By Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP

Google’s English dictionary, provided by Oxford Languages, defines emotional intelligence as, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

In recent years, emotional intelligence has become a more and more common topic at professional conferences. It’s touted as a key ingredient in both personal and professional success. Being able to understand your own emotions, manage them, and use them in positive ways can help you relieve stress and communicate more effectively. Being able to read—and then navigate—other people’s emotions is a valuable tool to help manage relationships and even diffuse conflict.

Emotional intelligence is not a skill everyone possesses. Some folks may seem to have a natural gift, but others have had to learn how to be that way. Life experiences can be helpful in learning how to hone and apply these skills. For example, living in a dorm room or apartment with initial strangers is a situation that can force one to modify behaviors. But if a person is naturally—or worse, intent on being—cold, callous, insensitive, or thoughtless, that won’t bode well for their personal or professional relationships.

During RE-IMAGINE, IPMI’s virtual Leadership Summit, you can gain some insight into this topic as well as other interpersonal communication and business skills. Held October 6-8, you don’t want to miss this event. Early-bird pricing ends September 15. See the lineup of great sessions here.

Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP, is IPMI’s director of meetings and membership