Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Increasingly, all of business is becoming ‘people businesses’. Employees no longer want to be ‘managed’, but ‘led’. As a result, managers are at a loss to understand the emotions behind the actions of employees. It’s a classic case of an excellent IQ falling short in a communication situation. This is where Emotional Intelligence comes into the picture.


John D. Mayer, along with Peter Salovey, is credited with introducing the term, Emotional Intelligence to our vocabularies. On his website, he defines it thus: “Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion and their relationships, and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them.”

Mayer goes on further to define the concept as “involving the abilities to:

· accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others

· use emotions to facilitate thinking

· understand emotional meanings, and

· manage emotions”

Although John Mayer introduced the term and concept, it is psychologist Daniel Goleman who is credited with popularizing it in his ground breaking books, ‘Working with Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ’. He says on his website, “Like Mayer and Salovey, I used the phrase to synthesize a broad range of scientific findings, drawing together what had been separate strands of research – reviewing not only their theory but a wide variety of other exciting scientific developments, such as the first fruits of the nascent field of affective neuroscience, which explores how emotions are regulated in the brain.”

The Byron Stock Associates website defines it simply as “Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge from your emotions and the emotions of others. You can use the information about what you're feeling to help you make effective decisions about what to say or do (or not say or do) next. Emotional Intelligence is NOT about being soft! It is a different way of being smart – having the skill to use your emotions to help you make choices in-the-moment and have more effective control over yourself and your impact on others.”

IQ vs EQ

Susan Dunn MA, compares IQ and EQ thus:

  • EQ gets you through life vs. IQ gets you through school
  • Appealing to reason and emotions to convince someone vs. Trying to convince someone by facts alone
  • Using your emotions as well as your cognitive abilities to function more effectively vs. Relying solely on your cognitive skills
  • Knowing how and why vs. Knowing what
  • Knowing how to motivate each person vs. Treating everying as if they operated the same way which they don't
  • Managing emotions and using them for good results vs. Being at the mercy of emotions because you don't understand them or know how to work with them

Emotional Quotient vs Emotional Intelligence

Steve Hein, author of ‘EQ for Everybody’ draws a difference between Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Quotient as “distinction between a person's person's innate potential versus what actually happens to that potential over their lifetime.” He defines EQ as “a relative measure of a person's healthy or unhealthy development of their innate emotional intelligence.”

He also offers ten suggestions to develop one’s Emotional Intelligence:

1. Become emotionally literate. Label your feelings, rather than labeling people or situations.

"I feel impatient." vs "This is ridiculous." I feel hurt and bitter". vs. "You are an insensitive jerk."

"I feel afraid." vs. "You are driving like a idiot."

2. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings.

Thoughts: I feel like...& I feel as if.... & I feel that

Feelings: I feel: (feeling word)

3. Take more responsibility for your feelings.

"I feel jealous." vs. "You are making me jealous."

4. Use your feelings to help them make decisions.

"How will I feel if I do this?" "How will I feel if I don't"

5. Show respect for other people's feelings.

Ask "How will you feel if I do this?" "How will you feel if I don't."

6. Feel energized, not angry.

Use what others call " anger" to help feel energized to take productive action.

7. Validate other people's feelings.

Show empathy, understanding, and acceptance of other people's feelings.

8. Practice getting a positive value from emotions.

Ask yourself: "How do I feel?" and "What would help me feel better?"

Ask others "How do you feel?" and "What would help you feel better?"

9. Don't advise, command, control, criticize, judge or lecture to others.

Instead, try to just listen with empathy and non-judgment.

10. Avoid people who invalidate you.







(Article written for Best of Crest, 2007)

No comments: