Happy, surprise, sad, anger, disgust, contempt, fear are some of the emotions that we experience in our everyday life.
Emotions are essential to our survival. Fear, for example, helps us to know there is danger ahead so we must avoid it.
The challenge we usually have is how to manage these emotions when they do occur so that they do not affect us and the people around us negatively.
How do we as leaders manage our emotions when dealing with teams, employees and stakeholders so we achieve success in our businesses or career?
Peter Salovey and John Mayer believe that emotional intelligence (EI) was a subcategory of social intelligence. Bar-on defined Emotional social Intelligence as
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“an array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others, relate with them, and cope with daily demands, challenges and pressure”.
Daniel Goleman, who popularised the study with his best seller in 1995, reveals that EI “is your ability to manage your emotions and the emotions of people around you.”
Whereas our IQ helps us to process information, calculate with precision and resolve problems easily, EI allows us to use our emotions and feelings to resolve challenges.
Unlike IQ, which undergoes insignificant modifications as we grow older, EI, if given the necessary attention and effort, can be developed over time, free of age limit.
EI can be divided into four domains; Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social-Awareness and Relationship-Management.
Self-Awareness is your ability to recognise your own emotions and its effects on yourself and those around you.
Self-Management is the ability to regulate or redirect your disruptive emotions and impulses.
Social Awareness is sensing what people are feeling, being able to take their perspective and also cultivate rapport with a broad diversity of people.
Relationship Management is the ability to manage relationships well, accurately reading social situations and using these skills to persuade, lead and negotiate.
The bedrock of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, which is our ability to recognise our emotions and reduce its effect on us and the people around us.
Charity, they say, begins at home.
The first place we expect to build our EI is from parents and caregivers.
Emotional development evolves rapidly during infancy and toddlerhood.
Infants rely on parents to help modulate and control emotions. Parents, teachers or caregivers should, therefore, teach children how to recognise their feelings or emotions, communicate and be able to regulate or control them.
According to research, children who undergo social and emotional training have significantly better attendance record, their classroom behaviour is more constructive and less often disruptive, they like school more, and they get better grades.
Employers can also raise the collective level of their employees’ emotional intelligence by including EI assessment during recruitment and selection, individual coaching, group training and team development.
This will help organisations benefit from stronger teams, more effective leaders who will drive organisational productivity to higher levels.
It is important to note that the growth and development of society is centred on excellent human relations. This can be achieved when each player has a good level of EI. Emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head —it is the unique intersection of both, heart and head.”
Let’s build our nation with Emotional Intelligence.
The writer is the co-founder & Operation Director of Voyageur Royale Ltd. She also heads VR training and Consultants, a leadership and management development organisation. She is passionate about Emotional Intelligence and how it affects our social capital.