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Emotional intelligence comprises five key elements, namely, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
While this type of intelligence was not traditionally considered a legitimate form of intellect or a trait that offered valuable insights about a person, this is changing. Given the impact of mental health on the quality of our lives and the work we do, emotional intelligence has become significantly more important.
In fact, there are multifaceted advantages to possessing emotional intelligence in the workplace. These include the ability to handle pressure in more healthy ways, the ability to understand and cooperate with others, powerful listening skills, openness to feedback, empathy, setting a good example for others to follow, and making more thoughtful decisions.
The connection between mindfulness and emotional intelligence
As the CEO of a mindful meditation company, I’m more than aware that mindfulness and emotional intelligence are by no means new or novel concepts. The scientific understanding of the benefits of these practices, however, has only reached mainstream audiences in the past few years.
As a company that has prioritised mindful practices from the outset, I have witnessed the connection between mindfulness and emotional intelligence, firsthand.
One of my longstanding employees tends to struggle under pressure. Although she excels at her job, she has shared that she feels overburdened by the pressures of her day-to-day schedule. I noticed that as her knowledge of mindfulness grew, however, so did her self-awareness; she began to understand and recognise ways to make the pressure a little easier to handle.
One of these techniques includes what she fondly refers to as “breathers”, which are brief, two-minute breaks between each task where she takes deep breaths and prepares herself mentally to engage in something new without letting her tasks overlap and overwhelm her.
I remember asking her what prompted her to try this out and she shared, ‘I realised I needed to start taking short breaks when I found certain things slipping through the cracks. I was taking on more than one task at a time and was really overloading myself.’
A member of her team added, ‘She’s also started ending every meeting with a knock-knock joke to help us relax!’
This led to a long debate on whether or not my colleague’s jokes are cheesy. While there was no conclusive end to the debate, it’s clear that her emotional intelligence didn’t only help her, but is also helping her team manage their stress at work.
Mindfulness helps you focus and pay more attention to your interactions with the external environment, as well as your emotional response to its stimuli. Emotional intelligence is all about this ability to recognise and process the emotions of yourself and others, which is made possible through self-awareness; a quality developed through mindfulness.
The only reason why my coworker was able to develop emotional intelligence is, I believe, because of her self-awareness. This helped her develop an understanding of what techniques work for her.
Mindful practices that build emotional intelligence
Mindful breaks: My coworker’s technique of taking short breaks is a common mindfulness technique that helps you improve your focus and maintain your awareness. Taking breaks is as important as the time you dedicate solely to your work. It helps reduce the likelihood of burnout and exhaustion and helps you improve the quality of your work.
Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness are often interwoven as its benefits correspond. These benefits include stress management, self-awareness, focus, patience, tolerance, and emotional intelligence.
Conscious awareness: This refers to paying close attention to your interactions with the physical environment, including, for example, the feel of your keyboard under your fingertips and the heat of your mug of coffee. This helps you retain your focus and pay closer attention to how you’re feeling and thinking at each moment.
How Awakened Mind can help you develop emotional intelligence
Awakened Mind is a mindfulness platform that is designed to help individuals and corporations build sustainable mindfulness practices through a range of features including a comprehensive Learning Center, a library of guided meditation tracks, and Neurosync™ technology.
Contact Awakened Mind and leverage our mindfulness solution to kickstart your journey to emotional intelligence today.