Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 18 Challenge - Improving My Emotional Intelligence

Today I've committed to the challenge of improving my emotional intelligence (EI). For those of you who are not aware, emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient - 'EQ') is the ability to consciously respond to a situation rather than react under the influence of our emotions at that time.

I first heard about EQ / EI when I started my internet business a couple of years ago, where my business mentor shared with me the concept. I was told that every emotion we feel has a very specific physiology (posture, breathing, facial expressions and patterns of movement) connected to it. And the physiology has the ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth.

According to Jamie McIntyre, Co-Founder of 21st Century Education, if we are going to be emotionally intelligent, rather than reacting unconsciously, we must make a conscious decision on how we will respond to any given situation. We cannot control what happens out there in the environment around us, but we can control how we respond to the environment, and what happens inside of us.
According to Wikipedia, The first use of the term "emotional intelligence" is usually attributed to Wayne Payne's doctoral thesis, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional IntelligenceAs a result of the growing acknowledgement by professionals of the importance and relevance of emotions to work outcomes, the research on the topic continued to gain momentum, but it wasn't until the publication of Daniel Goleman's best seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ that the term became widely popularized. Nancy Gibbs' 1995 Time magazine article highlighted Goleman's book and was the first in a string of mainstream media interest in EI / EQ.

The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. Goleman's model outlines four main EI constructs, which I have made a commitment to master so my emotional intelligence will be improved as a result. 
  1. Self-awareness – the ability to understand my own emotions and recognize their impact.
  2. Self-management – controlling my emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
  3. Social awareness – the ability to sense, understand, and react to others' emotions while comprehending social networks. 
  4. Relationship management - the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict. 
Would you like to improve your EI? And how do you think the above four EI constructs can help you to do that? 


Bj Forwood said...

I think you have the theory about right Kitty. It may be semantics but watch out for reactions instead of responses (3)

Kitty said...

How do you feel about four constructs related to Emotional Intelligence Bruce?

Christopher Grissom said...

I read a book on emotional intelligence when I was in high school. I don't know a whole lot about it. Do you have any reading material you suggest?

Evan said...

I don't really like the sound of #2 - controlling our emotions. I haven't read Goleman's book so I don't know what he means by it. I think wanting to control our emotions is just neurosis. I don't think we should let our feelings run our lives (or our thoughts either) but I do think we can welcome them and not try to control them.

Hope I'm making sense.

Kitty said...

Hi Chris, I think Goleman's book is a good start.

Kitty said...

Hi Evan, I agree that we shouldn't let our feelings and emotions run our lives or thoughts, and we should certainly acknowledge our emotions. By 'controlling our emotions', Goleman's talks about “Managing with Heart", and quotes a study conducted on a group where each member is a star in the academic IQ test results. The results were astonishing. Some proved excellent and others yielded average or even below average results in an emotional intelligence test.

The ultimate study proved that the stars in the emotional intelligence tests were the people who used to get their work finished. Interestingly, it is one of the main characteristics of the successful people.

However, the average or the below average scorers in the emotional intelligence people were those who start many tasks at a time and leave most of them unfinished. It is one of the reasons behind most of the unsuccessful people.