What is emotional intelligence?
There are several different types of emotional intelligence. Specifically, EQ is an emotional quotient of emotional intelligence which means that a score is made of various types of emotions in order to measure and compare them. More widely, EQ is an ability which allows someone to distinguish between multiple emotional states and act accordingly. For example, an emotionally intelligent person would be able to differentiate between feelings of frustration and anger. Crucially, EQ means adjusting your behaviour in response to your own emotional state as well as recognising the feelings of others and adapting to them. In this regard, emotional intelligence is closely linked to empathy.
Can emotional intelligence be learned?
Many people regard EQ as a set of skills which can be acquired. Of course, like any skill set, some people are more adept at it than others. For those who are not naturals with emotional intelligence, a greater focus on self-management and self-awareness are key skills on which to brush up. Learning more about relationships and social theories will also help you to use what you have learned of your own emotional intelligence in more constructive ways.
Is EQ important for leadership?
In business and other areas where leadership is important, many people now recognise that emotional intelligence can be useful. In short, it helps leaders to manage their own emotions even in stressful circumstances by identifying their own emotive reactions more readily. Even more importantly, it means being able to recognise the emotional states of others, thereby allowing for improved team management of individuals within a wider organisational structure.
Where is emotional intelligence used?
As mentioned, EQ is often used by big corporations to improve the performance of both senior and middle managers, especially those who manage lots of staff. In addition, it is increasingly utilised by civil servants in government departments and even the military. Emotional intelligence is, therefore, often used as a tool to deal with job performance. In other situations, it is applied to areas like bullying, health and well-being as well as matters relating to self-esteem, such as those associated with drug and alcohol dependence.
What criticisms of EQ are there?
Some people claim that because EQ cannot be measured in a cognitive manner, then it is necessarily not a form of intelligence. In fact, some argue that it is not a skill at all but something that is more akin to a moral quality, such as honesty. One key factor in why all EQ models receive academic criticisms is that they are subject to self-reporting. As such, there is no way to independently verify the accuracy of someone's claim to a greater emotional understanding of themselves. That said, it continues to be used in many areas of human interaction regardless of those who doubt its utility.