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With social interactions and relationships influencing success in every job, having strong emotional intelligence can help you be a competitive candidate. But what exactly is emotional intelligence, and why is it so crucial in our lives?

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our emotions and the emotions of others. Cultivating emotional intelligence can benefit both your personal and professional* relationships and growth.

Tips for Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

1. Grow Self-Awareness: Take the time to reflect on your emotions, thoughts, and reactions in various situations. Pay attention to how you feel and why you feel that way. Journaling or mindfulness techniques can help you become more aware of your emotional patterns.

2. Practice Self-Regulation: Learn to manage your emotions in constructive ways. This involves controlling impulses, managing stress, and adapting to changing circumstances without losing composure. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or seeking support from trusted individuals can aid in regulating emotions.

3. Cultivate Empathy: Put yourself in other people's shoes and strive to understand their perspectives and feelings. Active listening, asking open-ended questions, and showing genuine interest in others' experiences can foster empathy and deepen relationships.

4. Hone Social Skills: Effective communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration are essential components of social intelligence. By seeking feedback and making an effort to be a better communicator, you can strengthen your bonds with your colleagues, peers, friends, and family.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

You now know what emotional intelligence is and some tips for how to grow it. Next, let's explore emotional intelligence in the workplace. We’ll focus on healthcare and business and touch on a few other fields as well.

In healthcare settings, nurses, pharmacists, and other practitioners can provide better patient care when they consider and address patients' emotional needs in addition to their physical ailments. Healthcare providers should be able to empathize with patients experiencing pain or distress, communicate effectively with diverse patient populations, and collaborate seamlessly with healthcare teams to deliver optimal outcomes. Even if you’re a healthcare administrator or in a support role, noticing and considering the emotions of patients and colleagues is critical.

In the business world, people with strong emotional intelligence can inspire and motivate their teammates, foster a positive work culture, and navigate challenges with resilience. They excel in building relationships, resolving conflicts, and adapting to the evolving needs of their organizations and markets. Working in customer service and human resources management requires a particularly high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is also crucial in leadership roles, where the ability to inspire trust, communicate vision, and influence others is paramount. Leaders who prioritize emotional intelligence create environments where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.

Of course, many jobs require emotional intelligence. In fields like psychology, counseling, criminal justice, ministry, and even public health, you must empathize with the people you serve. If you work in psychology and counseling, you likely will even help others learn self-regulation, self-awareness, and empathy.

Unlocking Opportunities for Growth

As you think about your academic journey and professional future, know that emotional intelligence is bound to play a role. It is something everyone can work to grow. In fact, many of our programs help students strengthen their communication and social skills. However you choose to do so, investing in yourself today can pave the way for a brighter and more fulfilling future. By cultivating self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills, you can enhance your emotional intelligence and unlock opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

Want to learn about the academic programs at South University? Request information today to connect with our Admissions team.

*South University does not promise or guarantee employment.