What is emotional intelligence? Cenere et al, (2015, pp.415) defines; “Recognising your own emotional input and the emotions of others, in interpreting a situation.”
Goleman (2005) breaks down this definition into a framework of five elements.
Figure 1: Emotional intelligence diagram Source: www.zenithnt.com.au
When each of these five elements are utilised together we are said to be exercising our emotional intelligence. When you use the skill of emotional intelligence you are someone who is self-aware, you can self-regulate your emotions, you are motivated, you can show empathy and you have social skills.
The Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) further simplifies this theory into the following statement;
“Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions.
Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others”. (Ihhp.com, 2016)
We can use this awareness as an opportunity to understand the influence of how our emotions can drive our behaviour. Furthermore how our behaviour can positively and negatively influence others.
A practical application of emotional intelligence is communication in the workplace. We can exercise this skill set to decide on the best approach, with regard for a person’s situation and emotional state to change their opinion or behaviour (Goleman 2011 cited in Cenere et al, pp. 221). It is a fine line, one that should not be crossed into coercion or manipulation.
In the workplace, emotional intelligence is commonly regarded as being equally as important as technical skills. Leaders and managers are able to call upon this skill set to gain greater performance from their co-worker’s and associates, which in turn makes business more successful and produces better outcomes.
Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C & Lewis M 2015, Communication skills for business professionals, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic
Goleman, D. (2005). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
Ihhp.com. (2016). Institute for Health and Human Potential. [online] Available at: http://www.ihhp.com/meaning-of-emotional-intelligence#accordion_16618874151 [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Figure 1: Digital image, viewed 19 May, 2016, http://zenithnt.com.au