By Maayan Schechter
Aiken Standard, S.C.
For people who might have low emotional intelligence, the question is whether they are aware that they need to improve it, according to Dana Rideout.
Rideout, a licensed professional counselor, spoke alongside Mary Woods, a licensed independent social worker and Janice Jennings, the executive director of Juilliard in Aiken at the annual Women in Business luncheon Tuesday.
The luncheon, which is part of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, focused on “Balancing IQ and EQ in the Workplace” at Newberry Hall.
Rideout said realizing within oneself that emotional self-awareness is low can sometimes be a painful and scary time, but once a person asks the question of what he or she might be doing wrong is when emotional intelligence starts to go up.
Judy Boyle Chun, with J.B. Chun and Associates, moderated the discussion, beginning the luncheon panel by asking what is emotional intelligence.
Woods said the term was coined in 1990, but it wasn’t until later when it became popular.
“It’s social confidence involving the ability to monitor one’s emotions as well as others’ emotions,” Woods said. “It’s looking at how you guide that, then making a decision based upon that and finding the best course of action.
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Jennings said it’s easier for her to learn how to control her own emotions, but harder to understand and manage others’ emotions. To conquer those emotions in the workplace, Jennings said she uses positive reinforcement.
“I have the satisfaction of letting it go, and then the next time it gets easier,” Jennings said. “I focus on the positive aspects … I focus on my own stress, which makes a huge difference in the workplace.”