Jun 19, 2011

Working with Emotional Intelligence

Original Title in English
By Author Daniel Goleman
Publisher Bloomsbury London
ISBN 97807475 45804
Proposed Translation in LANGUAGE 
On Emotional Intelligence

'Emotional Intelligence' refers to the capacity for recognizing one own feeling and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. It describes abilities distinct from, but complementary to, academic intelligence, the purely cognitive capacities measured by IQ. Many people who are book smart but lack emotional intelligence end up working for people who have lower IQ's than they, but who excel in emotional intelligence skills.

These two different kinds of intelligence- intellectual and emotional - express the activity of different parts of the brain. The intellect is based solely on the workings of the neocortex, the more recently involved layers at the top of the brain. The emotional centers are lower in the brain, in the more ancient subcortex; emotional intelligence involves these emotional centers at work, in concert with the intellectual centers.

Among the most influential theorists of intelligence to point out the distinction between intellectual and emotional capacities was Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, who in 1983 proposed a widely regarded model of 'multiple intelligence'. His list of seven kinds of intelligence included not just the familiar verbal and math abilities, but also two 'personal' varieties: knowing one's inner world and social adeptness.

A comprehensive theory of emotional intelligence was proposed in 1990 by two psychologists. Peter Salovey, at Yale, and John Mayer, now at the University of New Hampshire. Another pioneering model of emotional intelligence was proposed in the 1980's by Reuber Bar-On, an Istraeli psychologist. And in recent years several other theorists have proposed variations on the same idea. Salovey and Mayer defined emotional intelligence in terms of being able to monitor and regulate one's own and others' feelings, and to use feelings to guide thought and action. 

While they have continued to fine-tune the theory, I have adapted their model into a version I find most useful for understanding how these talents matter in work life. My adaptation includes these five basic emotional and social competencies:

  1. Self-awareness: Knowing what we are feeling in the moment, and using those preferences to guide our decision making; having a realistic assessment of our own abilities and a wellgrounded sense of self-confidence.
  2. Self-regulation: Handling our emotions so that they facilitate rather than interfere with the task at hand; being conscientious and delaying gratification to pursue goals; recovering well from emotional distress.
  3. Motivation: Using our deepest preferences to move and guide us toward our goals, to help us take initiative and strive to improve, and to perserver in the face of setbacks and frustrations.
  4. Empathy: Sensing what people are feeling being able to take their perspective, and cultivating rapport and attunement with a broad diversity of people.
  5. Social skills: Handling emotions in relationships well and accurately reading social situations and networks; interacting smoothly; using these skills to persuade and lead, negotiate and settle disputes, for cooperation and teamwork.

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