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COJ Nursing & Healthcare

Professional Success and Emotional Intelligence and It’s Application in Nursing Profession

Susheel kumar V Ronad*, Chetan S Patali, Shridhar H Gondbal, Kirankumar TC, Pankaja TC, Rajendra Badesgol and Santosh S Ugargol

Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Dharwad Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, India

*Corresponding author: Susheel kumar V Ronad, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Dharwad Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, India,

Submission: February 26, 2018;Published: October 15, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/COJNH.2018.04.000583

ISSN: 2577-2007
Volume4 Issue2

Professional Success

Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value”- Albert Einstein

What defines a successful career? Why is it that, by conventional definitions, only the few people at the top of the ladder have successful careers, while the majority just survive and plenty fail? These questions have been on my mind and in my heart. Let’s start with the first question. Let’s start with how we define a successful career.

The usual understanding of success revolves around two basic assumptions. The first: the hero of the workplace is the person who climbs all the way to the top. The second: getting to the top - winning promotion after promotion - is therefore the only thing that matters. This mindset leads us to endlessly climb the corporate ladder, adhering to the cult of physical and mental endurance to finally attain the status of corporate hero (Figure 1).

Figure 1:

To Find Your Own Definition of Success

You need to dig deep within yourself and question your values in life. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the things that are important to you? By answering these questions, you can then come closer to your own definition of success [1].

Be aware that this can be a long process. You may not get the answers so quickly. But it is alright. Define your measure of success, one at a time. Let’s take your career as an example. What would your definition of success be for your career? To make the managerial level by a specified time? Then dig deep to see what your own strengths and weaknesses are. Which would help you achieve it. Which of your weakness is a barrier, and does it go against your values?

For me, I value time with my family. However, my work requires me to work late nights and long hours. I will need to adjust my own definition of success. Which would take priority?

All of us chase after success. For majority of us, success means achieving more in life. A better car, a bigger house, a promotion at job or a fancy watch. This definition of success pertains to what I call as professional success. Most of the stars, sports people, top shot CEOs and other celebrities that you know are at pinnacle of their professional success. They probably worked very hard to achieve what they have today and are also probably very proud of it. So far, so good. If someone were to ask me to define success, my natural answer would be to say, achieving a goal would be considered success. Or achieving a set of goals would be considered success. It surely wouldn’t be wrong to define success that way [2].

Suffice to say everyone can define “success” on their own terms. But the challenge is that whatever those terms are, once you consider yourself having achieved success, you get a feeling of emptiness. More targets pop up for you to achieve to be considered more successful. This is what we are aiming for in our professional life, or our place of work. Like getting a promotion or landing new job [3].

Factors that Can Predict Your Professional Success

Future Identity Can you see yourself becoming the future person you want to be? This relates to you being able to mentally shift between who you used to be and who you want to become. Failure involves accepting your current state as the only one that will ever occur, whereas success relates to evolving to achieve more, take a new position, or champion a new project.

Intrinsic value

Would you pursue this goal or dream because it feels internally fulfilling? Receiving a 10 in this category would involve pursing a goal because it’s something inherently important to you. Nobody needs to encourage you to get it done; you’ll do it because it’s going to feel good to succeed with it. Alternately, ranking oneself as a ‘1’ in this category would relate to someone who is working towards a goal dictated by others, or something that provides little to no satisfaction upon completion (Figure 2).

Figure 2:Factors that can predict your professional success.

Utilitarian value

Does your goal bring a tangible result to advance your life? Utility, the usefulness of completing your goal, is also critical in determining whether or not you’ll be successful. Having a tangible reward, such as money or new skillsets motivate us because they’ll positively impact other areas of our lives. Lack of these valuable, tangible benefits results in wavering effort, and more often than not, failure [4].

Opportunity cost

Can you pursue your goal without sacrificing other factors of your life that are important?

