Dummies And Geniuses Need Emotional Intelligence

The opening scenes of the 2010 movie, The Social Network, has a certain under-thirty socially inept billionaire insulting his date while stating some facts about her. In the 2009 movie, Sherlock Holmes, the titular detective does the same to his friend, Watson’s fiancé.

What do these two men have in common?

Both possess amazing intelligence but incredible ineptitude. Or better still, both possess high IQ levels but low EQ (emotional quotient) or EI (emotional intelligence).

What, then, is emotional intelligence?

A simple, quick Wikipedia search will throw up an apt definition – the ability of an individual to recognize 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 behavior.

The term was brought to prominence by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, and is becoming more and more an important factor in relationships, professional or otherwise. The responsibility of managing several people’s emotions and, in fact, using those same emotions to achieve the company’s goals comes with being a leader and a boss. Therefore, high emotional intelligence is required.

Goleman’s EQ model has been redefined into four steps, or levels, as you please

Self-Awareness

As the name implies, this is the ability of one to recognize and understand one’s own emotions. Self-assessment is important here, as this involves recognizing and owning one’s strengths and weaknesses, understanding them, and not shying away from them. This also helps boost self-confidence by grounding the person in reality and keeping them self-secure in whatever situation they find themselves in.

Self-Management

The ability to manage one’s emotions and motivate oneself in other to achieve goals; individual or collective. This can also be called self-control, as it builds on the knowledge acquired by being self-aware. So, that individual controls emotions; not emotions controlling the individual. It also deals with how the individual keeps himself motivated in spite of feelings.

Social Awareness  

The recognition and understanding of other people’s emotions, the management of them, and utilization of your understanding of yourself to help manage the emotions of others. This is important especially if you’re in a leadership position. You must be able to empathize with your workers, understand their opinions of the company and give them orientation when and where necessary.

Relationship Management

The ability to manage other people’s emotions and use this understanding to build strong relationships. This deals with your ability to communicate clearly, persuade and lead others while being honest without manipulating people or making enemies of them.

Emotional Intelligence Is Needed To Succeed In Your Job

While the emphasis is on your abilities (what you can do) before a job is offered to you, the focus will change in time to how you do the job. In other words, your ability to work in harmony with your colleagues and co-workers is just as important – if not more important – than your CV and school qualifications.

In high pressure jobs, like banking hall cashiering and customer care, a high amount of emotional intelligence is required. Most times many customers are agitated at the same time, for all sorts of reasons, and cannot keep their emotions in check. They yell, scream and make scenes when simply explaining the problem will get them faster results. Still, it is the duty of the worker to manage the situation so that it does not become worse than it already is. Emotional intelligence is required to make a screaming, ranting customer leave with smiles and happiness.

Gone is the time when all one needed was competence at a job. Now, it’s equally important to show that one can handle himself among other people and work well with colleagues.

That’s emotional intelligence.

So what do you think? Is emotional intelligence necessary or overrated? Let us know in the comments!

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