Emotional Intelligence – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is emotional intelligence?Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well you:- perceive and express yourself- develop and maintain social relationships- cope with day to day and major challenges- use emotional information in effective and meaningful ways
Put simply, emotional intelligence is how you combine your thinking with your feelings in order to build authentic relationships and make good, effective decisions.
2. What is EQ?EQ refers to Emotional Quotient which looks at the parts of emotional intelligence that can be quantified and measured and as such is hard to specify.
Researchers have defined emotional intelligence as an ability or a trait or a mixture of the two. There are many scientifically validated and reliable assessments of EQ commercially available to support recruitment, personal development, leadership development, executive coaching, team building, etc.
3. So, how does EQ differ from IQ?
IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is a measure of cognitive intelligence. IQbecomes fixed and peaks around the age of 17 years of age whilstemotional intelligence is not fixed and rises steadily with age. So thismeans that you can develop yourself and your emotional intelligencethrough learning and practise.
If someone has a high IQ, they are analytical, logical and will focus ontasks. They learn new things quickly. However, if they have low EQ, they may ignore their feelings and the feelings of others. If something doesn’t turn out the way that they expect, they may lose their temper and lash out at others. If someone has a high EQ, they are more likely to get along well with people, and manage their own emotions well. This makes them more effective in their work as a colleague, team player, manager or leader.
Emotional intelligence and IQ are not highly correlated, meaning that there is nothing to suggest that if you have average cognitive intelligence (IQ) you will only have average emotional intelligence. The best leaders may not have high IQ but they have high emotional intelligence and have learnt to use it well.
There is intelligence in emotions and intelligence can be brought toemotions. It means IQ defines how smart you are; EQ defines how well you use what smartness you have.
4. How does emotion intelligence differ from other intelligences?
Howard Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory was first published in 1983 and quickly became recognised as a model to understand and teach many aspects of human intelligence, learning style, personality and behaviour.
The seven basic intelligences are:- visual and spatial intelligence- linguistic – verbal intelligence- logical – mathematical intelligence- bodily – kinaesthetic intelligence- musical intelligence- intrapersonal intelligence- interpersonal intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a blend of all the intelligences within this model. The strongest is the combination of intrapersonal intelligence (self-awareness and self-management) and interpersonal intelligence (empathy and social skills) as recognised by most emotional intelligence models.
5. Why is emotional intelligence important?
Good levels of emotional intelligence help you to
maintain control in difficult circumstances
lowers stress levels
influence others without conflict
enhance your reputation inside and outside of work
There are several people who were average students but later theybecome well-known and successful. The only reason behind their success was how they use their emotional intelligence as compared to their IQ.
6. Isn’t emotional intelligence training all about being nice andfriendly?
Far from it!
Aristotle purportedly said “Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not easy.” So, training people to use their emotions in an appropriate and effective way is not easy!
Soft skills are the hardest skills to train, which is why specialist trainers and facilitators are needed to work with emotional intelligence. Many trainers offer emotional intelligence training but do they have the emotional intelligence to be able to deliver it?
7.Is emotional intelligence an inherited quality or can it benurtured?
Emotional intelligence is the outcome of both inherited tendencies and those delivered by experience.
Your genetic make-up defines who you are and your environment(including how you were brought up) is the expression of who you are. So, emotional intelligence is a bit of both.
For instance, if a child has been shown by adults, repeatedly (conditioning), that impatience and being unreasonable is a way to solve problems, then no matter what nature has endowed upon that child with regards to patience, nurture will take over. Through reinforcement, the child learns that impatient behaviours solve problems and so will continually revert to this way of behaving as a means to resolve issues.
On the positive side, as emotional intelligence can be nurtured so more appropriate ways of behaving can be practised and learnt.
8. Is emotional intelligence needed in leadership and training?
Successful leaders can be an organisation’s most powerful resource for increasing productivity, performance and profitability. The key to great leadership is managing the emotional environment of the organisation by working with and through people, empowering rather than directing.
Leaders recognise the importance of a focused team spirit within their workforce. They are aware of how their leadership style impacts upon emotional states. They are able to regulate their behaviour and actions to build and enhance performance. Emotionally intelligent leaders foster a positive emotional environment where people can flourish and thrive and by dealing with issues that arise firmly and fairly.
As change is constant and people behave in erratic ways, emotionallyintelligent leaders are always looking to be better at what they do and how they work with others.
Emotional intelligence can be developed through appropriate training. However, emotional intelligence should form the basic foundation of any leadership development programme NOT a module to be bolted onto as something to be considered as an additional option.
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