Creating and pursuing goals is a great practice, but we’ll never have enough time or energy to accomplish every goal we’d like to set for ourselves. This forces us to prioritize and choose the goals that are most important to us, then work hard towards them. Science shows our chances of successfully achieving your goals increase when the opportunity costs are low [5].

Delay time

Will your actions provide quick and recognizable results? Chances are, the longer it takes for you to drive some result from the goal, the less likely you’ll be to succeed. Consider the example of someone who wants to start their own business. While they may be passionate about their idea and have a great market opportunity, the risk of not get paid for several years can deter them from pursuing the dream. Even if there is a bigger goal down the road, try to implement smaller, more attainable goals along the way to continue fuelling your success.

Personal control

Will you have the power to affect the goal and make it happen through your own efforts? Personal control is all about whether we feel that we have the power to achieve a successful outcome. If we bring the feeling that we can’t succeed because of external forces [5,6], then it’s much more likely that we’ll quit and never get to our goal. However, if confronted with a challenge where you feel you have a great degree of control, it’s much more likely you’ll feel motivated to overcome it.

Social support

Is your goal something that other people will support you to make happen? As humans, we seek the support and encouragement of others to help us get through difficulties. When it comes to achieving goals, this is especially the case. We look to accomplish goals that others will reward us for or come up with ideas that people support. When we have this support and positive reinforcement of our goals, its easier to succeed. The opposite is also true, where if your family, friends, or professional network are discouraging or resistant to your goal, then chances are you won’t succeed [7].

Bandwidth belief

Can you commit the time and focus to meet your goal or vision? The perception that people “don’t have the time” to achieve their goals is one of the biggest factors preventing people from getting started. If, from the outset, we believe that the goal is going to take too much time to complete then it immediately becomes less appealing. Achieving success is most likely when you have lots of time to devote to it, while goals that you don’t have time for will often fail to materialize [8].

Resource availability

Will you have the resources needed to accomplish the goal? Do you have the budget, employees, equipment, or abilities to accomplish the goal? If you uncover these roadblocks from the outset of your goal, it may de-rail your progress or force you to fail completely. Being fully stocked with resources (and being resourceful) will help you to successfully achieve your goal [9].


Will you have the decision-making authority to achieve success in your goal? Autonomy comes down to whether or not you have the permission and trust to accomplish your goal. Some of the goals people set in life require the permission of others first. Consider a big promotion that requires you and your family to relocate to another part of the country. Achieving ‘success’ [10] or taking that opportunity to move up in your career impacts others and requires consent/permission to happen.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence can greatly impact your work life and career, so it’s important to understand exactly what it is and why it is so important. Every workplace is comprised of people with different strengths, personalities and emotions, which can greatly affect the way they work. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions as well as the emotions of others.

Factors that Contribute to Success


Charisma is a little like the old joke about pornography-we can’t define it precisely, but we all know it when we see it. Charismatic people seem to make an instant connection with others. More importantly, they inspire others to loyally follow them to achieve lofty dreams and goals. People are naturally drawn to charisma. They want to watch charismatic leaders, relate to them, and move in their circles. Not every charismatic person succeeds, but all successful people possess some form of charisma [11].


Successful people step outside the norm and try something that has never been done before. They are willing to risk being unpopular until their new ideas and behaviors show themselves to not only work. But, work better than older ideas. Think of Christopher Columbus and his willingness to put his life on the line to prove his theories about the world.


Successful people demand a lot from their followers; they also give a lot of themselves. Successful people do not leave projects half done or talk about what they may do “someday.” They discipline themselves to work hard and fulfill their commitments every day [12].


Successful people don’t quit. In the face of failure, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and throw themselves right back into the battle. As a boyhood opponent of future President Andrew Jackson used to say, “He’s easy to throw, but he don’t say throwed.”


