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How Do I Know if I Am Emotionally Intelligent?

21 March 2017

Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

Well, Emotional Intelligence (EI), or emotional quotient (EQ) is generally described as an individual’s ability to recognise and discern between feelings and behaviours.

Peter Salovey and John Mayer, generally credited as leading researchers on EI, co-developed their ‘ability model’ which highlighted four branches of EI, as they saw it;

Perceiving emotions – recognising how you and others around you are feeling

Reasoning with emotions – using emotions to assist with thought

Understanding emotions – comprehending complex emotions and how they transition from one emotion to another

Managing emotions – help manage your emotions and those of others to best affect

“We define emotional intelligence as the subset 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.”   (Salovey & Mayer)

Ok, so this is all well and good at a theoretical level, but how can this be used in practice?

Traditionally it was reasoned that emotions were something that should be left outside the workplace.  Scientists have since found that emotions are not the enemy of reason and we actually need them to operate at a high level. 

The suggestion is that rather than recruiting or developing your people and your future leaders based solely on their academic qualifications, EI is invaluable in helping you get the right, and perhaps more rounded people, giving you a competitive edge.

EI can be invaluable in working with people and aiding vast number of areas including;

  • Decision making
  • Self-awareness
  • Stress tolerance
  • Inter personal relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Empathy
  • Assertiveness
  • Motivation

Here are two simple examples of how EI can be used in the workplace:

  • Reflect - You have just received an email that has got your back up!  Rather than replying immediately with how you feel there and then, EI involves writing this in a draft format and then revisiting a little while letter, to gauge whether the wording will deliver your intended outcome.
  • Understand – Consider the last time you had a differing opinion to a colleague or stakeholder.  Rather than batter them into submission with your own opinion, EI involves asking questions to seek a deeper understanding of the other view point.

If ultimately improving overall business performance is your goal then surely EI is one not to be missed?

To discover more about your emotional intelligence and how it can impact your business, please call us on 01295 675506 for a friendly no obligation chat.

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