In 1995, Daniel Goleman published his book called ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ’ which revolutionized the way we look at this concept. Goleman made it so simple that EI could easily be understood by virtually anybody. He argued that normal intelligence (IQ) only makes up for the tip of the iceberg and that emotional intelligence was a much larger, more important piece of the puzzle. In his book, Goleman outlined 5 major components that would define the concept of emotional intelligence. Three of which comprised personal competence and two which make up social competence. Let’s check them out. 🙂
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your emotions, moods, and drives and their effect on others. Someone who really is self-aware truly knows who they are and how they tic. But let me give you some more insight on this… A person who is self-aware also has the ability to realize their strengths and blind-spots and is able to reflect upon them.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
So how can you be more self-aware? Well, I always like to use the word ‘audit’. When we audit ourselves on a consistent basis, we can really discover who we are. But how can we do this? Think. Think and once again.. think. Step back and look at your life for a second. Try to see the big picture and be honest with yourself… How well is university going for you? How well is your love relationship going? Are you happy with where you stand? If so, keep asking the ‘why’ question. Why are things the way they are? As you may notice, such thought-provoking questions may not be so easy to answer, but they do help you to figure out where you stand in life and who you really are.
I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” – Billy Jean King
So once we become self-aware, we then have the choice to regulate these emotions, moods, and drives. Someone who self-regulates, controls disruptive impulses and redirects them. But where to? Once you start to appreciate your emotions, you can begin to shape these emotions for the better. This could include anything from the ability of self-control, adaptability, conscientiousness or trustworthiness. Use your emotions, no matter how good or bad they are, to regulate your actions and behaviors. Think before acting.
This strong drive to achieve and create meaningful experiences leads to commitment and optimism. It is this optimism and unlimited power that always causes us to run through walls and focus on our goal. I like to refer to this as ‘tunnel vision’. In order to control this part of EI for ourselves, we need to find meaning and feel a sense of contribution in whatever we are doing. Only then, we can successfully motivate others.
Some define it as the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others to understand and appreciate their emotional make-up. Yet it certainly is something a lot more than that. We can use it to boost our social competence and transform our entire lives for our own, but also for the benefit of those around us. Just like any other skill, empathy is something that can be trained on a regular basis.
Read more: 5 Habits for Highly Empathic Thinking
If you’re a college kid, ‘networking’ is all they talk about. Yet our ability to network and build relationships with others is of incredible importance. Emotionally intelligent people have great social competence and are consciously able to build common ground and rapport with someone.
Oki Doki. You should now have a much clearer understanding of the power that lies behind emotional intelligence. It is an emerging concept of psychology that is getting more emphasized in workplaces, schools, and colleges. I truly believe that once we mastered these five areas, we can shape our destiny and find inner peace.
Take-home message. Start off by getting to know yourself. Build self-awareness. Once you’ve figured yourself out and the things that go on around you, you’ll find that managing the other components of EI will be a lot easier. Remember that you can only start going for something if you know your current position or stand-point