Successful people don’t act randomly and hope good things will come of their actions. They have a large-scale plan, and every move they make is goal-directed. They know that one deliberate action surpasses a hundred blind reactions. Successful people also look at and revise their plans every day [13]. If circumstances change, if one part of the plan is not going as well as hoped, they rework the plan to incorporate the new reality. They stay true to their vision but know that the best means for attaining those visions may change with the times.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s). Although the term first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch, it gained popularity in the 1995 book by that title, written by the author, and science journalist Daniel Goleman. Since this time, Goleman’s 1995 analysis of EI has been criticized within the scientific community, despite prolific reports of its usefulness in the popular press (Figure 3).

Figure 3:Emotional Intelligence.

Studies have shown that people with high EI have greater mental health, job performance, and leadership skills although no causal relationships have been shown and such findings are likely to be attributable to general intelligence and specific personality traits rather than emotional intelligence as a construct. For example, Goleman indicated that EI accounted for 67% of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance in leaders [14] and mattered twice as much as technical expertise or IQ. Other research finds that the effect of EI on leadership and managerial performance is non-significant when ability and personality are controlled for, and that general intelligence correlates very closely with leadership. Markers of EI and methods of developing it have become more widely coveted in the past decade. In addition, studies have begun to provide evidence to help characterize the neural mechanisms of emotional intelligence.


Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour. Emotional intelligence also reflects abilities to join intelligence, empathy and emotions to enhance thought and understanding of interpersonal dynamics. However, substantial disagreement exists regarding the definition of EI, with respect to both terminology and operationalizations. Emotional intelligence is different from other intelligences in that … The focus is on emotional reasoning, ability and knowledge [15].

Models of EI:

A. Ability model

B. Mixed model (usually subsumed under trait EI)

C. Trait model

Specific ability models address the ways in which emotions facilitate thought and understanding.

Ability model

The ability-based model views emotions as useful sources of information that help one to make sense of and navigate the social environment. The model proposes that individuals vary in their ability to process information of an emotional nature and in their ability to relate emotional processing to a wider cognition. This ability is seen to manifest itself in certain adaptive behaviours [16].

The model claims that EI includes four types of abilities:

A. Perceiving emotions

B. Using emotions

C. Understanding emotions

D. Managing emotions

Mixed model

The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. Goleman’s model outlines five main EI constructs [17].

A. Self-awareness-the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.

B. Self-regulation-involves controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.

C. Social skill-managing relationships to move people in the desired direction

D. Empathy-considering other people’s feelings especially when making decisions

E. Motivation - being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement

Trait model

Konstantinos Vasilis Petrides (“KV Petrides”) proposed a conceptual distinction between the ability based model and a trait based model of EI and has been developing the latter over many years in numerous publications. Trait EI is “a constellation of emotional self-perceptions located at the lower levels of personality.” In lay terms, trait EI refers to an individual’s self-perceptions of their emotional abilities. The higher the Trait EI …the lower the likelihood of personality disorder. Incremental refers to the additional contribution a new psychological idea makes to existing knowledge [18].

Significance of Emotional Intelligence in Professional Life

Emotional intelligence is typically factored into the everyday decisions employers make, such as hiring, firing and promoting employees. Many hiring managers study candidates’ emotional intelligence by asking specific questions during the hiring process, in order to identify those who have a higher degree of emotional intelligence. They also analyze the emotional intelligence of their current employees to determine leadership potential. In addition, when promotions and pay raises are being considered, emotional intelligence is typically factored into the decision (Figure 4).

Figure 4:Significance of emotional intelligence in professional life.

The right academic background, professional experience and certifications are obviously necessary to land a higher position. Emotional intelligence [19], however, can be the key to further success, particularly when moving into management positions. Employers say emotionally intelligent managers rate higher in job satisfaction and lower in levels of turnover. If your career plans include a leadership position, emotional intelligence can help you develop teams who are happier and more productive in their work, and more likely to stay in their positions.

