Emotional Intelligence – EQ – is a relatively recent behavioural model, rising to prominence with Daniel Goleman’s 1995 Book called ‘Emotional Intelligence’. The early Emotional Intelligence theory was originally developed during the 1970s and 80s by the work and writings of psychologists Howard Gardner (Harvard), Peter Salovey (Yale) and John ‘Jack’ Mayer (New Hampshire). Emotional Intelligence is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people, because the EQ principles provide a new way to understand and assess people’s behaviours, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential. Emotional Intelligence is an important consideration in human resources planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more.
Emotional Intelligence links strongly with concepts of love and spirituality: bringing compassion and humanity to work, and also to ‘Multiple Intelligence’ theory which illustrates and measures the range of capabilities people possess, and the fact that everybody has a value.
The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. Success requires more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which has tended to be the traditional measure of intelligence, ignoring essential behavioural and character elements. We’ve all met people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially and inter-personally inept. And we know that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow.
Different approaches and theoretical models have been developed for Emotional Intelligence. This summary article focuses chiefly on the Goleman interpretation. The work of Mayer, Salovey and David Caruso (Yale) is also very significant in the field of Emotional Intelligence, and will in due course be summarised here too.
Emotional Intelligence – two aspects
This is the essential premise of EQ: to be successful requires the effective awareness, control and management of one’s own emotions, and those of other people. EQ embraces two aspects of intelligence:
- Understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses, behaviour and all.
- Understanding others, and their feelings.
Emotional Intelligence – the five domains
Goleman identified the five ‘domains’ of EQ as:
- Knowing your emotions.
- Managing your own emotions.
- Motivating yourself.
- Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions.
- Managing relationships, i.e., managing the emotions of others.
Emotional Intelligence embraces and draws from numerous other branches of behavioural, emotional and communications theories, such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Transactional Analysis, and empathy. By developing our Emotional Intelligence in these areas and the five EQ domains we can become more productive and successful at what we do, and help others to be more productive and successful too. The process and outcomes of Emotional Intelligence development also contain many elements known to reduce stress for individuals and organizations, by decreasing conflict, improving relationships and understanding, and increasing stability, continuity and harmony.
Emotional Intelligence competence framework, case studies, examples, tools, tests, information and related theory references
The following excellent free Emotional Intelligence materials in pdf file format (Acrobat Reader required to view) are provided with permission of Daniel Goleman on behalf of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence, which is gratefully acknowledged:
The Emotional Competence Framework – a generic EQ competence framework produced by Daniel Goleman and CREI covering in summary:
- personal competence – self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation
- social competence – social awareness, social skills
‘Emotional Intelligence: what is it and why it matters’. An excellent information paper by Dr Cary Cherniss originally presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, in New Orleans, April 2000. This is a detailed history and explanation of Emotional Intelligence.
The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence – a paper by Dr Cary Cherniss featuring 19 referenced business and organizational case studies demonstrating how Emotional Intelligence contributes to corporate profit performance. The paper is an excellent tool which trainers, HR professionals and visionaries can use to help justify focus, development, assessment, etc., of EQ in organizations.
Guidelines for Promoting Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace – a paper chiefly constructed by Cary Cherniss and Daniel Goleman featuring 22 guidelines which represent the best current knowledge relating to the promotion of EQ in the workplace, summarised as:
paving the way
- assess the organization’s needs
- assessing the individual
- delivering assessments with care
- maximising learning choice
- encouraging participation
- linking goals and personal values
- adjusting individual expectations
- assessing readiness and motivation for EQ development
Doing the work of change
- foster relationships between EQ trainers and learners
- self-directed change and learning
- setting goals
- breaking goals down into achievable steps
- providing opportunities for practice
- give feedback
- using experiential methods
- build in support
- use models and examples
- encourage insight and self-awareness
Encourage transfer and maintenance of change (sustainable change)
- encourage application of new learning in jobs
- develop organizational culture that supports learning
Evaluating the change – did it work?
- evaluate individual and organizational effect
More information about Emotional Intelligence, plus details of EQ tests, EQ training and EQ development in general are available at the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.
Tips on how to explain emotional intelligence – perspectives and examples
As mentioned above, Daniel Goleman’s approach to Emotional Intelligence is not the only one. The work of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso is also very significant in the field of Emotional Intelligence and can be explored further on John Meyer’s Emotional Intelligence website.
When teaching or explaining Emotional Intelligence it can be helpful to the teacher and learners to look at other concepts and methodologies, many of which contain EQ elements and examples.
Emotional Intelligence tests/activities/exercises books – for young people ostensibly, but just as relevant to grown-ups – provide interesting and useful exercises, examples, theory, etc., for presentations and participative experience if you are explaining EQ or teaching a group. For example ’50 Activities For Teaching Emotional Intelligence’ by Dianne Schilling – my copy was published by Innerchoice Publishing – ISBN 1-56499-37-0, if you can find it. Otherwise look at Amazon and search for ‘activities for teaching emotional intelligence’).
There’s a very strong link between EQ and TA (Transactional Analysis). To understand and explain EQ you can refer to the ‘adult’ aspect of the TA model (for example, we are less emotional intelligent/mature when slipping into negative child or parent modes). In this way we can see that one’s strength in EQ is certainly linked to personal experience, especially formative years.
NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is very relevant to EQ, as is Multiple Intelligences Theory.
Ethical business and socially responsible leadership are strongly connected to EQ.
So is the concept of love and spirituality in organisations. Compassion and humanity are fundamental life-forces; our Emotional Intelligence enables us to appreciate and develop these vital connections between self, others, purpose, meaning, existence, life and the world as a whole, and to help others do the same.
People with strong EQ have less emotional ‘baggage’, and conversely people with low EQ tend to have personal unresolved issues which either act as triggers (see Freud/Penfield TA roots explanation) or are constants in personality make-up.
Cherie Carter-Scott’s ‘If Life Is Game’ and Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements’ also provide excellent additional EQ reference perspectives.
Empathy and active interpretive modes of listening are also very relevant to EQ.
Ingham and Luft’s Johari Window and associated exercises on the free team building games section also help explain another perspective. That is, as a rule, the higher a person’s EQ, the less insecurity is likely to be present, and the more openness will be tolerated.
High EQ = low insecurity = more openness.
A person’s preparedness to expose their feelings, vulnerabilities, thoughts, etc., is a feature of EQ. Again the converse applies. Johari illustrates this very well (see the Johari Window diagram pdf also).
Maslow’ theory is also relevant to Emotional Intelligence. Self-actualizers naturally have stronger EQ. People struggling to meet lower order needs – and arguably even middle order needs such as esteem needs – tend to have lower EQ than self-actualizers. The original 5 stage Hierarchy of Needs explains that all needs other than self-actualization are deficiency drivers, which suggest, in other words, some EQ development potential or weakness.
There is a strong thread of EQ running through Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits.
In fact, most theories involving communications and behaviour become more powerful and meaningful when related to Emotional Intelligence, for example:
- Buying Facilitation®
- Benziger Thinking Styles and Assessment Model
- McGregor XY Theory