The question, "What is Emotional intelligence?" (also called EQ) has a wide variety of answers, but the simplest answer is:
To me, this sounds like common sense and is just another way of looking at how well developed you are as a person.
The fact that it has a “label” such as EQ doesn't dissuade me from pursuing an emotional intelligence review to find out what this field of study can teach me.
Many of the articles on emotional intelligence disagree on how many components of emotional intelligence exists. While some say three and others say five, most agree that to define emotional intelligence, you want to include four areas:
You also want to “integrate” your thoughts with thinking about how your emotions feel, which makes you use something called “whole brain functioning.”
In other words, according to the EQ theory, when you are rationally thinking about how your emotions feel, you are physically building new neural pathways between two parts of your brain:
Whether you want to call this aspect of improving your brain's function “Emotional Intelligence” or “just a great way to improve brain function,” the end result is that you're smarter and more able to think in ways that can improve your life.
The second component of self management can also be looked at as a positive benefit to your life if you consider that by learning how to improve emotional intelligence in this area, you are improving your own ability to “get a handle on” your emotions.
Is this good or bad?
While some may disagree, I think it's good because it gives you the ability to “stay cool” well enough during a crisis to think your way out of the crisis.
In fact, the field of positive psychology has shown that when you're feeling strong emotions, typically, it shuts out your rational brain, which gives credence to the old adage, “You're too angry to think straight.”
Is emotional intelligence important here?
By finding ways to first identify your emotions (self-awareness) and then taking charge of them (self-management), the emotional intelligence theory is giving you some “guideposts” to enhance your own ability to interpret and respond to the world around you.
How about the social awareness component?
How many times have you been around someone who just can't relate to you? Do you think his/her social awareness skills could use some help?
What if this same person applied some of the principles of EQ and learned how to improve emotional intelligence enough that he/she was more aware of his/her thoughts and emotions as well as those of the people around him/her?
Could this be an improvement, whether or not there was a need or desire to use emotional intelligence in business or for more “traditionally oriented applications” of EQ?
And as for the relationship management component, when it comes to relationships, I think having a high level of emotional intelligence quotient can be very beneficial because of two things:
Your spouse or “significant other” approaches you in a conflict and wants to argue about something. Because you've learned how to improve emotional intelligence, you can “intercept” your emotional response before it just “reacts” and think the situation out rationally. This gives you the opportunity to “stay cool” and say, “We need to talk about this when we're both calm,” instead of launching into a full blown argument.
While this seems simple and basic, it takes a focused effort to do it as well as the brain structure within your mind to do it.
And what you've done when you've done this is “controlled” the other person's emotions simply because you are staying level headed and refuse to “get involved” and add fuel to the other person's emotional outburst.
As part of the controversy around the validity of EQ, many people think that the emotional intelligence tests are not valid because the tests are usually self-administered so the results can be skewed with non-objective answers.
While this is true, it certainly can't hurt to take a few minutes and take an emotional intelligence free test just for fun and see what you learn from it.
In my Free Emotional Intelligence Test article, I've provide a free emotional intelligence test with a way to turn the questions around and use them as exercises to help you develop more self awareness and control.
Click here to go to that article now and take the test and then click the back button and I'll be waiting here for you...
When you're trying to define emotional intelligence and are making your own emotional intelligence review, I suggest keeping an open mind to this field of study to see what it can offer you in terms of self development and/or personal growth.
Learning how to improve emotional intelligence could be a valid vehicle for personal growth, whether or not you are interested in emotional intelligence in corporate business or are working with emotional intelligence just for fun.
So, is the emotional intelligence theory valid? Yes, if you use it as a tool to enhance your interpersonal and communication skills.
Where does EQ fit? Making personal growth a priority has been shown to enhance lives with more happiness and success. Using the emotional intelligence theory to make such personal growth happen can be a good fit for a life full of satisfaction and inner peace!
And here's an another article that explains more about this great subject:
What is Emotional Intelligence and How Does it Relate to Positive Thinking? “What is Emotional Intelligence” is a hot question today with so much emphasis on emotional intelligence in business and how it strongly affects our success at work. But it also affects success...
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