Factors Responsible for Development of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays an important role in the workplace. Hiring managers often determine whether you’ll be hired, promoted or tapped for leadership based on your emotional intelligence. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence have the ability to perceive and evaluate their own emotions and can sense the emotions of others. They know themselves very well and can easily handle stressful situations. They are good decision makers and have a strong sense of intuition. All of these qualities are important to becoming a strong leader [20].

Emotional intelligence can positively impact both personal and professional relationships; that’s why business managers need to learn how to develop it such as through training and education. Lower EI is likely linked to more aggressive behaviour because they misinterpret the other’s emotions and behaviours as hostile and an aggressive response. EI is linked to romantic relationship satisfaction because EI may be linked to having better understanding of partner’s emotions [21-24].

Techniques to Develop your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is based on a number of skills that can be learned. Here are seven powerful techniques that can improve your people skills and develop your emotional intelligence:

A. Reduce stressful situations: The ability to stay calm and controlled is a positive attribute in the business environment and in life [25].

B. Embrace your emotions: Check in with yourself a few times each day and do a self-evaluation of your emotions, strengths and shortcomings.

C. Practice connecting thoughts with emotions: When you feel something, ask yourself what you think about it.

D. Control non-verbal communication: From the tone of our voice to the position of our bodies, non-verbal communication can send messages we don’t intend to communicate.

E. Demonstrate humility and humour: If you seek attention or require appreciation, try letting your work speak for itself. Humility means the quality of having a modest or low view of self importance.

F. Think before you act: Examine how your actions affect the feelings of others [26].

G. Take responsibility: Part of being an emotionally intelligent and humble leader is taking responsibility for your actions when things go wrong (Figure 5).

Figure 5:

5 Ways to Boost Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Improve your self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to understand and interpret your own moods, emotions, and inner drives, and how these impact other people.

Improve your self-regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect impulsive actions and emotions that negatively impact your potential for growth and leadership. This is the ability to “rise above” petty arguments, jealousies, and frustrations [27].

Improve your motivation

In this context, motivation is your passion and enthusiasm for your work-beyond your position, status, or income. You are driven by your energy and fulfillment in your work, and you pursue goals with persistence. You love a challenge and you’re highly productive [28].

Improve your ability to show empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of other people. You are skilled in treating people with respect, kindness, and professionalism.

Improve your social skills

Having good social skills in the workplace means you’re proficient at managing relationships and building networks. You’re persuasive and effective at initiating change. You also know how to build and lead teams.

How Can A Lack of Emotional Intelligence Disrupt Career?

It’s clear that emotional intelligence can be an asset to your professional life. Unfortunately, though, a lack of emotional intelligence can also have an effect on your career. Here are five ways it can be detrimental [29].


People who are insensitive are often perceived to be uncaring. Their co-workers are less likely to want to work with them or offer help. If you’re insensitive, you may not make a good leader, and can be much less likely to be promoted [30].


Arrogant people can sometimes seem to think they know it all and that no one can teach them anything. Arrogance is not a quality employers seek [31].


Tapping into the emotions you feel is good; however, acting out in anger can derail your career. Volatile people can cause dysfunction in teams, upset co-workers and doom projects and initiatives to failure.


If you are inflexible in your thinking and approach, or believe that your way is the only way, you’re not a team player. In today’s professional environment, being a team player is absolutely necessary [32-36].


If your agenda is the only one that matters, you could be perceived as being selfish. Being professional means aiming for a winwin situation whenever possible.

What do Employers Seek in the Hiring Process?

According to a study by the US Department of Labor, employers are looking for candidates who know how to listen and communicate well - both important aspects of emotional intelligence. They also prefer employees who are adaptable to changing work environments, not rigid and inflexible. Other attributes employers seek in people during the hiring process include self-management, the ability to work in teams and strong leadership potential. All of these competencies are intertwined in emotional intelligence [37].

Developing your emotional intelligence is a sound career strategy. In today’s global business world, where teamwork is essential to success, emotional intelligence can make you an asset to any employer.

