Emotional competencies are more important in contributing to work excellence than pure intellect and expertise (EQ beats IQ). Emotional intelligence describes the ability, capacity, skill, to identify, assess and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others and of groups. Emotional intelligence is a critical part of social intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be abbreviated to EI and can also be referred to as emotional quotient (EQ). Some research shows that intelligence quotient, IQ contributes only about 20% to success in life. The rest of 80% success depends on one’s EQ. The concept of Emotional intelligence was formally introduced by Professors Peter Salovey of Yale University and John Mayer of the University of New Hampshire in 1990. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and science journalist popularized the term emotional intelligence in 1995 in the title of his bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Emotional intelligence is more important for a happy and productive life. People who are positive have been shown to live longer. Leaders high in emotional intelligence are more productive. Emotional intelligence determines ‘one’s ultimate niche in a society.’ Research shows that “emotion makes thinking more intelligent.”
Concept of emotional intelligence
The concept of emotional intelligence includes two component terms, intelligence and emotion. Intelligence belongs to cognitive sphere of mental functioning whereas emotions belong to affective sphere of mental functioning. Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. The word emotion comes from the Latin word ‘emoveo’ which means ‘to move from.’ According to Webster’s 1928 Dictionary emotion is ‘a moving of the mind or soul.’ There are six essentially universal emotions- anger, fear, sadness, happiness, disgust and surprise – with most other emotions included within these six categories (Robbins and Judge 2009). Every one experiences and relates to feelings and emotions. Emotions contain valuable information on relationships, behaviour and practically every aspect of the human world around us.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, express, understand and regulate emotions.
Salovey and Mayer (1997) defined emotional intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, integrate emotions to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth.”
Goleman (1998) defined Emotional intelligence as ‘the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”
Reuven Bar-on (1997) described EQ as “an array of personal, emotional and social abilities and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures”.
Principles of emotional intelligence
There are two basic principles associated with emotional intelligence. First emotional intelligence is about being aware of emotions –identifying and understanding emotions-both of your own and other people’s emotions. Second emotional intelligence is about using and managing emotions of our own and other people’s.
Emotional quotient, EQ
EQ is an inventory designed to measure the capacity of effectively recognizing and managing our own emotions and those of others. EQ is the ability to make deeper connections at 3 levels: with ourselves (personal mastery), with another person (one-to-one) and within groups/ teams.
Models of emotional intelligence
1. Ability EI model – the mental ability model focuses on emotions themselves and their interactions with thought (Mayer and Salovey 1997). This model proposes four main types of emotional abilities:
Emotional perception refers to the ability to recognize and decipher emotions in oneself and others as well as other stimuli including faces, pictures, stories and music.
Emotional use refers to the ability to apply emotions to cognitive activities such as thinking, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.
Emotional understanding refers to the ability to understand emotional information and the causes of emotions and how emotions combine, progress and change from one to another.
Emotional management refers to the ability to be open to feelings and employ effective strategies to promote personal understanding and growth.
2. Trait EI model – this model was published in 2009 by Petrides and colleagues. Trait EI model is a constellation of emotion – related self-perceptions located at the lower levels of personality. Trait EI model refers to an individual’s own perceptions of their emotional abilities, as opposed to the ability –based model which refers to actual abilities.
3. Mixed models of EI- this model is introduced by Daniel Goleman that defines EI as a wide range of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. There are four tenets to this model:
Self awareness is the ability to understand your emotions, recognize their impact and use them to inform decisions.
Self-management involves controlling your emotions and impulses and adapting to circumstances.
Social awareness is the ability to sense, understand and react to the emotions of others within social situations.
Relationship management is the ability to inspire, influence and connect with others and to manage conflict.
Origin of emotional intelligence
The emotional brain (EB) is that part of the human brain that generates emotions. The amygdala –the part of the limbic brain –is considered to be the emotional centre of our brain and performs a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions. Amygdala is an almond shaped brain structure in the limbic system. The emotional response is relatively less influenced by genetic factors and more by the limbic system of the brain. People seem to develop greater emotional intelligence not in the early childhood but in the adult years. Emotional intelligence seems to be largely a learned response. We continue to develop EI as we go through life and learn from our experiences.
Characteristics of emotional skills
There are five key characteristics that distinguish an emotionally intelligent person.
Self-awareness- having a realistic assessment of his abilities.
Self-regulation – ability to control emotions and impulses.
Motivation – deepest preference to achieve our goals.
Empathy –is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs and viewpoints of other people.
Social skills – People with good social skills can manage disputes, are excellent communicators, and are masters at building and maintaining relationships. People with good social skills can persuade and lead, negotiate and settle disputes for cooperation and team work.
Components of emotional intelligence
Daniel Goleman (1995) suggests that emotional intelligence consists of five major components:
1. Knowing our own emotions.
2. Managing one’s emotions.
3. Motivating our emotions.
4. Recognizing the emotions of others and
5. Handling relationships.
Benefits of emotional intelligence at work
· Emotionally intelligent people manage stress better at work.
· They improve their relationships with co-workers.
· They deal more effectively with their supervisors.
· They are more productive and effectively manage their work priorities.
· They become better team player, managers or leaders.
In general emotional intelligence has been proven to:
¨ Increase workplace productivity.
¨ Reduce stress.
¨ Moderate conflict.
¨ Promote understanding and relationships.
¨ Foster stability and continuity.
¨ Heighten self awareness.
Advantages of emotional intelligence
1. Emotional intelligence is primarily about managing oneself well and enhancing one’s relationship with others in order to be happier, healthier and more successful.
2. According to research at the University of Toronto, positive, happy emotions and moods may open one’s mind and increase creative thinking.
3. Positive emotions enhance problem-solving skills so that positive people find better solutions to problems (Isen 2001).
4. Emotionally intelligent people can help manage stressful situations and improve negotiation and conflict resolution.
5. Multiple studies have shown that the most successful leaders in organizations have higher levels of emotional intelligence than others. Emotional intelligence has been shown to be more important in rising to the top of an organization than cognitive competencies. Companies have realized that IQ alone cannot predict an individual’s performance or success.
6. Emotional intelligence is the most significant for successful project outcomes. Project managers must be emotionally intelligent.
7. Research indicates that social and emotional skills are associated with successes in effective teaching, student learning, quality student-teacher relationships and academic performance.
8. Physicians who are better at recognizing emotions of patients are more successful at treating them than their less sensitive counterparts.
9. Executives who ‘derail’ are often seen as lacking emotional strength.
Emotional intelligence influences job performance
Emotional intelligence influences job performance