“Emotional Intelligence can be defined as the capacity that you possess or obtain over a period of time to generate optimum results in your relationship with yourself and others”.
I personally believe that every baby that is brought to this world by his or her mother is born with a certain, unique potential for emotional sensitivity, emotional memory, emotional processing and emotional learning abilities. It is these four inborn components which I believe forms in to the core of one’s emotional intelligence.
So one can say that we tend to develop our emotional intelligence right from the day we are born. Of course all the segments involved in EI are not developed in a baby. For Instance, a baby can feel emotions, use emotions, communicate emotions, recognize emotions, remember emotions, learn from emotions and manage emotions. But a baby cannot understand emotions. This is probably reserved for the baby to learn in the later part of its life, when a child begins to develop its ability to reason.
The way a baby is raised, dramatically affects what happens to the babies potential in each of these areas. For example a baby may be born with a very high potential for music, but if that child’s potential is never recognized, nurtured and encouraged or if the child is never given the chance to develop the musical potential, they will never become a talented musician later in life. The result is pretty obvious; the world will miss out on this person’s special gift to humanity.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
In 1995 Daniel Goleman's book came out under the title "Emotional Intelligence." The book made it to the cover of Time Magazine in the USA. In the book he has mentioned all the information on brain emotions and behaviour.
Emotional intelligence can be very well explained by a person’s abilities to perceive, identify, understand, and successfully manage emotions in self and in others. It has been believed that Emotional understanding and skills have a great impact on our success and happiness in our personal lives as well as in our working life. Basically there are eight families of emotions, such as: love, surprise, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, enjoyment and shame. Our emotional intelligence is derived by the way we react to these set of emotions. When we compile all of these together, we can realize the competencies and abilities of emotional intelligence of a person. This can be again categorized in the four components of Emotional intelligence i.e. self awareness, social awareness, self management and relationship management.
Self awareness is the ability to recognize and understand ones own emotions and how they affect ones life and work.
Self management is the ability to control disruptive or harmful emotions.
Social awareness is one’s ability to understand and empathize with others.
Relationship management is the ability to connect with others and build positive relationships.
Every individual may differ with others on every component. For instance, a person may be very good in social awareness but he may not have good control over his self management. A person may respond to love positively but the same person does not give a heed if we show anger towards him or her.I believe that a person with a high level of Emotional Intelligence can manage relationships in a very efficient manner. At a personal level I have experienced others dealing with me in differently in different situations. But once we relate our knowledge to that of the components of Emotional Intelligence, we will manage to relate instances happened in our life. Try doing it.
We all have learnt to react to situations from our childhood. As I explained earlier, every child that is born has some power of emotional intelligence which grows constantly over a period of time. We learn from our own experiences how to react to something good or bad. We tend to become happy when someone praises us. We become sad when someone discourages us. These all goes to show that we have control over our emotions.
The best part about Emotional Intelligence is that we are what we are! I.e. we behave in the same manner at work in the way we behave at home. But yes at work we are a little formal in our approach. Emotional Intelligence is all about managing our emotions. We all need time to practice it in our workplace to perfect it. It needs a constant effort from our part to understand and build upon our level of emotional intelligence.
I believe we all need to do critical self-reflection to increase our emotional intelligence. But we must understand that there is a difference between self-reflection and Critical Self-reflection. Most people would be familiar with reflection, which is nothing but the analysis of one’s beliefs. We also tend to have critical reflection, which is the analysis of the assumptions on which our beliefs are built.
But the area that interests me most is Critical Self-Reflection, which is the analysis of the way we pose our problems to ourselves and of our own structure of assumptions that we use as a reference for interpreting our experiences. Effective critical self-reflection requires you to question yourself and the assumptions you make on an ongoing basis.
But it is very sad to know that most of us do not spend time in doing this experiment which is real and happened with their lives. This will give us the perfect understanding of what is our own emotional intelligence.
Application of Emotional Intelligence in our personal lives
Once we do a good exercise of critical self-reflection, we can think of what we are currently. How much importance have we given to develop our emotional intelligence skills? How are we going to learn to develop these skills which will help us in our future workplace?
This is where we need to focus on our emotions. We need to practice Emotional Intelligence so that we don’t sour our relationship with others that we deal in our day to day life. But there is an order in which one can build his or her emotional intelligence skill. One must first understand his potential by way of realizing his self awareness and self management so that he can move to the next level of social awareness and relationship management.
Future is quite unpredictable. At the workplace, we won’t be given a choice for sure to work with people that we want. We will have to understand that we have to deal with people with different set of emotions. Not only will we have to spend the largest portion of our waking time at work, but our identity, self-esteem, and well-being will be strongly affected by our work experiences. The key thing here will be how successfully we relate to them and respond to them in our day to day work.
I have drawn seven key concepts that will help me to reflect positively at my workplace. May be you can add a few.
Everyone is right. I may be wrong.
Everyone has emotions just like I have.
Everyone must take ownership of his or her emotions that includes me.
Everyone is driven by his or her attachments like love and hatred.
Everyone is primarily driven by fear.
Everyone has power to chose the way he or she responds to certain emotions.
Everyone has unlimited potential.
In order to excel at workplace, we need to have emotional competencies. This includes:
Personal Competencies – Self awareness, Self motivation, Self regulation.
Social Competencies – Compassion, Unity, Empathy and Sharing.
Social and personal competencies are essential for a healthy and productive life. Self-awareness, optimism, and empathy can enhance satisfaction level and productivity at work and in other aspects of life. The workplace also is an ideal place for promoting my social and emotional competencies because I believe it is going to be my workplace where I will need it the most. When people realize that social and emotional abilities hold the key to greater career success, they become eager to develop those abilities. At the same time, as a manager, I will need to recognize that my profit depends on the emotional intelligence of my employees; I will need to implement launching programs that will increase their level of Emotional Intelligence skills.
With the help of these two tools, I will be able to think about different options and incorporate anticipated reactions to others in order to improve my quality of decision making. I will have to take into consideration the relationship that I have with my employees. As an effective manager, I will have to assess each situations and personalities involved, rather then using my insightful response and techniques in making best decisions.
Many people who are book smart but lack Emotional Intelligence end up working for people who have lower level of IQs than them but who excel in Emotional Intelligence skills. I will have to continuously build my self awareness which I can do by practicing more control rather than reacting to situations which can provide negative signals resulting dissatisfied outcomes.
I believe in order to apply emotional intelligence in our day to day life. The first very essential thing is how better you know about yourself. Once we understand our pattern of looking at things based on the four components, then we need to understand others viewpoint. It is also very essential for me to undergo the critical self-reflection. I believe this is one method which will help me to understand my behavior and pattern of dealing with others and this will help me to strengthen my weakness that I do possess in terms of people management or relationship management.
I can also conclude that you may have people who are technically competent and who have very high IQ but if they are not very strong on emotional intelligence then they do not have the ability to relate their competencies with others as they are missing an important tool for overall development. Becoming emotionally intelligent is possible for everyone but it does require a high level of commitment and perseverance. A conceptual understanding of what it takes to be emotionally intelligent is just not enough to transform yourself; your way of thinking and behaving into an emotionally intelligent person is what needed for that transformation to take place. There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
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