Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the capability of individuals to recognise their own, and other people’s, emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
Clearly, being able to recognise and understand one’s own emotion, at the same time as understanding those of others, is a huge asset in many areas of work and domestic life. But why is it considered to be so important? Before the 1990s, intelligence was measured by our ability to solve problems – people made much of how high their IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was. But a number of psychologists and psychotherapists realised that whilst problem-solving needed the ability to apply a series of thoughts logically, on its own, that wasn’t enough. We also had to be able to control our emotions in many complex problems – particularly when they involved other peoples’ emotions.
Today companies worldwide routinely use EI when hiring, promoting, and developing their employees.
We provide many different ways of bringing emotional intelligence into your life – whether you would like to investigate its usefulness for work, your family-life or for your own self-development.
We have no control over what emotions we’ll feel at any given moment, and because which emotions these will be is unpredictable, we can be overwhelmed by them. So “I feel fed up” becomes “I will be fed up”. “I feel disappointed” becomes “I will be disappointed”.
Emotional intelligence teaches us how to apply a very simple tool to this situation: A STOP sign. So without the STOP sign we are just puppets to the emotions that our hormones create at any given time. With a STOP sign, we notice the emotion that we feel and we decide whether it is the right emotion for us now – or the wrong one.
Once we get good at this (and it just takes practice – no skill needed!) then we can begin to predict how other people will react.
Emotionally intelligent people have control over their own moods and feelings – and understand and can predict other peoples’.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AT WORK
We, at ELK-Health, have never met a successful entrepreneur or senior manager; director, key person or chair, who doesn’t actively use her or his colleagues’ and opponents’ emotions. Most are well-healed in the use of their own quasi-machiavellian model for manipulating others’ moods and feelings so that the person they are doing business with, when it comes to the big decisions, is in exactly the emotional state they need them to be in to get the result that they want. This isn’t, though, some odd, sinister technique. Quite the contrary, it is taking the time to learn a skill which is completely about understanding, really understanding, how we humans act every single day. Believe us, it really isn’t rocket science. It is about observing, contemplating and comprehending. So it is easily taught. If you lack this skill, someone with whom you deal probably knows that – and takes advantage of it.
The first step for you would be, as with every single person we have ever worked with, to start a process that leads to rapid learning about yourself. If you think that you might like to take that first step – and the ones that follow – please send us a completely confidential message here.
Emotional Intelligence is one of the “8Ways” used by ELK-Health in its preventative programmes. These are listed here.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AT HOME
Most of us, at one time or another, have discovered what happens when we don’t understand how someone else is feeling. We say the wrong things, we do the wrong things. But those wrong things would have been OK at another time. The person we were trying to connect with is just not in the mood.
The reaction, when we say something inappropriate to another person’s mood, is different depending on the relationship we have with that person. So, for instance, someone at work may react to us not taking into account their mood by being aggressive, acting hurt or sulking. At home, it is more likely that we will be accused of being thoughtless. But we’re not actually being thoughtless at all – we are lacking a skill.
It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it, that understanding how other people are feeling, when at home, is a very useful tool to own. And, as with the situation outlined above – about using emotional intelligence at work, the first steps involve you learning about yourself. If you don’t understand how your own feelings and moods work, you can’t understand someone else’s.
If you think that you might like to find out more, please send us a completely confidential message here.