Exercising Emotional Intelligence

Describe what exercising emotional intelligence means.

First of all, what is emotional intelligence and why it is important. Emotional intelligence (EI) can be understood as being aware of and understanding your own emotional state and the emotional state of others and the way it affects the situation.

Those who are able to use EI to their own advantage can benefit greatly. Some benefits are:

  • Knowing when to work and be extra productive
  • Adjusting your behaviour to be more compatible with someone you are negotiating with
  • Being able to motivate yourself by adjusting thoughts and overall mood

It is cited by Choi et al. (2015, p. 48) that there are two types of EI. Intrapersonal EI and Interpersonal EI. Intrapersonal EI refers to a person’s understanding and influence over their own emotional state and mood. The other type, Interpersonal EI refers to a person’s awareness and understanding of other people’s emotions and thoughts and adjusting their behaviour accordingly. People with a high EI are typically more empathetic and understand themselves and others easier (Choi et al., 2015, p. 49).

emotional-intelligence-2
Figure 1: Tree diagram about emotional intelligence Source: Perspect (2011)

The ‘gold standard’ of EI testing according to Cenere et al. (2015, p. 208) is the Mayer, Salovey and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Developed in the 1990s, there are four described abilities in the test:

  1. Recognise: accurately identify our own emotions and those of others

  2. Use: use emotions to help us think and generate different emotions to help solve problems

  3. Understand: understand the causes and how emotions change

  4. Manage: strategies to help us manage our emotions and those of others

MSCEIT
Figure 2: A graph about emotional intelligence Source: Toh (2016)

Being able to use these abilities to more successfully interact with others and monitor your own emotional well being is exercising your emotional intelligence.

References

Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C & Lewis, M 2015, ‘Communication skills for business professionals’, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic

Choi, J, Chung, G, Sung, S, Butt, N, Soliman, M & Chang, J 2015, ‘Does emotional intelligence matter in interpersonal processes? The mediating role of emotion management’, Seoul Journal of Business, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 45-70.

Perspect 2011, What is emotional intelligence, image, viewed 14 May 2016, <http://www.perspect.co.uk/emotional-intelligence/what-is-ei.html&gt;

Toh, K G 2016, Emotional intelligence business diagram management strategy concept chart illustration, image, viewed 14 May 2016, <http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-75645727/stock-photo-emotional-intelligence-business-diagram-management-strategy-concept-chart-illustration.html?src=mXSeQxvfVvrqCe8VOqTRDA-1-33&gt;

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