Emotional Intelligence: Theory Development and Self-Reflection

2183 words (9 pages) Essay in Personal Development

18/05/20 Personal Development Reference this

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Introduction

Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is deemed important in today’s environment. It differs from Intelligence Quotient (IE) in that one’s intelligence quotient is a score derived from standardized tests designed to measure intelligence (Duggal, 2019). Intelligence Quotient relates directly to the intellectual abilities like how well you learn as well as understand and apply information (Duggal, 2019). Emotional intelligence on the other hand is different, it is using emotions to think and enhance reasoning. In this assignment, some characteristics of emotional intelligence along with certain real life incidents have been discussed. EQ is one of the main components that employers look into while hiring employees nowadays. With the changing situation the definition for an intelligent person has also changed which now incorporates emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient

In one sentence, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage moods and feelings – in both ourselves and other people (Yeung, 2009).

In other words, an emotionally intelligent person has the ability to identify what he/she feels and is able to interpret his/her emotions along with its impact on others, he/she can control his/her feelings  and also consider other people’s emotions. Emotional Quotient is the level of a person’s emotional intelligence.

Characteristics of emotional intelligence according to David Goleman are:

1. Self-awareness

It is the ability to identify your own emotions, strengths, limitations, actions, and an understanding of how these affect you and others around you.

2. Self-regulation

Self-regulation means that you are able to manage your emotions, i.e. in different situations depending on its importance you display necessary reactions you don’t make impulsive decisions.

3. Empathy

Empathy means to be able to understand and relate to the feelings of someone else. An empathetic person is able to put himself/herself in other people’s shoes.

4. Motivation

Motivation is something that derives one to achieve goals that they have set and feel satisfied after the accomplishment of those goals.

5. Social skills

Social skills are being able to interact with others and build relationships and connections with others.

Evolution of the concept of Emotional Intelligence

Initially intelligence meant the ability to solve problems, learning quickly and capacity of the human brain to retain information. With more research in this field many psychologists recognized that along with certain intellectual skills, non-intellectual skills are also necessary. For instance, David Wechsler defined intelligence as “the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think, and to deal effectively with his environment” (Cherniss, 2000).

Another example can be of Edward Thorndike who wrote about “social intelligence” as the ability to get along with other people.

Howard Gardner in 1983 described the idea of multiple intelligence, in which interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence were used to explain performance outcomes.

Peter Salovey and John Mayer were two leading psychologists in this field who started a research program to search for measures of emotional intelligence and its significance in 1990.

Daniel Goleman in his bestseller book, “Emotional Intelligence” and a follow-up book, “Working with Emotional Intelligence” further highlighted the importance of emotions in the workplace (Yeung, 2009).

Relevance of emotional intelligence in workplace

Emotional intelligence in the 21st century is very relevant because the workplace has changed. Nowadays most of the work done is in groups and not individually, so individuals as well as companies have realized that emotional intelligence is very important for success in office. With dynamic work environment employees also need to change themselves regularly, those with higher emotional intelligence can adapt to change much faster. Companies that are hiring want to make sure they choose candidates who will be able to mix  well with existing teams (Duggal, 2019). As a result, “About 20 percent of organizations are now testing for emotional intelligence as part of their hiring processes. Even the smartest person needs good people skills to succeed these days. A high IQ alone is no longer enough”. (Duggal, 2019)

In case of  leaders who have higher emotional intelligence tend to have happier employees who  stay longer with the company, and try harder to increase productivity (Duggal, 2019).

According to Daniel Goleman, in a national survey of what employers are looking for in workers, specific technical skills occupied lower place as compared to the ability to learn on the job (Goleman, 2006), followed by following:

  • Listening and oral communication (Goleman, 2006).
  • Adaptability and creative responses to setbacks and obstacles (Goleman, 2006).
  • Personal management, confidence, motivation to work toward goals, a sense of wanting to develop one’s career and take pride in accomplishments (Goleman, 2006).
  • Group and interpersonal effectiveness, cooperativeness and teamwork, skills at negotiating disagreements (Goleman, 2006).
  • Effectiveness in the organization, wanting to make a contribution, leadership potential (Goleman, 2006).

