What is emotional intelligence

January 13, 2012 4:19 pm 1 comment Views: 167

How many times have you heard a teacher, a manager or a friend talking about emotional intelligence and what how this concept can help you in many situations of your life. Briefly, this concept refers to someone’s ability of perceiving, evaluating and managing emotions, which is, let’s admit it, a real problem for the majority of us.

Emotional intelligence development

Nowadays exists a real dispute between researchers who claim that emotional intelligence it’s something that can be learned and improved, while others suggest that is something you were born with. On the other hand, some researchers maintain a balance between the emotional intelligence as an inborn characteristic and something you can achive in some degree in the course of your life.

Two of the most important researchers on emotional intelligence Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer proposed a model with four factors of emotional intelligence: perceiving emotions, which is the first step in truly understanding them, reasoning with emotions, which can help people to prioritize their actions being guided by emotions, understanding emotions, that goes deeper into understanding why some people act in a way or another. It’s a dimension that teaches us how to look beyond the expressed emotion for the cause that  leads to that particular emotion. The last but definitely not the least it’s managing emotions, which represent the key part of the emotional intelligence, the part involving understanding others’ emotions and  responding in a appropriate way.

In 1995, David Golleman published a book about emotional intelligence, which became a bestseller in a short time. Proposing his model, based on his heavy research, Golleman defines five key dimensions for emotional intelligence: self-awareness, which refers to knowing one’s emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, empathy or social awareness and handling relationships. Golleman’s work was very criticized, especially by researchers who claim that is a big discrepancy between his theories and those of academic theorists and researchers.

Either way, the controversies and the fights between scientists and researchers do not make the purpose of our article. No doubt, emotional intelligence is useful in our daily life, in school, work or building realtioships. Being able of reading someone else’s emotions and reacting appropriately can help you figure it out what the persons you’re having a discution with or developing a relation with,  really wants from you. So, developing your skills on reading body language or facial expressions constitutes no doubt an advantage. Do not forget that main facial expressions such as anger, fear or happiness are universal, so you’d be able to easily understand people from different cultures with different mentalities.

Understanding your own emotions or motivating yourself can help you to really understand the direction of your action, the road you’re walking.  Even if we do not always want to admit, our actions are most of the time directed  by our emotions, so understanding them perfectly will only help us to put in order our life.

Humans are social beings, we live in a society that has no mercy, that confounds sometimes with a jungle, a fight for survival, so it’s becoming more and more difficult to trust people or to build relashionships. Learning how to read people’s emotions , eliminating the feeling of mistrust and responding in a adequate way is a plus for us. Empathy and handling relationships, as a dimension for emotional intelligence will bring us closer into building the kind of relation that fits us the best. Being able to decipher will not only make you understand other people’s emotion, but it will definately help you deal with stress in many situations.

In a job interwiev, in school, everywhere, learning how to control and manage emotions will help you to have a larger perspective of you choises, so do not hesitate to develop your skills in this direction.

1 Comment

  • Excellent web site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you to your sweat!

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