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Having good emotional intelligence is important in all aspects of life. Emotional intelligence means recognizing, understanding, and responding to our own feelings as well as those of others. Understanding the way people feel and how they’re motivated is great for relationships. It’s also incredibly valuable at in the workplace. Consider the following aspects of emotional intelligence.

Self-Awareness

Some people are very anxious and hyper-aware of every breath they take and every glance shot in their direction. Others breeze through life without realizing that they’re offending people and, ultimately, holding themselves back. Every person should seriously consider where they fall on this scale. Asking the question, “How do others see me?” is difficult but can be very productive. How does others’ perception differ from the person themselves? What can be done to express oneself more clearly and bring self-definition and others’ perceptions more in-line with each other.

Goals for the Self

There is a question about emotional intelligence that should color every area of life: “Who do you want to be?” In fact, it sometimes comes up in job interviews, though not necessarily in this exact form. Potential employers may ask for a list of candidates’ top three values and how they’d like to see them played out in the workplace. Weighing values can be difficult. Is it better to be admired? Feared? These goals will tell people a lot about why their lives have played out the way they have, and people react to them the way that they do.

Length of Relationships

Some people have lots of long-term, stable relationships. Others have a life full of stops and starts. Emotional intelligence means expressing oneself well, which is key in keeping any relationship going strong. Everyone deals with people who frustrate them at times. Knowing how to express that frustration and move forward is a key life skill. Again, be honest. When relationships end, is it due to a lack of emotional intelligence? If they endure, is it because or in spite of the level of emotional intelligence?

Improving emotional intelligence can pay real dividends in all areas of people’s lives. It allows people to better understand what they and those around them are doing, and why. Asking some key questions can be a great way to improve on this life skill.