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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

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What is emotional intelligence?

Emotions inform us about things that are important to us, like the people in our lives, values we hold, needs we may have, or the activities we enjoy. It leads to the motivation, drive, self-control, and passion in our lives - whether at work or at home (Segal, 1997). Emotional Intelligence is having emotional awareness; it refers to the ability to understand our own emotions as well as the emotions of those around us. It involves how we understand our own feelings, have empathy for others, and regulate our emotions to connect with people (DuBrin, 2010). Without it, it would be difficult to build lasting relationships, maintain our families, and succeed as managers.

EQ vs IQ

What is the difference between emotional intelligence (EQ) and intelligence quotient (IQ)? IQ is the measurement of a person's ability to learn, understand, and apply information. An IQ can be determined by answering standardized questions and comparing the score to that of other people within the same age rage. This numerical value can help determine a person's intellect and measure concepts like word comprehension, math skills, and logical reasoning (Ellis-Christensen, 2012).

EQ on the other hand, is a measurement of how one recognizes and responds to emotions and how well they communicate with others. EQ can be more difficult to measure because test questions are usually subjective, unlike IQ testing which has more definitive answers for scoring. In general, IQ and EQ differ in the mental capabilities that are being measured: understanding information vs. understanding emotions (Ellis-Christensen, 2013).

Key factors of emotional intelligence

According to emotional intelligence research author, Daniel Goleman, there are four key factors that build one's emotional intelligence. Each factor includes personal competences that leaders may possess. Effective leaders most likely have strengths in multiple areas. The following are key abilities of emotional intelligence that are discussed in Goleman's book, "Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence":

* Self-Awareness

Emotional self-awareness: Reading one's own emotions and recognizing the impact; using your "gut" instinct to make a decision

Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one's own strengths and weaknesses

Self-confidence: A sound sense of one's self-worth and capabilities

* Self-Management

Emotional self-control: Keeping disturbing emotions and reactions in control

Transparency: Displaying honesty and integrity; being trustworthy

Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to change or barriers

Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet personal standards of excellence

Initiative: Readiness to act or jump quickly on an opportunity

Optimism: Seeing the positive side to things

* Social-Awareness

Empathy: Sensing others' emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking interest in their concerns

Organizational awareness: Staying up-to-date on current business decisions, activities, and politics

Service: Recognizing and meeting customer, client, employee needs

* Relationship-Management

Inspirational leadership: Motivating others with a captivating vision

Influence: Using different persuasion methods to guide others' behaviors

Developing others: Strengthening others' abilities through guidance and feedback

Change catalyst: Initiating and leading change

Conflict management: Resolving disagreements

Building bonds: Growing and maintaining a network of relationships

Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and building teams

Personal Competence Social Competence

What I See Self Awareness Social Awareness

What I Do Self Management Relationship Management

What is my emotional intelligence?

Managers with a high EQ cope well with their own emotions and respond appropriately to the emotions of others. Knowing your areas of strength and

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