What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EI) also known as EQ (emotional quotient) is the awareness of ones emotion and the emotions of others in relation to interaction and management. EQ is defined under two primary areas, which are made up of 4 individual components. The two areas and 4 components are-
Personal competence --> Self Awareness - Self Management
Social competence --> Social Awareness - Relationship management
Although there are other EQ models, they all follow the same premise. Emotional intelligence encapsulates several different areas of emotional skill including- motivation, empathy, social skills, self-regulation and self-awareness. Each area of skill can broken down further into branches consisting of sub-skills, categories and more specific components.
Awareness is the underpinning skillset of emotional intelligence as it is a key requirement for the development and improvement of EQ.
Self-Awareness- The ability to understand and accurately perceive your own emotions as well as the ability to see the truth of ones character and identify the specifics of an individual’s own behavior.
Self-Management- This is the ability to control, influence and direct ones own behavior. Self-management requires a high level of self-awareness in order to identify the behaviours and emotions the individual wishes to influence.
Social Awareness- This is the ability to accurately determine and identify the feelings and emotions of others, but also the possible triggers and underlying causes of their emotions.
Relationship Management- This is the ability to interact effectively and successfully with others, using a number of areas of emotional intelligence to ensure positive communication. It empowers the individual with sensitivity to the emotions of others in order to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the most desirable relationship outcomes.
(The above categories, model and framework are identified in the book ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves)
Emotional Intelligence in Practice
Emotionally intelligence requires the individual to develop awareness, sensitivity, insight and a highly receptive mind. Emotional intelligence connects people to reality, perception, source and intention. Just like any skill it takes practice, effort and patience to improve ones emotional intelligence. This can only be achieved through the development of ones own mind. EQ leads to a calmer state, an understanding of ones own emotions as well as the emotions of others. The emotionally intelligent individual is able to read others, is flexible and fluid in their interactions, builds rapport easily and maintains harmony within the social environment. Emotional intelligence enables a direct connection to the emotions of the individual as well as the emotions of others, but also the source, meaning and motivation behind the observable emotion.
Although the emotionally intelligent individual experiences emotion as it emerges, they develop the ability to identify and transcend the emotional experience, meaning they control their response and reaction. The higher the level of EQ the greater control one has. Although EQ is reinforced with defined foundations it is also adaptive in practice, moving and flowing as is required. Emotional intelligence connects the individual’s emotional mind to the logical and rational mind. Rather than being overwhelmed by amygdala hijack, the high EQ individual is afforded a greater level of control. This allows them to interject on their automatic and emotional response, providing an opportunity for the thinking mind to participate and potentially determine the outcome.
Dark and Light EQ
EQ generally has the reputation of being a positive and transcendent skill, pointing towards desirable characteristics, traits and behaviours, however there is another side to EQ - Dark EQ. Although Dark EQ falls under the umbrella of general EQ it breaks from conventional understanding of what emotional intelligence is. This becomes more obvious as one develops knowledge of and researches emotional intelligence to a degree that makes obvious the idea of EQ being a positive only skill. It isn’t necessarily just an idea that EQ is a positive type competence, but a general belief and perception of it being positive skill. The idea of EQ being a positive type of competence is immediately undermined when one considers the mind of a manipulative person. Manipulation is seldom practiced for positive purposes, yet in many instances it requires a high level of EQ to be effective. Dark EQ is in a sense the opposite of Light EQ and the conventional understanding of what emotional intelligence is. Dark EQ is flawed, being ego driven; it harbours natural blindspots, but nonetheless is highly effective in practice. A true understanding of both light and dark EQ is a requirement of all encompassing and transcendent emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is now considered to be one of the most desirable skills to have in the modern era. To reach a high level of EQ is in a sense an evolution of the mind. If human beings are to form a harmonious and balanced society, emotional intelligence is one of the most important and key components.