To make a case for one of them is to also make the case for the other. Because to truly grasp Emotional Intelligence (EI) and not put it into practice in every area of life would be to deny by your actions that you really “get it” when it-comes to the topic of EI.
I am in the process of writing a book on the topic of what it means to take Emotional Intelligence beyond just “knowing” and onto the important steps of incorporating that knowledge into our daily lives. In other words, becoming emotionally “adept” and not just full of knowledge that is never applied to how we live our lives. I am terming this, becoming “Emotionally Adept” and it is part of the overall process of becoming an “Emotionally Adept Leader.”
However, before I continue and expand on what it is to be emotionally adept, I should probably set the background for those not familiar with EI or reset the background for those that are familiar.
High-level Summary of EI.
By now, many of you have read the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. So, just what is emotional intelligence? The quick answer is to say that there are four components of emotional intelligence that best define it. The first two are about yourself, while the remaining two are concerning others or those around you.
Self- consciousness (Being aware of one’s own emotions)
Knowing yourself and being conscious of your emotions is the first component of emotional intelligence. Becoming aware of yourself involves observing your own emotions, distinguishing your different reactions and then accurately knowing what kind of emotion you are presently having. When you know your own feelings and emotions and how they shape your attitude and actions, you can better understand yourself so your self-esteem and conviction becomes high.
Self-control (Managing your own emotions)
Being able to control or manage your own emotions is the second component of emotional intelligence. Knowing your emotions is just the start. Learning how to manage it should follow. Properly managing your impulses and compulsive behaviors allows you to be on top of every situation. Most people have a commitment problem because they have an emotion problem in the first place. If you can keep your emotions in check most of the time, then you can finish off your obligations, follow through your responsibilities and deliver all your promises. You will also be able to become proactive in everything you do. This will also enable you to adapt to change easily. This is applicable not only at work but also in your personal life, such as dealing with family and friends.
Sensitivity (Being aware of the emotions of others)
The third component of emotional intelligence is being sensitive to the emotions of others. This is about understanding others and putting yourself in their position without being emotionally affected by it. It also means identifying the exact emotional needs of a person, quickly grasping poignant cues, making others feel comfortable with your presence, and knowing when to take advantage of group emotions. If you are able to understand, sympathize and show compassion to the people around you, then you will be able to manage your relationships with them well, which brings you to the final aspect.
Sociability (Managing your relationship with others)
The fourth and final component of emotional intelligence is sociability. This involves managing all of your life’s relationships and making them more fruitful. The first three aspects actually conclude on this one. Your ultimate aim in developing emotional intelligence should be to become more relatable. It involves different kinds of skills which will be discussed in the following chapters. Some examples of these skills are communication skills and people skills. Sociability also includes harnessing teamwork in a group and your ability to handle conflicts and disagreements.
But what good is all of this knowledge if it has no practical value? My hypothesis is that it is absolutely worthless unless it contributes to my overall success.
What does success look like?
The U.S. supreme Court has consistently failed to define by any of their rulings exactly what obscene material looks like. Rather than narrowly define it, the Supreme Court has sent the decision back to lower courts where those jurisdictions could decide. The best we have gotten from the courts is that we would recognize obscenity when we see it. The same can be said of success. And thankfully, it is a more wholesome and uplifting topic. We all know someone that we view as being successful.
The “Top Performers” in any given group or organization generally have the highest Emotional Quotient (EQ) or Emotional Intelligence (EI). More importantly, they are masters at moving beyond the knowledge and onto the application of those skills that are identified as being exemplary of emotional intelligence.
The reasons that this is true are as follows.
- Your emotions provide you with the cue to act when a problem is big enough to see yet still small enough to resolve.
- People who hone their emotional intelligence have an increased ability to flourish in settings where others merely flounder.
Research shows that strong emotional and social skills carry 60% of the responsibility for a person’s success in the workplace. These skills overshadow such skills as time management, motivation, vision casting, communications, creativity, charisma, etc.
There is hope for me and for you.
These skills can be learned and developed over time. You can change your EQ / EI and grow as a person to become a greater success in life. And the key to permanent change is repetition.
What is my point today?
My point is that your overall success in life will have more to do with Emotional Intelligence than it will ever have to do with Academic Intelligence, or any other intelligence for that matter! You can become emotionally adept.
Stay tuned as I develop this concept of becoming an Emotionally Adept Leader.