The following are notes I took from an introductory course on Emotional Intelligence.
The Four Components of EQ
Emotional Intelligence is composed of four major facets:
- self-awareness, how aware are you of your own emotional state and thoughts?
- self-management, how well can you control your emotions and thoughts?
- social awareness, how aware are you of other people’s emotional states and thoughts?
- social management, how well can you control your behaviors that influence the emotional states and thoughts of others?
It is possible to have high self-awareness but poor self-management, or to be good at managing oneself and one’s social environment without having significant awareness of either one. Many possible EQ patterns are possible or conceivable, though typically people are either stronger at the self-related items or the social-related items but not both.
Where does EQ fit in?
EQ is considered as “the brains ability to recognize emotions from oneself and others and to use this information to guide thinking and behavior.”
EQ is leg of a three-legged stool of self-awareness. The other components are the DiSC and Core Values Index (CVI) assessments. Whereas the CVI attempts to determine the “unchanging nature of the person” and DiSC seeks to explain behavioral tendencies developed through experiential learning, EQ ideally serves as a way to quantify a person’s ability to modify their behavior and influence the behaviors of others based on perceived emotional states.
EQ is considered related to IQ in that it measures something about an individual and their boundaries for achievement. But whereas IQ measures intelligence or problem-solving ability and is considered fixed at birth by genetic factors, EQ measures perceptive and self-control abilities in social settings and it is considered improvable over time, that is a person who a low EQ score in one of the four components might be able to raise their score with conscious effort and examination of their behavior over time.
Applications of EQ
Some people consider EQ to be more valuable than IQ in a business setting because businesses are about people (employees and customers) so having a superior ability to influence the behaviors of people could be considered more valuable than the raw intelligence necessary to solve problems. If you have the solution to a problem but can’t convince anyone to cooperate with you in implementing it, what do you actually have?
Part of the value of EQ comes from the way the brain is physically hard-wired to handle new data inputs. Stimuli entering the brain pass through the emotional area of the brain and trigger an emotional reaction before passing through a secondary filter and entering the part of the brain where a rational filter is applied and a behavioral response is shaped. The brain gives priority to emotion over reason.
The development of EQ in an individual involves increasing tiers of awareness and capability best thought of as a kind of pyramid with the lowest function at the bottom and the highest function at the top:
- (Top) influence
- building trust
- adapting and connecting to build rapport
- recognizing the needs of others
- controlling impulses to achieve positive outcomes
- (Bottom) acknowledging the self and impact on others
The basic emotions common to all humanity are:
- shame (embarrassment about a state of being)
- guilt (embarrassment about an action undertaken)
The entire range of emotions people experience can be explained by low, medium and high intensities of these basic emotions. For example, one can be satisfied, excited or elated in terms of experiencing the emotion of glad.
Rage is not a feeling, but rather it is an uncontrolled reaction to pent-up, diverse feelings that have not been expressed and come out all at once. It is a sign of emotional disorder, not an intensity of anger, sadness or fear by itself.
With regards to fear specifically, there are four “fatal” fears that typify most of the emotional experiences:
- failure (or success!)
- emotional or physical discomfort
- being or looking wrong
The whole person
People are complex, there is no doubt about it. EQ is not better than or worse than IQ, it is simply another component of the “whole person”. In fact, intellectually (rather than biologically), the “whole person” is best described by considering EQ, IQ and personality together.