Researchers have determined that there are four factors that contribute to emotional competence. These four factors are impulse control, mood manipulation, hope, and optimism.
Individuals who demonstrate an ability to control their impulses and moods and who possess hope and optimism as part of their overall emotional makeup, generally are more emotionally stable, and are better able to achieve success in both their professional and their social lives.
1. Impulse control
Impulse control is often considered the core of emotional self-management. Our ability to control our impulses and delay gratification says a lot about the way we respond to various situations. Researchers have determined that individuals who can control their impulses are more self-assertive and are more competent in handling frustration, stress, and pressure.
In addition, these individuals are better able to face challenges and are more likely to be relentless in their pursuit of valued goals. Research also indicates that these individuals are more trustworthy, dependable, and self-reliant.
2. Mood manipulation
The second characteristic that contributes to emotional competence is mood manipulation. Even small mood changes can affect a person’s ability to think clearly. Good moods actually enhance an individual’s ability to think and problem- solve. Laughing frees up creativity and promotes a person’s ability to see complex relationships and consequences.
Joking can actually help a person think through a problem. Studies show that problems are more likely to be solved by someone who has just had a good laugh and is in a good mood. Alternatively, if you’re in a bad mood and try to make decisions, you may be overly cautious and make decisions based on anger or fear.
Recent research shows that hope is a crucial element in a vast array of activities. In everything from taking tests to handling a difficult boss, hope is more than just a vague belief. Researchers have discovered that hope gives people confidence in themselves, so that they are better able to achieve their goals.
In terms of emotional competence, hope plays a role in preventing a person from giving into defeat, depression, setbacks, or anxiety. People with hope have less emotional stress.
Optimism is an extension of hope in that it protects people from apathy and depression. Optimistic people see failure as an event they can overcome, and optimism prevents people from blaming their failures on personal traits they cannot change.
If you’re a salesperson, optimism is an especially important trait, since a study has shown that salespeople who are naturally optimistic sold 37 percent more than individuals who where pessimistic.
Clearly, there is a link between success and a person’s ability to control impulses, manipulate moods, and exhibit hope and optimism. A person who exhibits these traits usually is an emotionally competent person. You may want to assess your own competencies in these four areas.
At the very least, you may learn a lot about yourself and your ability to handle difficult situations. At best, you may be able to improve your own emotional competence and your chances for success in both your professional and your social life.