What is EI? Articles

What is EI? - Article categories

Friday
Mar092012

3. What emotional intelligence or EQ isn't

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited MSCEIT consultant.

EI is about all emotions not just happy ones. (Photo istockphoto.com)Emotional intelligence or EQ may not be what you think.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about emotional intelligence, what it is and isn't.

When I speak on the subject there is usually someone who will joke about having group hugs or developing their feminine side. Neither is anything to do with emotional intelligence or EQ. 

In response to all the comments I've heard here is a list of what is not emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence or EQ is not:

  • A fad, a technique or the latest management method - it's an intelligence, just like IQ is an intelligence. 
  • About dumping your feelings on others.
  • About having "emotional problems."
  • About group hugs, being warm and fuzzy or, "being positive". There is nothing warm or fuzzy about resentment or bitterness, is there?
  • About making everyone happy and saying "yes" to everyone.
  • Telling everyone when you're angry with them or blaming them for making you angry. 
  • About whether you feel emotions or not. Two people may both feel powerless, one may handle it intelligently the other may not. 
  • Saying one emotion is better than another. 
  • For some people and not for others - we all have emotional intelligence to some degree.
  • About making emotional decisions. 
Emotional Intelligence is about the interaction between, or the combination of, emotions PLUS INTELLIGENCE. It is an intelligence.

How high is your emotional intelligence? Take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) to find out and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green. Click here to find out how.

I'm more emotional - am I more emotionally intelligent?

  • Being emotional doesn't mean you are emotionally intelligent.
  • Feeling an emotion doesn't mean you are emotionally intelligent.
  • Controlling your emotions doesn't mean you are emotionally intelligent.
  • Having emotional knowledge doesn't mean you are emotionally intelligent. 
  • Always being "happy" doesn't mean you are emotionally intelligent.
  • It's what you do with emotions and emotional information that shows whether you are emotionally intelligent or not.

    Are people who are angry emotionally intelligent?

    They may be, they may not be! It depends.

    • Two people may both know they are angry and have emotional awareness of it. How they respond to this anger is what will show whether they are emotionally intelligent or not.
    • However, the person who knows they are angry (i.e. who has the emotional self-awareness) is still one step ahead of the person who doesn't!
    • Similarly, one person may feel hurt and cry. Another person may feel hurt, say nothing, and give no outward indication of it. The first response may be emotional but does that mean it's emotionally intelligent? No, not necessarily. Crying may release the hurt but others may not understand why the person is crying.

    There is a difference between being emotional and being emotionally intelligent.

    Want to do the MSCEIT to measure your emotional intelligence? It is the gold-standard ability mesaure. To find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green, click here

    Emotional Intelligence: It's all a bit warm and fuzzy, isn't it?

    No! I'd say managing and reasoning with your emotions can be quite challenging and confronting.

    • Making and graciously carrying out an emotionally intelligent decision can be very difficult when you'd prefer to do the opposite. 
    • It takes focused discipline to have high levels of self-awareness to know how you are feeling during a busy and demanding day.
    • Staying open to another person's anger when it is directed at you without becoming defensive takes a lot of courage.
    • The ability to notice very subtle emotional cues in others, when they last for only a few milliseconds on people's faces, requires sophisticated observation skills, especially if you are also talking to them at the same time.
    • Feeling resentful towards someone and being able to shift into a more productive emotion in their presence, requires great skill.
    • Knowing exactly which feeling you have and differentiating it from the hundreds of other possible emotions requires very high levels of clarity.
    • High levels of emotional intelligence require high level skills.

    Have your emotional intelligence assessed now.

    Want to know how high your emotional intelligence is? There is another model of emotional intelligence, by Salovey and Mayer, that has an ability-based emotional intelligence test called the MSCEIT which you can complete online.

    Click here to find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green.

    Develop your emotional intelligence now

    We have many resources plus coaching packages to help you. Click here for the 5 star emotional intelligence coaching package, or for more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

    Develop your emotional intelligence now and lead a happier, more productive life and improve your work relationships, whether with colleagues, stakeholders or customers.