Emotional intelligence describes the ability to understand how emotions can influence both motivation and behaviour.
The concepts of Emotional Intelligence have been around since at least the 1900's, but the term was first introduced by Wayne Payne in 1985.
As a result of the growing acknowledgement by professionals of the importance and relevance of emotions to work outcomes, the research on the topic continued to gain momentum, but it wasn't until the publication of Daniel Goleman's best seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ that the term became widely accepted by mainstream media.
There are four key components to emotional intelligence:
1. Self awareness: This includes both awareness of our own emotions, but also a recognition of the situations and events that can trigger heightened emotions as well as awareness of assertive ways to handle such situations.
2. Self-management: This area focuses on how we control ourselves, our emotions and avoid letting our emotions rule us. This domain also includes how psychological flexible we are and enables us to deal creatively and flexibly with difficult situations and people thus ensuring a more positive outcome more of the time.
3. Social Recognition: This domain tells us how well we are able to recognise emotions in others and how aware we are of situations that can cause stress and distress to others. Increasing our social recognition skills enables us to improve our interpersonal skills and better relate to others. Critical skills in leadership roles where we may be facing situations of hostility or bias that we need to overcome in order to influence outcomes.
4. Social management: This domain is the one that focuses on our ability to effectively influence others, negotiate successful outcomes in conflict situations and become the catalyst for change. Developing social management skills will enable us to successfully navigate the sometimes tortuous path through management negotiations and change management.
When you add these domains to Robert Bolton's work which identified that 80% of the people who fail at work so do for one reason: they do not relate well to other people. You can recognise the importance of developing your emotional intelligence.
Greg Anderson says "you cannot expect to prevent negative feelings altogether and you cannot expect to experience positive feelings all the time. The law of emotional choice directs us to acknowledge our feelings but to refuse to get stuck in the negative ones"
The good news is that Emotional Intelligence can be learned and improved. Effective coaching and training can create enhanced performance at all levels. Developing an EIQ system in a workplace produces the organisational climate and culture of peak performance and long term success.
Warren Bennis says that in his fields of study he has realised that emotional intelligence is a much more powerful measure than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence, you need it but it doesn't make you a star. Emotional intelligence can.
If this topic interests you and you want to learn more why not buy my Emotional Intelligence online program which will guide you through what each domain is in more detail and share various strategies that will help you enhance and develop your own levels of emotional intelligence
Carrie is passionate about helping businesses succeed; especially small business. Having run her own business since 2000 she knows what she is talking about.