Emotional and Social Intelligence
Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way –this is not easy. —Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
What is Emotional and Social Intelligence and why is it important?
What it is not: IQ is a measure of cognitive abilities that are used to predict success in school settings such as math, science, reading, writing etc.
Is IQ a good predictor of success? IQ by itself is not a good predictor of job performance. Hunter & Hunter (1984) estimated that at best IQ accounts for about 25% of the variance. Sternberg (1996) has pointed out that studies vary and that 10% maybe a more realistic estimate.
Emotional and Social intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others; for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships, and motivating ourselves while being in the present.
Emotional and Social Intelligence is made up of 7 competencies (Based in part on Daniel Goleman’s work )
1) Knowing one’s emotions: Self-awareness( recognizing a feeling as it happens) – is the keystone of emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding. As you practice recognizing your feelings and begin to see how they affect your behavior, you will see how your feelings affect how you treat yourself and others. In short you will become more conscious of your own reactivity.
2) Managing our emotions: Impulse is the medium of emotion: the seed of all impulse is a feeling bursting to express itself in action. Those who are at the mercy of impulse- who lack self-control- suffer a moral deficiency: the ability to control impulse is foundational aspect of will and character.
Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that builds on self-awareness. Mature, true self centered adults learn to mange their emotions in pro-social ways that have a positive impact on themselves and others. Immature people lack this skill and suffer from distress.
3) Recognizing the emotions in others: This competency is related to how to be effective with other people. One of the foundational words that would describe this competency is “empathy.” Empathy is the ability to understand where the other person is coming from, the ability to understand the feelings of the other person. The public victory belief in seeking to understand others and creating Win-Win are interconnected to this competency. In order to think Win-Win with other people, we must be able to understand our own emotions and feelings, and we must be able to manage them in such ways that we can be empathetic towards the other which can lead us to more harmonious and effective relationships. Emotionally intelligent people are able to create and maintain healthy and harmonious relationships with others.
4) Handling relationships: The ability to handle relationships is crucial to effectiveness in personal as well as in business relationships. Without knowing your feelings and the feelings of others, and learning how to use your feelings in effective ways, it is impossible to be effective. These abilities are the basis of leadership.
When we are value-centered we have an ability to be aware of our feelings and to subordinate our feelings to our values. It is this ability to shift to values such as kindness, respect, love, forgiveness and truth that is necessary in order to having good relationships. It is the place where we do the right thing, not just what is easier and emotionally gratifying to us. It is not reactive or quick fix oriented. Instead, building sound and high quality relationships requires us to be value-centered and to be patient with others.
In order to have happiness in your personal life, in order to be effective and to get things done in the organizations, it is paramount that we know how to handle relationships. When you have a better understanding of your emotions and the emotions of others, as well as dealing with others from your true self, it is then that you begin to have better relationships.
5) The ability to receive influence from another: This competence is not about learning at school or IQ. It is about the ability to learn from life. It is also about how to take constructive suggestions. Taking suggestions constructively means learning how to receive feedback that helps us learn to be more effective and to grow, which permits our attitudes and conduct to mature. When we can learn from life, foundational values from the true self are activated, such as courage, faith and hope, honesty, respect, responsibility, truth, compassion, perseverance, and the Golden Rule. It is also important for us to understand that sometimes our own emotional pain prevents us from doing this and this results in our being resistant to learning. When we can better understand our own emotions and learn to handle our own emotions, we will be more receptive to taking in the lessons from life and learning from them in order to be able to mature and to grow. This is a lifelong process. And, it is as important for an entry level person as it is for the CEO in the organization.
6) Motivating oneself: Using our emotions in the service of goals is part of the definition of motivation. The more self-aware and able we are to manage our emotions, the greater is our ability to regulate our emotions so that we can pay attention, have self-control, delay gratification, control impulsiveness, and learn to be willful – all of these are connected to reaching goals of every sort.
Motivation is one of those words that everybody seems to understand when they say it, but when you look at it more deeply it is not well understood. One way to understand motivation is to understand what our feelings and emotions are and how to manage them and how they interact with our ability to be motivated. Sometimes I ask clients the following question: “Just because you feel something, does it mean that you can’t do something?” At the heart of that question is the ability to look at our personal emotional processes and how they affect motivation and how that affects behaviors that will lead us towards worthwhile goals. One of the great mysteries in organizations today is “How can I get my people to be motivated to obtain worthwhile goals?” Similarly this question is apropos for the individual: “How can I become more motivated to obtain my goals?” Emotional intelligence is interconnected to the answer to these questions.
What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your personal life?
What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your professional or work life?
If you know these things would make such a significant difference, why are you not doing them now?
Will is the means by which the individual establishes and maintains goals and controls attitudes, that part of the self which makes choices and decisions, initiates action and helps to fulfill goals.
7) The ability to Love what is
The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions the more you become a lover of what is. – Spinoza
Based upon Bryon Katie’s book and what she calls the work. It is a process of inquiring that teaches you to identify and question the stressful thoughts that cause you to suffer.
A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes us suffering.
Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.
4 key questions to understand your thoughts.
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know that it is true?
- How do I react when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without the thought?
Cognitive Dissonance theory states that cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know and believe, and new information or interpretation.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. —Reinhold Niebuhr
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3, 5-6
What are some of the skills that will improve your Emotional and Social Intelligence?
- Deep breathing and centering oneself
- Shifting from subpersonalities to true self
- Identify your core values and practice them.
- I and Thou relationship
- Reducing ego
- Seek to first understand the other, then yourself.
- Choose to learn and grow by taking feedback from others
- Shift your paradigm
- Suspend your opinion
- What is this situation telling me or what can I learn from this situation?
- Fruits of the Spirits
- The Serenity Prayer
- Circle of concern vs. circle of influence