If you are tuned out of your own emotions, you will be bad at reading them in other people.
Emotion drives body language
Your success in life is based on your interactions with people.
The outcome of every interaction you will ever have with people in your life is based on your communication.
Even though we tend to focus on the words we say, research suggests, that verbal communication creates only 7% of the message. The rest 93% is non-verbal.
“Thank you!” can be a caring expression of gratitude as well as it can be a sarcastic attack — just raise your eyebrows, open your eyes a bit more, tuck your chin and exaggerate your voice tonality.
Same words. Different effect. Very different response.
What makes the difference?
Your non-verbal expression: body language, use of voice and eye contact.
All of these are driven by the EMOTION: by its expression or by your effort for its suppression.
Emotion drives body language.
Whether you are aware or not of what you feel when talking to someone, you communicate it in your subcommunication to the outside world.
Your emotional awareness determines the quality of your communication, levels of your success and fulfillment and ultimately, the quality of your life.
The effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% about how you feel about what you know
The emotion you feel naturally aligns all non-verbal communication. To see this in action, look at kids. Their emotional expression is pure and authentic. You can see if they feel anger. You can see if they feel shame too. And if they want to hide any of those — you see that again. You can tell from their bodies.
But as adults, we got better at hiding our emotions. In early childhood we learned that it is not always "safe to feel spontaneously".
In fact, some adults got so good at hiding their true feelings, that they had lost touch with what they truly feel.
They focus on words only and they wonder why they feel mechanical and eventually misunderstood.
CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise — and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence
Emotional Intelligence, as defined by Daniel Goleman — recognized author of the world bestseller on EI, is the ability to recognize, understand and manage the emotions within us and influence the emotions of others.
Emotional Intelligence allows you to understand what is truly happening inside you and communicate it clearly. It allows you to manage your state as well to adjust your communication to those around you. Once you see yourself more clearly, you can see the world more clearly too.
What is the real-world example?
Imagine you are supposed to talk about your work promotion with your boss, who you do not like.
You believe that you will hide the frustration you feel towards your work from him and being nice will help you to get it done.
In fact, you have suppressed that frustration so hard, that you made yourself believe you have never even felt it (repression).
Despite doing your best during the interview, your boss will have a gut feeling of some kind of resistance from you, based on your body language and overall perception of you.
As a result, you will not get the promotion and your frustration will rise further.
Emotional Intelligence starts with Emotional Literacy
Emotional Intelligence begins with emotional literacy.
You need to know what you feel so you can work with it and communicate it appropriately.
The reason why people do not want to feel their emotions is their aversion to the emotional tension that emerges in their body at the limits of their comfort zone.
Every emotion is nothing but an energetic/neural charge in your body. You can work constructively with every single one of them.
More clarity and honesty in relationships with customers, bosses, colleagues.
More joy and intimacy in romantic relationships.
More spontaneity in interactions with others.
More authenticity in self-expression in everyday life.
More integrity in communication.
Improved leadership skills.
Better team coordination.
A higher level of fulfillment.
Warren G. Bennis, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies, puts it simply:
“Emotional Intelligence, more than any other factor, more than IQ or expertise, accounts for 85% to 90% of success at work. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.”