Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also known as the emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ) or emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to perceive, control, and manage emotions. Although the term first appeared in 1964, it gained popularity in the 1995 best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, written by science journalist Daniel Goleman. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. Emotional intelligence helps build stronger relationships, increase performance at school and work, and achieve professional and personal goals. It can also help connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters the most. Since its popularization in recent decades, methods of developing EI have become widely sought by individuals seeking to become more effective leaders. 

Abilities:

Mayer, Salovey and Caruso developed the four-branch ability model of emotional intelligence. They divide the abilities and skills of emotional intelligence into four areas – 

The ability to perceive emotion 

The ability to use emotion to facilitate thought 

The ability to understand emotions

The ability to manage emotions 

Components:

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five main components to it:

Self Awareness: Self-awareness refers to the capacity to recognize and understand emotions and how they can affect others. Self-awareness is associated with being open to different experiences and new ideas and learning from social interactions. It involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses. 

Self Regulation: Self-regulation includes being flexible, coping with change, and managing conflict. It also refers to diffusing difficult or tense situations and being aware of how one’s actions affect others and taking ownership of these actions. It involves the appropriate expression of emotion.

Empathy: Empathy, or the ability to understand how others are feeling, is critical to emotional intelligence. This component enables an individual to respond appropriately to other people based on recognizing their emotions. Being empathetic also allows you to understand the power dynamics that often influence social relationships, especially in workplaces. It is vital for guiding your interactions with different people you encounter each day.

Social Skills: Social Skills refers to interacting well with other people. It involves applying an understanding of the emotions of ourselves and others to communicate and interact with others on a day-to-day basis. Different social skills include – active listening, verbal communication skills, non-verbal communication skills, leadership, and developing rapport.

Motivation: Motivation is another important emotional intelligence skill. Emotionally intelligent people are motivated by things beyond external rewards like fame, money, recognition, and acclaim. Instead, they have the desire to fulfil their own inner needs and goals. They seek internal rewards, experience flow from being totally in tune with activity, and pursue peak experiences. Those who are competent in this area tend to be action-oriented. They set goals, have a high need for achievement, and are always looking for ways to do better.

Ways to improve emotional intelligence:

Practice observing how you feel

Pay attention to how you behave

Take responsibility for your feelings

Take time to celebrate the positive

Acknowledge your emotional triggers

Today, studies show that emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ. Individuals can improve their emotional intelligence to live a successful life. Being emotionally intelligent is important to how you respond to what life gives us. It’s also an important component of compassion and understanding the deeper reasons behind other people’s actions.

Empathy towards Animals.

Animals – A gift of nature, just as we Humans are. We often come through phrases like, “Man is a superior being” . Man is indeed the best creation of God. God has made man his favorite being along with all the abilities to conquer the world. Are we really superior on any grounds if we cannot treat the other beings of God well? What is the definition of ‘superiority’ then? Superiority means treating all the other beings equally. We can justify our superiority as more intelligent beings by showering love and empathy for those other special creations by Gods like dogs, cats, birds etc. Yes animals won’t speak in your language. They won’t understand your language either. Is this the only reason we don’t understand them? We are not kind enough towards them? We don’t accept them as our mate? You should not only be concerned about your pet dogs or cats, but also towards the stray dogs or cats. They deserve your love too, They need your love for their survival. If you don’t take the responsibility of feeding them, how will they sustain? They are animals they cannot express their pain or hunger in your language. Showing empathy is a lot different from being sympathetic towards them. Your empathy is for each and everyone around you. It is your social duty to care for the dogs, the cats, the birds, feed them, provide them shelter. If you see an injured dog or a cat take them to a nearby vet or give medicines. Maybe this is the simplest way to show your humanity. God gave you the power to serve other beings. You are liable to do this much for the society, at least to be true to yourself. Your happiness lies in treating and serving them as well. Think like this, they belong to you, they are a part of your family. Just imagine if we couldn’t express our pain or have been in such a condition ever, its way too painful to handle. They aren’t capable of understanding what is right/ wrong. So, they cannot Thank you for your service. They cannot ever express their earnest gratitude, not directly so. But if you feed a bird one day, it is going to come home everyday for food. Even if you feel low or unhappy, you have got a friend for lifetime. Animals are so loyal, they won’t stay every time, but won’t leave you either any day. Show them you care, they will love you 10 times more, selflessly. If you go out, you will be surrounded by all the stray dogs, they won’t let you feel alone. They are going to stay by your side no matter what. They can be man’s best friend forever, no doubt on that.

