We have always heard that the Intellectual Quotient (IQ) is a good indicator to know if a person will be successful in life. The intelligence test score, they said, could establish a strong relationship with academic performance and professional success.
However, researchers and corporations began to detect a few decades ago that the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in life were different, and these were not evaluable by any intelligence test.
Emotional Intelligence: what is it?
Proof of this is that it began to gain some theories of intelligence trying to understand it from different perspectives, such as the theory of multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner ‘s theory of Raymond Cattell (and others) explaining the differences between fluid and crystallized intelligence, or the Emotional Intelligence popularized by Daniel Goleman.
Emotions play a vital role in our day to day
If we think carefully about the transcendence of our emotions in our daily lives we will quickly realize that there are many occasions in which these have a decisive influence on our lives, even if we do not realize it. We could ask ourselves: (1) Did I buy my car calculating profitability and compared it to other models and brands? (2) Did I choose my partner because it was objectively the best option? (3) Is it my job that offers me the best salary? Many of our decisions are influenced to a greater or lesser degree by emotions.
Faced with this reality, it should be noted that there are people with a domain of their emotional facet much more developed than others. And it is curious the low correlation between classical intelligence (more linked to logical and analytical performance) and emotional intelligence. Here we could exemplify this idea by mentioning the stereotype of a “nerd” student; an intellectual machine capable of memorizing data and reaching the best logical solutions, but with an empty emotional and sentimental life. On the other hand, we find people whose intellectual abilities are very limited, but instead get a successful life when it comes to emotional level.
This pair of examples taken to the extreme are unusual, but serve to realize that it is necessary to pay more attention to this kind of emotional skills, which can mark our life and our happiness as much or more than our ability to score high in a test of conventional intelligence. For that, it is important to deepen the Emotional Intelligence.
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Elements of Emotional Intelligence
The great theorist of Emotional Intelligence, the American psychologist Daniel Goleman, points out that the main components that make up the Emotional Intelligence are:
1. Emotional self-awareness (or emotional self-awareness)
It refers to the knowledge of our own feelings and emotions and how they influence us. It is important to recognize the way in which our mood affects our behavior, what our capabilities are and what our weaknesses are. Many people are surprised at how little they know themselves.
2. Emotional self-control (or self-regulation)
The emotional self-control allows us to reflect and master our feelings or emotions, not to get carried away by them blindly. It consists of knowing how to detect emotional dynamics, knowing which are ephemeral and which are lasting. It is not uncommon to get angry with our partner, but if we were slaves to the emotion of the moment, we would be continuously acting irresponsibly or impulsively, and then we would regret it.
Focusing emotions on objectives and goals allows us to maintain motivation and focus on goals rather than obstacles. In this factor a certain degree of optimism and initiative is essential, so we have to value being proactive and acting with determination and in a positive way in the face of unforeseen events.
4. Recognition of emotions in others (or empathy)
Interpersonal relationships are based on the correct interpretation of the signals that others express unconsciously, and often emit non-verbally. The detection of these emotions of others and their feelings that can be expressed by signs that are not strictly linguistic (a gesture, a physiological reaction, a tic) can help us to establish closer and more lasting links with the people with whom we relate.
In addition, recognizing the emotions and feelings of others is the first step to understand and identify with the people who express them. The empathic people are the ones that generally have higher skills and competencies related to IE.
5. Interpersonal relationships (or social skills)
A good relationship with others is an essential source of our personal happiness and even, in many cases, for a good job performance. And this happens by knowing how to treat and communicate with those people who are nice or close, but also with people who do not suggest very good vibrations; one of the keys to Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) in companies
Today there are many corporations that invest large sums of money in training their employees in Emotional Intelligence. The reason for this bet is that companies have realized that one of the keys to commercial success and the sale of their products lies in the degree to which their workers are able to recognize and control their emotions, as well as the of your customers.
It is almost unthinkable to conceive a sales commercial that lacks skills in dealing with customers, a businessman without motivation for the management of his company or a negotiator who does not know how to control his impulses and emotions. All the technical knowledge based on the best relationship between academic studies and experience will not be any guarantee for these people because sooner or later they will spoil economic operations due to a poor knowledge of their emotions.
Employees with IE, the most demanded
It should be noted that in the selection process of personnel of the companies the tendency is focused on putting the candidate in situations of strong stress or discomfort in order to examine their reaction and their ability to deal with their emotions.
The organization’s psychologist Jonathan García-Allen explains: “The time when the personnel selection processes were based on work experience and technical knowledge passed. Currently, the method has evolved and aspects related to Emotional Intelligence, such as interpersonal skills and emotion management, have gained a key role. This growing relevance of the emotional aspect of the work is motivated by the tendency to outsource the economy in Western countries, in which economic exchange is mediated by trust between both agents “.
It follows, according to Garcia-Allen, that employees with high emotional intelligence are much more productive for corporations.