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“Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify and manage your emotions to achieve success and happiness in your life. Emotional intelligence is about recognizing your own emotional state as well as the emotional state of others in order to engage better with them.
Emotional intelligence is a form of social intelligence. It lets you guide your thoughts and actions while interacting with others. It enables you to communicate your thoughts effectively, empathize with others and helps you in resolving conflict and challenges.
“Anybody can become angry. What is not easy is to be angry with the right person and to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way.”
We are programmed to act in a way our brain has been trained. There are moments in our lives when our emotions overpower our rational thinking. This happens because our brain is divided into 2 parts: rational and emotional. When the emotions are intense, they hijack the rational part of the brain and trigger a reaction that could be seen in the form of the emotions: anger, fear, happiness, love, surprise, disgust, sadness.
IQ is a genetic characteristic that can't be changed by life experiences. Whereas EI can be taught to children & instilled in them at a young age so that they could utilize their full intellectual potential.
The traditional meaning of success is having a better IQ. But Daniel Goleman says that those who have enough IQ to just get into a decent university but a stellar EQ makes more money than those who have a higher IQ but lack in EQ.
Research shows that high EI is actually more important than IQ for success. An individual’s success in work is 80% dependent on EQ while only 20% dependent on IQ.
Developing a better understanding of your own nature is the first step towards learning emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior.
Being aware of the self means knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It includes having self-confidence and an accurate self-assessment of knowing how and why you behave in situations in a certain way.
If you can know your emotions as they happen, you can make better decisions.
The ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, and managing them in an effective way, being optimistic, taking initiatives, and adapting to the conditions in challenging situations.
Goleman stresses that you can not avoid emotions from arising. However, you can control them when they appear.
Goleman explains the Ventilation fallacy for the most experienced emotion: anger.
Goleman tells a story when he gets in a cab. The impatient cab driver honks signaling a young man to move out of the way. The young man makes an offensive gesture, further adding to the cab driver’s agitation. He revved his engine loudly and said you have to yell back as it makes you feel better.
Venting when you are angry prolongs your mood rather than ending it. Anger only breeds more anger. Venting out when you are sad is a good way to validate your feelings. So you have to keep a check on your feelings.
Emotional traits like enthusiasm and persistence play an important role in mastering aptitude.
Goleman says the reason most Asian students have better aptitude than their counterparts, not because of their IQ, but their endurance to improve their shortcomings.
Self-motivation is also affected by delayed gratification. Goleman shares the famous marshmallow test wherein some 4 years old were given a marshmallow. They were asked to wait for 15 minutes before eating the marshmallow. If they did so, they will be awarded another marshmallow. But if they did eat it before that time, they will not get another one.
Years later, the children who did not eat the marshmallow immediately were found to perform better in life than those who did eat the marshmallow immediately.
People express far more through non-verbal cues like facial expressions, gestures than they express their feelings with words. Understanding others through non-verbal communication and feeling empathy for others helps you connect with them more comfortably.
Suppose someone at work messes up with some task. If you provide them with a harsh and sarcastic tone, it does not lead to a solution. Instead, you should try to provide constructive criticism with specifics and suggestions to face the problem face to face. This gives them hope and motivation to do things better.
The ability to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly and manage conflict in stressful situations.
Emotions are highly contagious. If someone talks to you in an angry tone and you can keep your calm, it is highly likely that the other person will start to calm down.
Book summaries mostly ...
Emotional Intelligence explains the importance of emotions in your life, how they help and hurt your ability to navigate the world, followed by practical advice on how to improve your own emotional intelligence and why that is the key to leading a successful life. (Check it out)
Curious about different takes? Check out our Emotional Intelligence Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.
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