A Hot List of Information & Resources On Emotional Intelligence
From a managerial perspective, emotional intelligence is the ability to make intelligent use of emotions in ways that enhance both your personal and interpersonal effectiveness. We are all emotionally driven creatures. Savvy executives understand how emotions move people to act and they put this understanding to intelligent use. Yet, there is also a great deal of unsubstantiated pop-psychology around about emotional intelligence and managers need to be careful that the information they access is trustworthy and grounded in evidence.
This 'lens' on emotional intelligence is designed to help you cut through the sea of drivel and access quality information that will help you to lead in more emotionally intelligent ways.
Here are 10 quick facts to get you started:
- Emotions describe how we feel in response to something that has happened. These reactions are both logical and predictable.
- Primary emotions, upon which all other emotions are based, include feeling happy, accepted, interested, surprised, worried, angry, disgusted and sad.
- Each primary emotion has a universal cause, which means that we can predict that of X happens a person will feel Y.
- Emotions drive us to act in certain ways, with different emotions prompting different behaviours.
- Emotions contain valuable information about the situation at hand, if we know that someone we feels Y, we also know a great deal about what has happened to them even before we know the details.
- Knowing how someone else feels gives us valuable insight into how to best interact with them.
- Expressing emotions in respectful and contextually appropriate ways greatly increases the impact of your communication with others.
- We show our emotional reaction to events around us through fleeting, involuntary expressions that cross our face when something good or bad happens to us.
- Hiding and suppressing feelings hinders communication and has a host of negative consequences.
- Emotions, harnessed well, enhance rather than impede rational thinking and decision-making.
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4 Steps To More Accurate Emotional Awareness
- Ask yourself which of the primary emotions you are feeling right now. Try to choose just 1 or 2. Remember the primary emotions are happiness, sadness, worry, surpise, anger, belonging, interest and disgust.
- Change each of your 1-2 labels from step 1 to reflect the intensity of the emotion you are feeling. For example, someone who is very interested would be excited while someone who was just a little angry would be annoyed.
- If you chose just one emotion in step 1, stop now - you do not need to do step 3. However, if you chose two emotions in step 1, think about how they blend together. For example, anger + disgust = contempt and happiness + interest = hope. Try to come up with a single label that blends your two primary emotions together.
- Think about how your feelings are impacting on you others. What are the emotions prompting you to do? (eg to stand-up for yourself, to act now in order to stop something bad from happening, to seek help etc). Should you act on these feelings, and if so how could you do so in an intelligent way?
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Is emotional intelligence real?
Emotional intelligence is still a relatively new concept. Psychologists continue to debatet whether it is real, or whether it just a combination of traits (eg IQ, extraversion, sensitivity). .Serious scholars argue over the nature of emotional intelligence. Is it a true intelligence or is it a set of learnable skills? And, many managers continue to wonder whether it just another buzzword and passing fad.