‘I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’. Maya Angelou

The world around us is highly competitive and every now and then one is faced with some sort of challenge. Since childhood, we are made to believe that IQ is the most important thing to navigate through life and become a successful person. While it is wonderful to have high Intelligent Quotient, we often tend to underestimate the value of Emotional Quotient. Emotional Quotient refers to a person’s ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. All great leaders and successful people comprehend the value of higher emotional intelligence. It is a necessary skill that needs to be acquired, not only for the success it brings, but also for the level of joy and happiness that ensues from it.

According to Daniel Goleman, a leading scholar, there are 5 main components of Emotional Intelligence namely Self Awareness, Self-Regulation, Internal Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. When one consciously cultivates these skills, one tends to become more productive, and create more meaningful and productive relationships. In fact, greater Emotional Quotient is often a marker of great healthy relationships, both at work and home and people with higher EQ may even tend to be happier than the ones with high IQ and low EQ.  One can also assess one’s emotional intelligence by using tests like MEIS (Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Test) and MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) that assess the actual emotional ability of a person, in the same way, that an IQ test measures cognitive ability.

As an aspiring or a current international student, Emotional Intelligence can be a quite useful resource and skill for you. Leaving one’s home and country to study abroad is already an emotional experience and one’s ability to cope up with these emotions, influences one’s future. It is no simple feat to stay away from family and friends, adjust to new environment, places and people. Therefore, it becomes pertinent that we understand the significance of being aware of our emotions and also to be mindful of how others feel and respond when they are around us. Some of the ways in which one can enhance one’s EQ include observation of others’ behavior, being mindful of one’s actions and words, learning to respond rather react to situations and people, when triggered, keeping a mindful journal about things and situations that evoke strong emotions, finding ways to label your emotions and release them from time to time, acquiring an ability to be compassionate and empathetic, letting go of your personal filters , prejudices , learning open and clear communication and cultivating effective listening skills. 

High emotional intelligence allows people to have better relationships, abate stress and anxiety issues, defuse conflicts and facilitate effective communication. A person with high emotional intelligence has an ability to utilize emotions and apply them to day to day tasks like thinking and problem-solving. Such person can also easily cheer up or calm others in time of crisis or tough situations.  Emotionally intelligent people are an asset for any organization, and are change agents. They also have a high level of self-awareness, empathy and sense of balance.  

Next time, when you read about or look at some of the success stories around you, you will inevitably end up discovering that they possess a little gem called Emotional Intelligence. Don’t be fooled when the world tells you to keep a check on your emotions; infact dive into your emotions, find what triggers you and why, and in understanding your own emotions well, you will become a beautiful person and a leader, who knows that the way to achieve anything in life is, through understanding what people feel.

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