Intelligence :
–By self-evaluating oneself, one can know one’s emotions and reactions to different situations.
–By observing others, one can comprehend feelings of others.
–By improving one’s expression, one can communicate better.
–By analyzing the impact of one’s action over others, one can fine tune the actions.
Now-a-days, organizations take initiative to improve Emotional Intelligence among its employees through different group activities, exercises, seminars and tests. However, EI also improves with age (maturity) due to one’s experiences in life.