BY ELISA D. WALLACE
When it comes to dealing with the daily stress of ordinary life, it is vital for one to know not only what emotions they are feeling, but also how to handle this emotion. Just like children take classes in mathematics and English, many experts think they should also take classes in Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is Emotional Intelligence, and how can it help not only children but adults, handle their emotions? Read on for a brief analysis of why this is a very hot topic among leading medical professionals.
According to A Dictionary of Psychology by Andrew Coleman, “Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” The term came to fruition thanks to a ground-breaking psychological analysis written by Daniel Goleman, titled “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ.”
Goleman found that through being able to name our emotions, we can easily lead a productive life. Goleman offers several models within his book, explaining which specific skills and characteristics of an individual can drive leadership performance. After Goleman’s book, several studies confirmed that people with high EI have greater mental health, exemplary job performance, and more potent leadership skills. How do you obtain and maintain a high level of Emotional Intelligence? Through the “Ability Model,” we can discuss the four main faucets of Emotional Intelligence.
- Learn how to perceive emotions. It is vital for individuals to be able to identify and label the emotion they are feeling. Perceiving emotions—the example, when a young teenager looks at his or her friend’s new shoes, are they feeling anger, or jealousy?
- Properly harness one’s emotions. An individual with high-level EI must know how to handle their emotions. They will need the ability to harness their emotions, in order to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. An emotionally intelligent person can use his or her changing moods to best fit the task at hand.
- Comprehend your emotions. Being able to understand your emotions—the ability to comprehend emotional language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions—is vital to have a high level of Emotional Intelligence. For couples, for example, to succeed, it is vital for partners to be able to comprehend their emotions first.
- Manage multiple emotions. Those with high-level Emotional Intelligence have an innate ability to manage their emotions. It is vital for both adults and children to be able to regulate their emotions. An emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.
Ultimately, through analyzing Emotional Intelligence, we can understand how it can help one succeed both personally and professionally. Through having and understanding Emotional Intelligence, individuals can build and maintain prosperous relationships, make responsible and ethical decisions, and, finally, lead a successful life.