How your Emotional Intelligence Impacts your Professional Success

EI is “the ability to manage one’s own emotions and perceive others’ feeling.” While many people put a great value on a high intellectual intelligence (IQ), the importance of emotional intelligence is being more widely supported. In fact, Daniel Goleman, the leading research specialist on EI has found that EI is just as important to career success as IQ. According to the University of Consulting Alliance, Goleman found 67% of all abilities associated with professional success are related to EI (Figure 6).

Figure 6:How your emotional intelligence impacts your professional success.

Understanding and developing your emotional intelligence can have a positive effect on both your career as well as your personal relationships. What is more, if you strive to be an effective leader EI is even more important. Being able to understand your own emotions and pick up on the emotional cues of others comes more naturally to some than others. That’s why more and more businesses are investing in developing the EI of their employees, but you don’t need to be an employee at a large company to receive support in this area. There are also many free EI assessments available online [38].

In order to better develop your EI, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of its main components. According to the Association for Talent Development, the four main skills of emotional intelligence are as follows:

A. Self-awareness - our ability to perceive our emotions and understand our tendencies to act in certain ways in given situations

B. Social awareness - our ability to understand the emotions of other people (what others are thinking and feeling)

C. Self-management - our ability to use awareness of our emotions to stay flexible and direct our behavior positively and constructively

D. Relationship management - our ability to use our awareness of our own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.

Forbes shared some of these strategies

First, try to better understand your own emotions.

Second, try to better understand how the people around you feel.

Finally, try to gain a better understanding of your relationship strategies.

Understanding how to deal with the emotions of yourself and others is a critical skill. The concept of emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly important in the business world, and research supports its link to success. By taking the time to increase your EI, you can create more meaningful and productive relationships around you in both your personal and professional life.

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters in Career Development

In your practice, you may have encountered clients who consistently have difficulty acquiring and securing good opportunities. Despite having all the required qualifications, they can’t seem to get ahead in their careers. Yet, other people with little education or experience land jobs and promotions more easily. There’s something about their “personal presence” that makes it easier for them to develop and manage their careers. It just might be that competencies related to Emotional Intelligence make the biggest difference in their career progression and performance (Figure 7).

Figure 7:Why emotional intelligence matters in career development.

Employers value emotional intelligence because it enhances workplace outcomes. Many well-reputed employers in all sectors invest in Emotional Intelligence (EI) training and Emotional Quotient (EQ) testing as part of their recruitment and retention initiatives. Companies like Microsoft, Pepsi, Dow Chemical, Verizon, Xerox, and Starbucks know that by instituting EI within their corporate culture they will improve overall performance (Figure 8).

Figure 8:

It’s no wonder that researchers have found Emotional Intelligence to be a good predictor of career success. It seems that workers who just do their jobs are satisfactory, but the ones who have personal and social awareness do much better. It makes sense that an employee who has robust integrity, insight, teamwork, and leadership skills will be more effective than one who does not.

While it may not be possible to change a client’s personality, you can enable him to improve his EQ over time. Your goal is to help your clients become more aware of their own emotions and those of others. By becoming more self-aware, your client can learn to manage his response and behaviour in stressful situations. By becoming more cognizant and intuitive about the emotions of others, your clients can form stronger social and business relationships.

EI is the foundation for personal competencies, or “soft skills.” By putting the spotlight on these competencies, you can help your clients to think differently, build self-confidence, become more motivated, and change their behaviours [38].

Here are some specific soft skills on which every client can build:

A. Personal Accountability

B. Ethics and Integrity

C. Decision Making

D. Communication

E. Conflict Resolution

F. Flexibility and Adaptability

Here are some “best practices” to consider when applying EI to your client support:

If a client seems intelligent, don’t automatically assume that he has a high EQ. Conversely, if a client lacks education or experience don’t guess that his EQ is low. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is not the same as Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Treat each client as an individual and perform an objective assessment to determine that person’s individual strengths and specific competencies that may require attention.

