More and more, people are becoming aware that Emotional Intelligence involves being aware of their own emotions as well as those around them. In a nutshell, here is the overall on what it measures:
The Emotional Intelligence Ability Model:
- Perceiving Emotions–
Think about the concept of languages. Words we speak don’t just automatically make sense to other people. They have to know our letters and language to perceive the sounds we make. Similarly, humans don’t walk around with signs indicating their emotions. It is up to each individual to notice expressions and tone of voice, which indicate emotions. Perceiving emotions also encompasses awareness of one’s own emotional state. Are you aware when you are becoming irritated or do you realize after an incident?
- Using Emotions–
Cognitive activities such as thinking and problem solving are mastered by Emotionally Intelligent people who are able to harness their emotions for best results.
- Understanding Emotions–
This goes deeper than simply perceiving emotions. Understanding emotions involves not just recognizing the emotion is present, but knowing what generated it. People who understand emotional intelligence are even able to analyze how emotions develop over time.
- Managing Emotions–
Once an individual can truly perceive, understand and use emotions, eventually it is possible to regulate emotions within themselves and others. Understanding their own personal emotions allows them to best manage their emotions in order to meet goals. Similarly, people who are sensitive to other people’s emotions understand best how to communicate with each individual.
The importance of EI skills is becoming increasingly acknowledged, especially in relation to the workplace. There are even a few apps such as the Emotional Intelligence app by Movisol which help individuals keep track of their emotional intelligence abilities to govern a better life. However, there are still individuals who are skeptical to the contributions of the concept. For them, the question is how is it different from personality or just simply IQ? To demonstrate the uniqueness, lets consider the a familiar case:
Dory and Marlin from the Pixar film Finding Nemo are great case studies for this. Dory is always questioning Marlin’s feelings. All she wants to do is be a good friend to him. On the opposite spectrum, Marlin is determined to find his son and is completely oblivious to Dory’s feelings. Of course, by the end of the film, Marlin the Clown Fish realizes he hasn’t been sensitive to Dory, but it takes him almost the whole film to discover that truth. Maybe he will get to show more emotional intelligence in the sequel, Find Dory. However, this is contingent on believing that it can help and that it is something one can learn, as opposed to IQ and Personality which are parts of are inborn qualities.
So are you a Dory or a Marlin? Don’t worry; it’s not likely you’ve got the Emotional Intelligence of a Clown Fish. Still, here is a quick EI test that can help you determine where you are. It is not as accurate as tests that you would take with a professional here at the Center for Work Life, but it will enlighten you nevertheless.
Analyzing and mastering Emotional Intelligence is no easy thing, but the satisfaction of success is worth the effort.