Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an interesting topic to learn about. I have been trying to get some insights from corporate leaders on how they define and use their emotional intelligence in their routine.

Laura Wilcox, Director Management Programs at Harvard Extension School says that

“Despite a bevy of research and best-selling books on the topic, many managers still downplay emotional intelligence as a “touchy-feely” soft skill. The importance of characteristics like empathy and self-awareness is understood, sure. But intelligence and technical capability are seen as the real drivers of professional success.”

She further explains that, “emotional intelligence—the ability to, say, understand your effect on others and manage yourself accordingly—accounts for nearly 90 percent of what moves people up the ladder when IQ and technical skills are roughly similar.” This makes me think that in the corporate sector, emotional intelligence is not widely, or at least not practically used.

Since the key denominator is the self-awareness about your behaviors and motivations, in my view, the first step towards applying Emotional Intelligence is by developing self-awareness. This can only be done though an honest evaluation on our own behaviors and motivations.

Given the fact that the theory of Emotional Intelligence was developed only in 1995 by Dr Daniel Goleman, there is a lot to be explored yet. Having said this, in my view, most popular leaders, public speakers and trainers unknowingly use emotional intelligence pretty effectively. Daniel also saw an effective role of emotional intelligence in the corporate or what he calls business world, when dealing with employees or customers.

Emotionally intelligent people do what they love to do. Some quit jobs to start their entrepreneurial career, some start teaching, some volunteer etc. After all leadership is about making a difference in in communities around you, people you work with and companies that employ you.

Widely agreed that developing a metric for gauging the level of emotional intelligence. I know it is built-in capability in every human being, some are lucky to explore this, some don’t, but the principle is simple, “self-awareness and a strategic reaction to emotional environment around you”.

About the author

Hammad Siddiqui Decoding the Mystery of Career Development- Life coach & Career Advisor-Traveler-Trainer- Authored "Bootstrapping Your Career" and three eBooks -26 Yrs Exp in International Development - A passionate Trainer, Blogger and social media strategist - Qualified from US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. Loves reading, traveling, mentoring.