Some occupations, such as employment counsellors, life coaches, social workers, or nurses, need a higher degree of EI than others. Moreover, having a high degree of EI can sometimes negatively affect job performance. For example, if a job is heavily focused on repetitive tasks with little interaction with others, someone with a high EQ might become unfocused and unproductive. Always consider your client’s target market and its “soft skill” requirements. Raising EQ does not happen overnight, but it can be increased with practice and support. Improvement takes time, focus, consistency, and commitment.

Importance of Emotional Intelligencei Nursing Profession

The nursing profession demands that the nurse, in the process of care, has to interact with the patients, the medical fraternity and the health care workers constantly. Hence, “Nurse-Patient Interaction” is the pulse of the nursing practice. This interaction is not just conversation. It is a complex process that involves nurse perception, understanding of the patient emotions and utilization of the perceptions to manage patient situations towards the goal of effective patient care.

This involves Emotional Intelligence. The concept of emotional intelligence has grown in popularity among nurses over the last two decades, generating interest both at a social and a professional level. Today, patient care not only includes quality medical care but also a care concept that encompasses respecting patient’s goals, preferences and choices, obliging their emotional, social and spiritual needs using the strengths of interdisciplinary resources. Many patients suffer only when they do not receive adequate care for the symptoms accompanying their serious illness.

Thus, care cannot be confined to the physical aliment but also the psychological and spiritual needs. Hence, the role of Emotional Intelligence in the nursing profession should be viewed in two dimensions:

A. The Nurse’s perception and understanding of the patient’s emotions, and

B. The Nurse’s utilization of these perceptions to achieve the goal of managing complex situations towards quality patient care.

Nurses should develop skills to assess patient’s responses to the illness. This requires active self-introspection of the events, assessment of the events, psychological understanding of the patients and above all a genuine concern for the ill. The perception cannot be universal in the sense that every patient differs and has different attitudes on various issues of life and has varied levels of understanding and withstanding capabilities (Figure 9).

Figure 9:Importance of emotional intelligence in nursing profession.

It should be recognized that the nurses are confronted not only by the patient emotions but also their own. This is especially true in situations where some patients will die despite the best efforts due to diseases like cancer and HIV or various other factors. Nurse have to confront and manage their own emotions also in situations, where, some terminally ill patients request for assistance for suicide in states like Oregon, which have a legal back up for physician assisted deaths

Factors that Influence Nurse Application of Emotional Intelligence

The gender, age and health condition of patients also influences the application of Emotional Intelligence. For example, it is difficult to interact to an old patient whose hearing capacity would be at a reasonably low level or whose perception has diminished due to aging. Research studies pertaining to factors related to nurse interactions with elderly people have shown that the educational level of nurses influenced nurse interactions with elderly patients. Non-verbal interactions play a vital role in nurse-patient perceptions. The non-verbal interactions include patient-directed eye gaze, affirmative head nod, smiling, learning forward, touch and instrumental touch (Figure 10).

Figure 10:

Advantages of Application of Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Practice

Studies conducted to examine the role of perceived emotional intelligence (PEI) measured by the Trait Meta-Mood Scale, in the use of stress-coping strategies, in the quantity and quality of social support and in the mental health of nursing students have shown that emotional intelligence minimizes the negative stress consequences.

The Significance of Emotional Intelligence in Nursing

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, broadly refers to a person’s capability to discern, evaluate, control and handle his/her own emotions and that of others in a positive manner. Considering that nurses constantly interact with many different patients and colleagues in various situations, EQ is particularly important in the profession.

Nursing, by definition, is to care for someone. However, it is not enough to simply provide quality medical care. While the practical and rational aspects of nursing is fulfilled, the emotional aspect -the patient’s feelings -cannot be ignored. Nurses should seek to fulfill the emotional aspect as well, taking heed of the patient’s psychological, emotional and social needs while respecting their choices and aims.

