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The power of emotional intelligence ft. Moira Lertora

Written and edited by Jose Caballero

Since 12th grade, I've been researching how emotional intelligence (EI) influences the levels of body image and body satisfaction in Hispanics, as well as how EI can improve an individual's mental health. I recently decided to further expand my knowledge on EI by completing a certificate and micro-credential on the understanding of EI, which enabled me to strengthen my EI skills and learn new strategies for improving my mental health and life.

Today, I have the privilege of discussing the power of emotional intelligence with Moira Lertora Chacon. Ms. Moira, a graduate of the University of Delaware and the Director of Student Support Services at Florida International University, is an expert on the principles and understanding of emotional intelligence and psychology. Check out our discussion.

What is emotional intelligence, and why does it matter?

To put it plainly, EI is the ability to perceive and influence the emotions of those around you, as well as comprehend and regulate your own emotions. Most importantly, practicing EI helps you develop empathy for those around you, and research has shown that people who know how to empathize are more likely to help others and form meaningful friendships along the way.

Emotional intelligence is divided into four components: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management.

1. Self-Awareness

It's essential to focus on oneself first; being aware of one's own existence is fundamental. Self-awareness describes a person's awareness of their own emotional state and its impact on their own and their team's performance. Self-awareness is crucial for bringing out the best in others and is the starting point for doing so.

Self-awareness, in my opinion, is a way to be present in the moment. Knowing what emotions you feel and naming those emotions; understanding what triggers you and why; and understanding your physical state when confronted with these feelings and situations are examples of self-awareness.

2. Self-Management

Emotional control, especially under pressure, and resilience in the face of adversity are key components of self-management.

Self-management abilities enable you to maximize productivity, improve workplace performance, and efficiently achieve professional objectives. Improving your self-management abilities can help you increase your employability and manage your career path more effectively. Understanding what and how you think are also important aspects of emotional self-management, but distorted thinking can lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction with our lives. For example, I always do my easy homework first because it is easier to manage, and then devote time to the most difficult assignments.

3. Social awareness

While self-awareness and self-management are important, so is the ability to be socially aware, or to understand the feelings of others and the dynamics at work in a group. Empathy is a key characteristic of individuals who are socially aware. They make an effort to see things from other people's perspectives, which allows them to connect with and collaborate with their peers more effectively. Communication skills that allow you to empathize with others improve not only your own performance but also the effectiveness with which you can support the team.

4. Relationship Management

Relationship management includes aspects such as win-win problem solving and teamwork. To be more specific, relationship management occurs when we can work collaboratively in groups and learn from one another while also identifying potential solutions that everyone agrees on.

Empathy, a clear expression of thought, and self- and social awareness are all hallmarks of someone with strong emotional intelligence. Our personal and professional lives are affected by the way we interact with ourselves and others. Being a part of this world requires engaging with individuals from all walks of life and being open to the unexpected.

Being able to deal with the challenges of life requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Stressful situations like conflict, change, and hurdles highlight the importance of EI. It's especially important to keep our compassion and empathy in check at these times. Without emotional intelligence, it can be difficult to identify and manage our own emotions as well as the emotions of those around us.


Especial guest:

Contact Moira at
Moira Lertora Chacon, M. Ed.

Program Director, TRIO Student Support Services

Student Access and Success Division of Academic and Student Affairs Florida International University 11200 S.W. 8th Street, SASC 210 Miami, FL 33199 P: (305) 348-5145 | Text: (305) 928-8094 | E:


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