Emotional Intelligence: Its Meaning and Implications
Emotional intelligence is a concept that has gained currency in management circles around the world in recent times. All of us know that good management is nothing but the ability to get the best out of the people at your command in an organization. If one looks inside books of sociology and psychology, he finds a mention of the concept of emotional intelligence, also referred to as emotional quotient. There is a general agreement among the experts that emotional intelligence plays a very important role in the success of a man at his workplace. If this is indeed the case, then it only makes sense to learn more about this concept and try to acquire this capability if one is not born with emotional intelligence.
The term emotional intelligence was first coined by psychologists Mayer and Salovey in the year 1990. They described it as the ability to monitor one’s and others feelings and use this information to guide their own thinking and behavior. It was however left to Daniel Goleman to explain this concept in a more meaningful manner in his bestselling book titled Emotional Intelligence: Why it van matter more than IQ. According to him, EI was the ability to understand one’s own feelings and have empathy for the emotions of others and then regulate one’s actions in such a manner so as to have a qualitatively better life. Goleman further stressed that EI is more important for an individual. He claimed that it was possible to improve one’s EI.
It were these two assertions that caught the imagination of the people and EI soon became the buzz word in management circles around the world. EI is a complex concept as it involves not just your own feelings and emotions but also the emotions and feelings of others. Those having a high emotional intelligence know their own and others’ emotions, manage these emotions well, motivate themselves, and then manage relationships in a very effective manner. Thus, it becomes clear how emotional intelligence can help one at workplace to deal with others and to conduct themselves to give a better performance. Emotional intelligence seems to be a very good tool at the disposal of managers to conduct themselves and establish relationships with people in their teams to achieve the objectives of the business. If you are a manger, your level of success is dependent upon how much emotional intelligence you have and how you use it to get the most out of individual employees working under you and also as a team.
If one takes a closer look at Emotional Intelligence, he finds that the concept can be better understood through a circular approach having 4 quadrants. These 4 quadrants are as follows
- Self awareness
- Social awareness
- Self management
- Social management
Self awareness comes by indentifying and knowing one’s own emotions and feelings. It is by understanding and empathizing with the feelings of others that one becomes socially aware. However, emotional intelligence is not complete until one learns how to manage this understanding of feelings and emotions. One becomes confident with an assessment of one’s own feelings and emotions. He is surer of himself and better motivated than others. Now he is also aware of the feelings of others and he utilizes this information to strengthen his social relationships. Social competence comes through an understanding of these emotions and their effective management.
Mayer and Salovey elaborated upon their concept of emotional intelligence and asserted that their model can be used to developing certain important skills at workplace. They said that emotional intelligence worked in 4 progressive stages that are as follows.
- Recognition of emotions
- Understanding these emotions
- Regulation of emotions
- Effective utilization of emotions
The idea of these two psychologists appealed to most experts as they found that the scores obtained by employees on traditional IQ tests did not reflect in their success at workplace. In fact, prediction of success at workplace based upon one’s IQ scores became a risky proposition. A famous study which predicted the success of 450 boys based upon their scores in IQ tests found that their IQ had little or poor relation with their success at workplace and the rest of their lives. A variation ranging from 4% to 25% was found in the performance of these boys later in their lives. Psychologists attributed this huge variation to a factor called emotional intelligence. The more successful at work and life were the boys who understood and controlled their emotions and found an easy way to establish healthy relationships with others.
This study postulated that high emotional intelligence could compensate low score in IQ. However, this is not correct as there are many jobs in which even a very high emotional intelligence score cannot compensate for a low IQ score. It is now more or less accepted by experts that a certain level of IQ is a prerequisite for various roles but how much success one attains in his role largely depends upon how he reacts in difficult situations and how he gets along with others, especially his colleagues and subordinates.
In a world and time when there is cutthroat competition at all levels in workplace, the concept of emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly important for top level management bosses. Their criteria of judging success has changed and they do not tag a person as successful if he is only smart and intelligent. In fact, they even discount expertise and experience while taking into account how well one handles difficult situations and others at workplace. This means that this criteria is also being applied while hiring and firing employees. This is not all as seniority alone is not a guarantee of promotion as a junior who is perceived as popular and who gets along well with others might be promoted over a senior who is in the line.
Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can be improved. This means one can add a feather to his cap and increase chances of success at workplace if he is prepared to work hard to develop his EI.
Eefke Bodt is onwer of Tummo coaching..
Tummo Coaching is an online Trainings and Coaching Academy to reach your full potential. Eefke help you with your Personal, Spiritual and Business growth. To become the best version of yourself in Business and Personal live. Eefke’s business philosophy is built on genuine love for people.
To contact Eefke, please visit her website http://www.tummo-coaching.com