Being Smart isn’t Enough at Work, be Emotionally Intelligent


Emotional Intelligence is a crucial determinant of an individual’s ultimate success or failure.

Human beings are gifted with this amazing ability to think and solve problems. The human brain consists of multiple Intelligences and Neurons. While all individuals possess these intelligences, we differ from each other, for genetic, upbringing, cultural, environmental reasons. Hence, we all have a range of potentials within us which are still probably unexplored or waiting to be recognized or acknowledged.

Using more of your multiple intelligences help one to think in new ways. Thinking differently when one approach does not work gives way to experiment with another. This creates multiple channels of communication or interaction between neurons, the basic working cells in the brain, which transmit information to other nerve cells or muscles or gland cells.

Many thought leaders and researchers mention that a combination of Emotional Intelligence with other Intelligences (mentioned below), are a great combination of a Leader.

Dulewicz and Higgs (2005) have demonstrated how the core components of Emotional Intelligence are strongly related to three of the Big 5 factors. That is people who are more conscientious (particularly in the sense of being hardworking and persevering), more emotionally stable and more agreeable (empathetic, supportive, tolerant) will have higher EI scores. 

“An average Emotional Quotient the score ranges from 90-100, with a perfect score measuring 160. Those who score high on this test should continue to make an effort to understand and empathize with others. Those with below-average EQ scores can increase their emotional intelligence by learning to reduce negative emotions and apply other effective means as explained below.”

What we think is what we speak or how we behave that can either make or break an interpersonal relation. 

It is said that Creativity is the highest form of intelligence. How we manage our emotions and other’s emotions is also about being creative in our thinking and approach, isn’t it?

Let’s see now, how can we jumpstart our creativity –

It all starts with Self-Awareness (diagram below). As we enter into the workforce, too often, in the heat of challenging problems or situations, we lack the skills to manage our emotions. We will all agree that decision making or problem-solving requires more than facts. It also needs Social Awareness, Managing Self and Managing Stakeholder Relationships.

Research has shown that people exhibit 6 core feelings or emotions, irrespective of topography, demographics, culture, and religion. The 6 core feelings are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, and shame. In different adverse situations, we get emotionally hijacked and our mind freezes which do not allow us to think or act or behave appropriately and then again, we get one or more of these emotions like regret or despair or remorse or sadness or anxiety!

Next: What do we ask ourselves or observe to contemplate our behavior in a way to find out our EQ scores. Here are some sample questions to reflect upon/observe within the self:

  • Do you feel you’ve been programmed to react a certain way to a specific set of circumstances, and there’s simply nothing you can do about it?
  • Are you open to our own emotions?
  • How often you feel depressed?
  • Do you withdraw often?
  • Do you struggle to talk about your feelings?
  • Do you hesitate to talk about the future?
  • Do you get defensive?
  • Do you hold your grudges for long?
  • How often you show the 6 core feelings and their patterns over a day/week/month?
  • Are you aware of your emotional triggers?
  • Are you able to identify your emotional triggers?
  • Are you able to respond well to the stimulus?
  • Are you able to sort through your thoughts and feelings?
  • Did my reaction help me or harm me?
  • Why did I react the way I did?
  • How does this fit into the big picture?
  • What would I change if I could do it again?
  • What could I say to myself next time that would help me to think more productively?
  • Are you able to handle the emotional complexities in more productive ways and much better than before?

As your EQ skills grow, you will learn to spot your triggers and practice productive ways. Now, let’s find out if there is any connection with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ?

IQ is the hard disk one is born with, while EQ is what can be developed. Emotional Quotient is critical to managing one’s own behaviour, moving smoothly through social complexities at work or outside and making critical choices in life to achieve positive results. Hence, Emotional Intelligence is about the ability to flex along the way and adapt or adopt.

Has it ever happened to you that even if your heart cries, you don’t show it? It may be for various reasons, but having said this, your rational mind takes over the emotional mind. One mind thinks and the other feels.  

Then, how do we keep balancing these two minds when most of the times they are not in tandem. Do you come to an understanding or a compromise?

The stronger are the feelings, the more dominant the emotional mind becomes and vice versa.

1. Understanding this metaphor “Life is like a traffic signal” can be useful

When anger or any such negative emotions strikeout, regularly invoke the “spotlight” notion of lights.

  • Red light: 1. Stop, Calm down, and think before you act
  • Yellow light: 2. Say the problem and how you feel
    • 3. Set a positive goal
    • 4. Think of lots of solutions
    • 5. Think ahead to the consequences
  • Green light: 6. Go ahead and try the best plan

The below diagram illustrates a simple problem solving 4 step method:

2. Positive self-talk help in the self-regulation of emotions.

3. Beyond this management of emotions or feelings, practicing alternative thinking proves to be useful.

We all have all feelings, and all feelings are okay to have, but some “reactions” are okay, and others are a sure“NO-NO”.

Thus, I would like to conclude that Intellectual matters, certainly but Emotional Intellect make one an “all-rounder” or “star”. The higher one’s position is in an organization, the more important EI is, EI accounts for more than 85 percent of the success of influential leaders.

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