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man, by his treatment of animals” – Immanuel Kant. Throwing stones towards them just for fun, being unkind towards them, beating them unnecessarily just because they are weaker than you? Or they cannot fight you back? No animal is going to harm you until and unless you cause pain to them, they sometimes get aggressive due to fear. God will bless you if you treat his innocent beings and all your prayers are going to be fruitful. Several social activists spend their lives making others learn to be kind towards the animals. A very recent incident from Kerala on May 27th, 2020 was thoroughly criticized all over media. An Elephant died, she was pregnant standing in the middle of a river. Report says that she died of an explosive in her mouth, that explosive was being put inside a pineapple and was fed to the elephant. He trusted those people and unknowingly she has been killed. How can someone even think of doing this to an innocent elephant? Is this the world we live in? This is so shameful on our part. Also, poaching is strictly prohibited and killing animals for their skin is a heinous crime and has been declared as illegal in the eyes of Law.

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

When a person is described with the word ‘intelligent’, what usually comes to our mind is high IQ, ‘he must do well in his subjects’ or ‘he must be good at math. What if I told you that having just a high IQ isn’t enough to become successful? Most people think that people who are good at studies or those who get good grades will do well in life but not every topper has an exceptional career – shining stars of a workplace could be average scoring students. The concept of emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is relatively new but very effective for one’s career if he or she is able to master it. 

Daniel Goleman popularized the term ‘emotional intelligence’ by authoring a book with the same name in 1996, defined it as ‘the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.’ The five components of emotional intelligence that an individual should familiarise himself with are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

The ability to identify your emotions towards a particular person or a situation is called self-awareness and it forms the basis for the other higher level components. If one can accurately assess what he is feeling, it can be said that he knows himself from inside-out. Such an individual would also know his strengths and weaknesses and his emotional sensitivity towards different topics. Just knowing what you are feeling can help you control your expressions and actions to some extent. For an instance, if you don’t get a promotion you have been waiting for, as an emotionally unaware individual, you could be angry and make an impulsive decision of quitting the job. However, you could have a more positive outlook and try to improve yourself and work on what you are lacking. The latter would certainly be more beneficial for you.

Motivation is the drive that keeps one going and makes efforts to achieve his goals. To remain self-motivated, one must have a burning urge to reach the level of excellence and it should not be driven by mere external rewards like pay rise or promotion but own satisfaction. The goals that one is working towards should not intersect with organisational goals to avoid conflict of interest and inefficiency in turn. To cease every opportunity that one comes across and overcome any obstacle or setback with an optimistic approach are also qualities of self-motivated individuals.

Empathising with someone is the awareness of someone else’s feelings. To understand people and what makes them do what they do, recognizing their emotions is one of the most important and basic things and it even helps a person in regulating his behaviour towards the people that he is trying to understand. It is not easy and it cannot surely be accurate but it is something worth trying. A person can only fulfill the needs of customers and exceed the expectations of people if he is empathetic enough to recognise them.

Social skills, like the name suggests, are the ways in which a person interacts with the people that are surrounding him in both his work and personal life. The kind of relationships that he has with people is only a result of his social skills. Social skills make a person influential and good at communicating his ideas such that an individual can both lead and work as a member of a team effectively. The person is not only able to initiate and drive change if he wants to but also resolve conflict or disagreement that arises due to the change.