Life & Living

What is emotional intelligence? 

We ask expert Shane Lutkin who specialises in helping people optimise their lives.

+44 (0) 7701 381422

It’s knowing one’s own emotions… deeply knowing one’s own emotions… having a distortion free and rich self-awareness. My professional experience suggests that many people are not deeply self-aware, and I cannot over emphasise the importance of self-awareness and understanding your own personal distinctive self. 

Part of emotional intelligence having flexibility or having a relaxed, acceptant, and grounded attitude to what happens and how it happens, or you look at things in an open minded, composed, mindful way. The antithesis is a fixity, which is like being stuck in your ways; narrow minded, stubborn, inflexible, or rigid in your thoughts, outlook, and behaviours. 

Usually if you are more flexible and less fixed, you’ll become more fluid, which is when if you are faced with a difficult or challenging situation or person the experience doesn’t disrupt you too much internally and you deal with the circumstance calmly, evenly, and realistically, you retain a composed equilibrium and you solve the problem or get the job done in a way where poise is maintained. This obviously applies to both home and work scenarios. 

Becoming emotionally intelligent
will affect others in your life, like friends and family in a positive
manner.  Awareness of others; especially those close to you is, in
my opinion, essential. 

Generally, someone acquiring emotional intelligence can eventually look at monitoring, understanding, recognising, and regulating their own feelings, they will be more positive in a realistic way, more in control. 

Acceptance of yourself, the acceptance of others, especially those close to you, the acceptance of differences, the acceptance that certain issues may be or may not be your issue. Comprehension that when contemplated some perceived issues are not all that important. And I guess
a big one is acceptance that change
is possible. 

I think that positive emotional intelligence should be a fundamental necessity at work. Firstly, being flexible, fair, aware, and acceptant and having a relaxed, and grounded and yet focused attitude to what happens and how it happens makes the work setting feel composed leading towards efficacy. Having an all-round positive emotional outlook is infectious. 

Secondly, being able to empathise with others and motivate in an organisation is indispensable. Empathy is seldom utilised in leadership but when it is it brings about positive results, it facilitates compound cognitive cooperation, raises serotine, and ultimately gives a sort of group dopamine hit. Being empathetic allows leaders to foster and cultivate relationships with those they lead and to help struggling employees develop and even shine. 

Thirdly, it allows very busy people to work hard and yet reduce stress, become more effective and get an overall improved life balance. 

Shane Lutkin has a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy and the theory of personality and is lead consultant at life optimization organisation Positive Emotional Intelligence.


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