Rating myself

Reflecting on the concepts of emotional intelligence I tried to rank myself on a scale from 1 to 10 for different characteristics based upon my understanding of the concept

  1. Self-awareness- 8
  2. Self-regulation- 7
  3. Empathy- 5
  4. Motivation- 6
  5. Social skill- 7

From these ratings I feel that my level of emotional intelligence is not very high but is moderate and more efforts are required by my side to understand other people’s emotions and state of mind.

Testing Emotional Intelligence

Test 1

The results of this test are more or less similar to the ratings that I did for myself based upon features of emotional intelligence.

Test 2

                                                   

This test used different criteria to test EQ and gave aggregate score and an explanation of what these scores meant. According to this test my emotional intelligence level is “OK” which means that I have a good relation with some of my colleagues, but may have issues with others.

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After reflecting on the results of the tests and my personal evaluation, there are certain areas of major concern like empathy and motivation. In these areas, I need to work hard to develop them as they are important components of EQ and reflect my relations to other individuals.

My emotional intelligence strengths

Emotional self-control– In any kind of situation, I’m able to regulate my emotions and not let them get in the way of my goals. For instance, during a group project in graduation a member was not doing the work assigned to him at time. Everyone was frustrated to see his behavior and some of them got into an argument, in this situation I was able to control myself and calm down others. If, I had also started arguing with them we would never have been able to complete the assignment and would have scored zero in it.

Adaptable and willing to learn and explore new things– I’m capable of adjusting and adapting myself to the new environment and  give my hundred percent to understand diversity around me. This can be evident from my recent migration to Canada as an international student. Atmosphere and the way of teaching here is different from India in terms that here more use of technology is there. But I’ve been able to adjust to these changes easily.

Cooperative, team player and committed to work-  I consider myself as a good team player, compliant and responsible. An evidence for these qualities can be from group projects or team sports that I was often a part of. In school sports day event, I was a part of the house relay race team despite being a lousy runner. I knew about my shortcomings so I practiced hard and listened to the instructions of our leader carefully and cooperated with all the team members. As a result we were able to secure third place in the race.

My emotional intelligence weaknesses

Lack of creativity– I am unable to generate new ideas or think of new ways to do work that are different from traditional approach. This happens a lot with me, whenever in business class instructor asks us to come up with our idea of a new product or plan only ideas circulating in my mind are those that I’ve studied in the textbook whereas people around me are able to think out of the box and provide with examples that I cannot even think about.

Lack of empathy– Often people misunderstand me and I feel like, I can’t relate myself to their emotions. When meeting new people and making friends with them, it is natural to share your personal stories with them. I tend to put my views pretty straightforwardly and often hear from my friends that I can’t understand them. For instance, a friend of mine had some issues with her private life and wanted an advice about it, after hearing her story I told her my thoughts sincerely. But she did not like it and told me that I don’t know about what she is going through. After that incidence she never came to me for any kind of personal issues.

Coping with high pressure situations– Often when faced with high pressure circumstances, I tend to panic and sometimes this adversely affect my performance. For the first time when I participated in a debate in school, I can still remember how stressful it was to speak in front of whole school. My anxiety level was so high and I was trembling standing on the stage, as a result of which I forgot most of the matter that I had prepared for and was unable to achieve my goal.

Overcoming weaknesses

According to me creativity is hard to learn and it is a challenge to improve it. To enhance creative skills rather than reading textbooks alone, I will try to explore new dimensions doing some practical work and try to do something out of my comfort zone which can help create new ideas that previously I could not even think of. 

To become an empathetic person I will try to put more efforts and listen carefully to what people are saying and how they feel when they are sharing that information with me. I will try not to jump to conclusions based on my sole opinion but will consider the other person’s perspective as well.

To deal with stressful events without any loss of productivity I should continuously challenge myself to undertake the task that are not very competitive to begin with and steadily raise the bar for myself to prepare for competition under more pressure.

Conclusion

Emotional Intelligence as a concept may not be very old but has achieved for itself a prominent spot in various fields. Employers when hiring workers nowadays don’t just look for academic achievements but also focus on emotional quotient of the candidates. A person who has high intelligence quotient may not have similar results for emotional quotient, and working in a highly integrated and interdependent environment may be difficult for him/her. Thus, it can be established that to be successful in the current setting one needs to develop technical as well as emotional skills.

 

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