If you have read Daniel Goleman’s (1995) groundbreaking work Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and/or Travis Bradberry’s and Jean Greaves’ (2009) work titled Emotional Intelligence 2.0, you are likely well aware of the concept of Emotional Intelligence. In case you have not read either or both of these books, I would like to briefly discuss what constitutes Emotional Intelligence. Many of us have been engaging in the practical applications of Emotional Intelligence for quite some time, without having realized that there is an overarching name for and theory about that which we have been doing naturally.
Emotional Intelligence can be explained as one’s ability to use and/or control emotion in a manner that does not interfere with one’s ability to think rationally or make rational decisions. This is not to suggest that one is able to or should attempt to make rational decisions while in a highly-charged emotional state; it is meant to suggest that one has mastered awareness and management of one’s emotions in order to change one’s impact on others and on situations. It is knowing that being emotionally upset inhibits one’s ability to think straight and make good decisions. It is a skill that needs to be developed and maintained with practice.
With time and practice, Emotionally Intelligent people are able to develop what is known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is an awareness of what one is feeling and how those feelings (emotions) are affecting others. I also like to think of mindfulness as ‘being/living in the moment’, which plays an important role in our respective abilities to be authentic and genuine with others. If we are not mindful and tuned in to others, they can tell. Mindfulness is an important factor in building resonant relationships, which is, amongst others, a topic of discussion for the near future.
The concept of Emotional Intelligence is exciting, because it means that with some work, we can greatly improve our relationships, our and others’ quality of life, and our productivity.
What are your thoughts? If you have a question or would like to add something, please feel free.