Emotional Intelligence - An Ingredient of Social Intelligence


Neha Amar
MBA (2005-2007)
ICFAI National College

It is very evident to say that without the preferences reflected by positive and negative self, our experiences would be a neutral gray. In this situation, we would never care what is happening to us or what we will do with us and others. And because of these reasons Emotional Intelligence holds significance. Emotional Intelligence deals with the cognitive aspects of life. The general trends of management like leadership, group performance, social exchange and managing change is supported by emotional intelligence today to raise the level of social and emotional competence in an individual.

The term Emotional Intelligence is defined in very common terms as a ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. The evolution of Emotional Intelligence goes as follows: it has its roots in the concept of "social intelligence," first identified by E.L. Thorndike in 1920. Psychologists have discovered three types of intelligences and have grouped them mainly into three clusters: abstract intelligence (the ability to understand and manipulate with verbal and mathematic symbols), concrete intelligence (the ability to understand and manipulate with objects), and social intelligence (the ability to understand and relate to people). This includes inter and intrapersonal intelligences. Social intelligence is defined as "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls -- to act wisely in human relations." These two intelligences comprise social intelligence and are defines as -Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work individually and cooperatively. Many successful salespeople, politicians, teachers, clinicians, and religious leaders are generally the individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence. Intra personal intelligence is a correlative ability, turned inward. It is a capacity which forms an accurate model for oneself and makes that model usable so that it can operate effectively in the life. Inter and Intrapersonal intelligence involves abilities that may be categorized into five dimensions:

Self-awareness : This means observing yourself and recognizing all the feelings as and when it happens.

Managing emotions: This refers to handling feelings and sentiments; realizing what is behind those feeling and finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.

Motivating oneself: This means moving the flow of emotions inline with the goals; emotional self control; delaying gratification and controlling impulses.

Empathy: This refers to seeing things with other point of views; sensitivity to others' feelings and concerns and taking their perspectives.

Handling relationships: This means managing emotions with others; social competence and social skills.

There are different models of Emotional Intelligence given by different researchers. In the early 1990s, Mayer and Salovey published a series of papers on emotional intelligence. They suggested that the capacity to perceive and understand emotions define a new variable in personality. The Mayer-Salovey model defines emotional intelligence as the capacity to understand emotional information and to reason with emotions. More specifically, they divide emotional intelligence abilities into four areas -- in their four branch model:

1. The capacity to accurately perceive emotions.
2. The capacity to use emotions to facilitate thinking.
3. The capacity to understand emotional meanings.
4. The capacity to manage emotions.

The other model was Goleman's Five Emotional Competencies Model that divides emotional intelligence into the following five emotional competencies:

1. The ability to identify and name one's emotional states and to understand the link between emotions, thought and action.
2. The capacity to manage one's emotional states to control emotions or to shift undesirable emotional states to more adequate ones.
3. The ability to enter into emotional states (at will) associated with a drive to achieve and be successful.
4. The capacity to read, be sensitive to, and influence other people's emotions.
5. The ability to enter and sustain satisfactory interpersonal relationships.

The ability to manage feelings and handle stress is another aspect of emotional intelligence that has been found to be important for success. Emotional intelligence has much to do with knowing when and how to express emotion along with controlling it. Empathy particularly is an important aspect of emotional intelligence and this contributes to occupational success.

The emotional intelligence helps in understanding the emotional information and in reasoning emotions. If taken a deep thought, nothing new about emotional intelligence will be found. In some ways or others, emotional intelligence is based on a long history of research and theory in personality, sociology as well as psychology. There has been an impressive and growing research panel that suggests that the abilities of emotional intelligence are important for success in many areas of life. Emotional intelligence is more useful for effective performance at work.

At last to conclude with, as the pace of change is increasing and the world of work makes ever greater demands on a person's cognitive, emotional, and physical resources, this particular set of abilities called Emotional Intelligence will become increasingly important. And this will improve both productivity and psychological well-being in the workplace in the coming tomorrow.

Neha Amar
MBA (2005-2007)
ICFAI National College

Source : E-mail May 8, 2006




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