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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is increasingly prevalent in conversations in business, the battlefield and on the sports field, but what is it exactly?

An interesting article “the mistake everybody makes with emotional intelligence” from Business Insider Australia covers some practical implications. According to Amazon’s records, the article states that over 10,000 books include the subject of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Even company’s such as Google have leveraged the benefits, leading to many of their employees grasping opportunities to take part in the company’s’ training program. However, EI is not simply “being nice to people.” The article uses an elaborate infographic to highlight the actual definition, good examples, the components of, and how one may develop EI in the future.

According to the article, EI is “the ability to validly reason with emotions” …which can be used to influence those around you both positively and negatively. Whereas in the assigned text, EI is “A set of abilities to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in oneself and others.” EI is an influencing tool, and the article compares the use of EI by both Martin Luther King Jr and Adolph Hitler. From one example to the other, EI may be used to assimilate the awareness of other emotions with one’s feelings, connecting on an emotional level with an audience, for the purpose of persuading thoughts, feelings, and actions. While some leaders lack EI, some harness the benefits of EI, for either personal or organizational agenda’s, which can captivate and transform corporate citizenship of individuals and groups.

Interestingly, the article went on to state some ways that EI may develop in people, namely through coaching, naturally aging, feedback mechanisms, and reading literature. With some relevance, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in new leadership training within my organization. Over the span of several weeks of training, as students, we were subject to several experiential training methods. We had observer-trainers, which would provide timely feedback individually regarding our performance. Weekly tasks involved submitting confidential critical self-reflection to our assigned mentor. Over the period of the training, and following on from that, I’ve found it to be quite transformational and useful in my day-to-day job as a leader.


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