Key to positive patient experiences

Research has shown that emotional intelligence is interlinked with positive patient experiences. Nurturing the emotional intelligence helps the nurse to have a more positive attitude, better relationships and increase adaptability. In the modern world, high emotional intelligence is vital to satisfy the demands of a patient-centric care in nursing.

For example, a chatty patient who becomes unusually quiet can be a telltale sign of a multitude of emotional problems being bottled up inside. A nurse who is able to notice the sign as something being amiss can then try to communicate, understand and attempt to provide the needed emotional care, thereby contributing to an improvement in the overall patient experience.

Here are five reasons improving your EQ could make you a better nurse

Develop your empathy: Empathy is important in our practice, and even more vital in our daily lives. Empathy allows us to relate and connect with others on a deeper level. When we improve our emotional intelligence, we no doubt can improve our empathy. This can allow us to connect with patients who may have different backgrounds, but still need the best level of care.

However, burnout can sometimes come on much stronger if we’re a more empathetic person. Especially in nursing, when we often see death and sadness, having heightened empathy can cause us to reach emotional exhaustion much faster. That is why learning to manage your own emotions (the other side of EQ) can balance out any potential for emotional fatigue.

Prepare for the worst: The common idiom life throws curve balls might be even more true for travel nurses. However, emotional intelligence can help us navigate our own emotions to prepare for these more intense situations.

Stay healthier, longer: As nurses, we are hyper aware of the way stress can cause harm to our bodies. However, it’s still tough to determine that within ourselves. When are we too stressed, and when is our stress actually healthy?

Relieve tension between co-workers: of course patients aren’t the only interactions we are going to have on these travels. Fellow nurses (stationary and travelling) will come in and out of our lives, and not all of them will be friendly. Improving our EQ can help us in many tense situations, especially between fellow nurses.

Improve your treatment: The most important reason for nurses to avoid burnout is to never get apathetic on the job. When we’re beyond the point of burnout, we get irritable, tired, and get our anger and frustration leak into our words. When we’re burnout we can hurt those we are trying to help, and that goes against the code of ethics we are meant to follow.

Measurement of Emotional Intelligence

Many tests that promise to measure emotional intelligence have appeared in recent years. Some of these tests seem promising, but many have not been empirically evaluated. As a service to our visitors, we have reviewed many of these tests and selected those for which there is a substantial body of research (at least five published journal articles or book chapters that provide empirical data based on the test). However, inclusion of a test on this web site does not constitute an endorsement of that test by the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (Figure 11).

Figure 11:How emotional intelligence and professional success are related!

Present EQ test measures three psychological dimensions are as follows.

A. Emotional Competency

B. Emotional Maturity

C. Emotional Sensitivity

Emotional intelligence can be studied through, the abilities focused approach, the integrative model approach and the mixed model approach. At present measuring EI is challenging because the scenarios presented should be authentic or hypothetical and spontaneous processing of emotional materials should be measured. It is a known and proven fact that it’s not the book-smart or academically smart people that are the most triumphant in life. You have probably come across people who excelled in academics but were completely incompetent at the social front. These individuals usually don’t get to enjoy as much success in their professional life and their personal life as individuals who are socially competent.

Social ineptness is directly related to emotional intelligence or EQ. While being academically smart can only get you so far, it is rather emotional intelligence that will help you to excel and exceed at work and your personal life. Individuals that encompass emotionally intelligence are able to steer through the social environment of the workplace without much hesitation. Furthermore, their emotional intelligence helps them form better connections with their colleagues where they are able to motivate and lead them competently and skillfully (Figure 12).

Figure 12:

Hence compared to other individuals, emotionally intellectual individuals tend to prosper and excel in their careers swiftly and easily. What’s more is that these days when multinational companies are looking to hire employees, they consider emotional intellect to be as important as technical skills and often test their candidates by making them to take an EQ test. Having high EI may not always be adaptive, because these people are more sensitive to mood manipulation.


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