Emotional intelligence is a topic that has been researched since the early 1990s and has been found to be an important indicator of life and career success. In fact, our book is written around the ability to develop emotional intelligence skills. Emotional intelligence (EQ)A form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action. refers to a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.Cherniss, Cary. (2000). Paper presented to annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, New Orleans, LA, April 15, 2000. Accessed February 26, 2012, http://www.eiconsortium.org/reports/what_is_emotional_intelligence.html; Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D., & Salovey, P. (1999). Emotional intelligence meets traditional standards for an intelligence. Intelligence, 27, 267–98. This is different from intelligence quotient (IQ)The measure of intelligence based on a score derived from an intelligence test. in that IQ measures intelligence based on a score derived from intelligence tests. The other main difference between the two is that IQ is stable over a lifetime, while EQ can grow and develop over time.
The original researchers of EQ, John Mayer and Peter Salovey,Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2000). Models of emotional intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.). Handbook of intelligence (pp. 396–420). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. provided the first hint of emotional intelligence in their research, but much of the later research on emotional intelligence was done by Daniel Goleman.Goleman, Daniel. (n.d.). Emotional intelligence. Accessed February 26, 2012, http://danielgoleman.info/topics/emotional-intelligence/ According to Goleman, there are four main aspects to emotional intelligence, which we will discuss later in this section. First, why is emotional intelligence necessary for success?
To begin with, different from what was previously thought, IQ is not a good predictor of job performance, happiness, or success. Goleman points out that if this myth were true, everyone who graduated at the top of their class with honors would be the most successful people. Because we know this isn’t the case, we know qualities other than just IQ can help predict success. Research by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greves has shown that EQ makes up 58 percent of our job requirements and is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.Bradberry, Travis, & Greaves, Jean. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (p. 21) TalentSmart Publishing. Their research also showed that 90 percent of high performers at work had high EQ, while 20 percent of low performers had low EQ. In other words, you can be a high performer at work without EQ, but the chances are slimmer with low EQ.Bradberry, Travis, & Greaves, Jean. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (p. 21) TalentSmart Publishing. EQ research by Bradberry and Greves shows a link between higher EQ and higher salary. In fact, for every point increase in EQ, there is a $1,300 per year increase in salary.Bradberry, Travis, & Greaves, Jean. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (p. 22) TalentSmart Publishing.
In one study performed by Virginia Tech,Virginia Tech. (2005, October 5). Emotional intelligence may be good predictor of success in computing studies. ScienceDaily. six hundred undergraduate computer science students and twenty institutions participated in a survey that measured emotional intelligence and the ability to handle demanding curriculum. Although emotional intelligence was not directly linked to academic success in the study, students with higher levels of emotional intelligence had more self-efficacy (belief in one’s own ability), which allowed them to handle problems better—creating higher academic success. For example, the ability to read body language and understand when someone is sad or mad and needs to talk is an emotional intelligence skill. These skills enable us to interact with others successfully. Consider a person who does not have a “filter” and continually puts down others and says exactly what is on their mind, even if it is hurtful. This clear lack of emotional intelligence affects this person’s ability to have good, healthy relationships, both at work and in their personal life.
So, we know that emotional intelligence is important for success at work, at school, and in our personal lives. Let’s discuss the four main components of EQ:
Author and Pulitzer Prize nominee Daniel Goleman discusses the importance of emotional intelligence in career success.
To increase our self-awareness skills, we should spend time thinking about our emotions to understand why we experience a specific emotion. We should look at those things that cause a strong reaction, such as anger to help us understand the underlying reasons for that reaction. By doing this, we can begin to see a pattern within ourselves that helps explain how we behave and how we feel in certain situations. This allows us to handle those situations when they arise.
To increase our self-management skills, we can focus on the positive instead of the negative. Taking deep breaths increases blood flow, which helps us handle difficult situations. Although seemingly childish, counting to ten before reacting can help us manage emotions such as anger. This gives us time to calm down and think about how we will handle the situation. Practicing positive self-talkRefers to the thoughts we have about ourselves and situations throughout the day. can help increase our self-management. Self-talk refers to the thoughts we have about ourselves and situations throughout the day. Since we have over 50,000 thoughts per day,Willax, Paul. (1999, December 13). Treat customers as if they are right. Business First, accessed March 2, 2012, http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/stories/1999/12/13/smallb2.html?page=all getting into the habit of managing those thoughts is important. By recognizing the negative thoughts, we can change them for the positive. The following are some examples:
|I made a mistake.||I am, or that was, dumb.|
|I need some work on xx skills.||I am an idiot.|
|It may take a bit more effort to show them what I have to offer.||They will never accept me.|
|I need to reprioritize my to do list.||I will never be able to get all of this done.|
|Let me see what seminars and training is available.||I just don’t have the knowledge required to do this job.|
Increasing social awareness means to observe others’ actions and to watch people to get a good sense of how they are reacting. We can gain social awareness skills by learning people’s names and making sure we watch body language. Living in the moment can help our interactions with others as well. Practicing listening skills and asking follow-up questions can also help improve our social awareness skills.
Strategies for relationship management might include being open, acknowledging another’s feelings, and showing that you care. Being willing to listen to colleagues and employees and understanding them on a personal level can help enhance relationship management skills. Being willing to accept feedback and grow from that feedback can help people be more comfortable talking with you.
The importance of emotional intelligence, as we introduced at the start of this section, is imperative to being successful at work. Figuring out a plan on how we can increase our emotional intelligence skills can also benefit us personally in our relationships with others.
Emotional intelligence is the key to everything we will discuss throughout the book, and each aspect of our discussion relates back to emotional intelligence, as you can see from Figure 2.1.
Emotional intelligence applies to all areas of our lives, both professionally and personally. We will be discussing each of these emotional intelligence aspects throughout the book.
Visit http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=3037 (you do not need to register) and take the 146-question quiz on emotional intelligence, which should take about an hour. Then answer the following questions: