I was panicked in the back of a New York City cab tears streaming down my face as I ride along the highway that separated New Jersey from New York. It was the weekend of my thirtieth birthday and I was deeply depressed to turn thirty. I was not accomplished I was not the version of me that I envisioned at thirty and my phone wasn't where I needed it to be. My phone was left in the previous cab and now at Bloomingdale's (which was a $60 cab ride from my girlfriends who had met me in New York for my birthday) in the hands of a fellow yuppie.
As I look back at the picture of me in the back of the black cab taxi tipping the driver a cool ten-dollar bill to cover the shame I can see my growth. I thank God for turning thirty. At thirty things finally begin to either make sense or have become much clearer. By becoming innately aware of myself I was able to explore my environment and the relationships therein. The concept of knowing oneself is also known as self-awareness. Self-Awareness is apart of the Emotional Intelligence (EI) Model.
Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others overcome challenges and diffuse conflict” http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq5_raising_emotional_intelligence.htm. For all intensive purposes you can think of EI as the way in which you act and the study of your actions with others.
As you can see EI is a vital concept it is highly unlikely that one can get very far in life both personally or professionally without it. Look to leadership for example; imagine a political figure that could be classified, as a tyrant running for school superintendent is likely that you would vote for this individual? You are looking for an intelligent figure that is just and kind. You want a figure that rates in regard to emotional intelligence.
There are four attributes of emotional intelligence, which are as follows: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. In order for us to be truly success we must learn to master emotional intelligence. Recent literature suggests that one cannot be an effective leader without emotional intelligence. As you navigate through the maze that we call life stay present and aware of the environment it just might just prove to be useful. The best way to increase your emotional intelligence is by practicing the skills.
By Peggy Ann Ellen Arthur, MBA
Founder and Creator of Curl Kitchen and Video Blogger
Connect with Peggy Arthur on Twitter @consciousafro and to get more information about products and services visit Peggy online at curlkitchen.com