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By Amanda Salazar

Have you ever encountered an individual who appeared to be highly attuned to the emotions of others, demonstrated great self-control, and exuded a sense of calm and collectedness that made them a delight to be around?
   Chances are that this person has a high level of emotional intelligence, which contributes to them being so pleasant. Emotional intelligence is being able to understand and respond to both your own and others’ emotions, according to CEO and founder of human behavior consulting firm Relationship Toolbox Patty Ann Tublin.
   “I define emotional intelligence as the ability to identify and manage, not control, your emotions in real-time while simultaneously being aware of the emotions of others so you can respond to them appropriately,” Tublin told Preferred Health Magazine in an interview.

Psychologists, like Tublin, refer to a list of five core pillars that make up emotional intelligence, which she shared with PHM: 
1.  Self-Awareness — Knowing your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, and goals and recognizing their impact on others.

2.  Self-Regulation — Being able to redirect your emotions and impulses, and to adapt to changing circumstances. 

3.  Motivation — Having an internal drive and passion to pursue our goals, rather than looking for external recognition. 

4.  Empathy — The ability to understand and relate to the emotions of other people. 

5.  Social or Soft Skills — Being proficient in managing relationships, building networks, finding common ground and developing genuine rapport with other people. 

It sounds simple but, in actuality, many people are unaware of their true feelings and can struggle to manage their emotions in a productive way. Developing emotional intelligence can be related to the environment a person was raised in. How parents react to their child impacts how that child naturally manages their emotions as they grow up. 

Tublin said it can especially be hard to find a lot of emotional intelligence in leadership, where high emotional understanding and management can be crucial to the way teams are run and people are treated. 
  “From a leadership perspective, it’s the difference between managing people and leading people,” Tublin said. “If you’re just managing, you lead like a chess master, moving pieces on the chess board. But if you have high emotional intelligence, you’re more like a conductor inspiring a whole orchestra to symphonic harmony.” 
However, it is possible to work to raise your level of emotional intelligence. 
To learn your own emotions better, you can meditate, read self-help books, practice deep breathing and ask others for feedback on your communication. 
   To cultivate more empathy, you can listen to others, try putting yourself in their shoes, read nonfiction to understand how other people think and be curious about the reasons behind others’ reactions. 
  Additionally, you can practice managing your reactions better with the six-second rule. Before responding to a person or situation, give yourself a few seconds to think. Ask yourself: does this need to be said, does it need to be said by me and does it need to be said by me now? If the answer to any of the questions is no, hold off on your reaction. 
  “What’s really, really great about emotional intelligence is that it absolutely can be learned,” Tublin said. “It’s a skill, like any other skill, and it can be learned, and that’s really important. For some people it might come more natural than to others to have high emotional intelligence, but if you don’t have it, you can learn.” 

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