Melissa Hughes en Lifestyle, Entrepreneurs, Healthy Living Founder and Principal • The Andrick Group 8/12/2017 · 2 min de lectura · +700

Emotional Intelligence: For Good or Evil?

Since Peter Salovey and John Mayer first introduced the concept of emotional intelligence in 1990 and Daniel Goleman later popularized it with his 1995 bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, EQ has largely been accepted as the critical factor that sets the all-stars apart from the rest. EQ has been offered up as the secret sauce to a wide range of social issues from bullying to conflict resolution to more engaged workplace culture. As a result, organizational leaders, coaches, policymakers, and educators have embraced it as the magic bullet for success.

EQ for Evil

However, scientists have discovered that there may actually be a dark side of EQ. While people with high EQ are better able to identify and understand their own emotions, some use that ability to master the art of manipulation. Recent studies show that those who have control over their own emotions also have the ability to hide their true feelings and create pseudo personas to deceive others. According to many experts, emotionally intelligent people may intentionally disguise their emotions and create favorable impressions of themselves to obtain some type of gain.

In addition, people who are skilled are reading others use that ability to appeal to the emotional state of those around them rather than rational thought. Jochen Menges studied this phenomenon with his research team at the University of Cambridge. They examined the impact of speakers who appealed to the emotions of the audience. When audience members used emotional words like “admire,” “inspirational,” “fascinating,” and “charismatic” to describe the speaker, they were less likely to critically contemplate the message or remember it later. 

Ironically, the more emotionally moved the audience members were, the more they claimed to remember later. Menges referred to the propensity to blindly accept emotional messaging the “awestruck effect,” and those who master the art of strategically expressing emotions can actually subjugate our capacity to reason.

EQ for Good

Not everyone who demonstrates high emotional intelligence has nefarious intentions. When used for good, EQ enables us to create and nurture healthy and fulfilling relationships that enhance our lives personally and professionally. Emotionally intelligent people are in tune with their emotions and able to accurately identify them. They don’t try to hide them, and they don’t try to disguise them as something else. People with high EQ are able to use the understanding of emotions – their own emotions and the emotions of others – and apply it in various aspects of their lives.

Overwhelmingly, experts agree that EQ is a strong predictor of professional performance and a foundation for a wide range of critical interpersonal skills. Communication between the emotional brain and the rational brain is the source of EQ and it affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make decisions.

Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that impact virtually every aspect of our lives.

1. Self-awareness is the ability to specifically identify your own emotions and the root causes of them.

2. Self-management is the ability to control your emotions appropriately for the social or professional situation.

3. Social-awareness is your ability to read the emotions, behaviors, and motive of others.

4. Relationship management is the ability to apply awareness of your own emotions and the emotions of others to nurture healthy relationships.

While there is a wealth of research-based books and programs that prescribe the recipe for emotional intelligence, the hallmarks of EQ are awareness, focus, and intention. Here are a few simple attitudes and behaviors that emotionally intelligent people consistently demonstrate.

Identify emotions with precision.

It’s easy to generalize emotions as “happy” or “sad.” But, the more specifically you can identify your emotions, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling and why. Learning how to identify and label emotions is a critical step in growing emotional intelligence.

Embrace failure as learning.

It is easy for failures or mistakes to put us in negative emotional states. On the other hand, dismissing them completely eliminates the opportunity to learn from them. The key is to embrace mistakes or failures as opportunities for growth. This shift in perspective will enable you to nurture positive traits such as resilience and confidence.

Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.

One of the cornerstones of EQ is the ability to determine when and if the opinions, reactions, or behaviors of others should impact your own emotional state or decisions. There may be times when the opinions of others have an influence on your mood or decisions. But, emotionally intelligent people know their strengths and weaknesses, and utilize both to stay grounded.

Seek progress not perfection.

Emotionally intelligent people look for opportunities to make progress toward their goals rather than perfection in their accomplishments. Seeking perfection is an unrealistic and discouraging quest that will perpetuate a negative sense of self-worth. Focusing on progress perpetuates an optimistic view of the future.

Check out this clip to find out how to negative emotions can actually help you improve your emotional intelligence. 

Emotional Intelligence: For Good or Evil?

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Harvey Lloyd 11/12/2017 · #18

#17 you have found but one of my many challenges 🙏

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Phil Friedman 11/12/2017 · #17

#16 Harvey, I don't disagree in substance with what you're saying. I do get the feeling, though, that you may be satirically challenged. Cheers! :-)

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Harvey Lloyd 11/12/2017 · #16

#13 AT one level i totally concur with the thought that EQ/EI are manipulative. Specifically as it applies to media and the marketing/branding process.

If i have misread your point, please correct me.

I do feel though that the skill of "knowing" someone/something has given way to demographics, labels and data. This has lead to some pretty empty suit conversations with folks. Emotional gibberish.

I sense we need some basic home training in understanding circumstances before we explode on to the scene. Active Listening is a skill within the EQ/EI envelope. One i believe we need to actaully start teaching.

We initiated a new program at our business that required consultant support and licensing. The first few interviews ened without the vendors even listening but telling us how we should do things. Active listening was not present.

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Ian Weinberg 11/12/2017 · #15

Interesting point @Phil Friedman This begs further clarification. Indeed Steve Jobs , by all EQ (EI) definitions had a rock-bottom score, didn't give a shit for other's sensitivities, took ownership and ran. One big step for evolution and we're all better off for it. Now let's take a step back. The corporate has identified 3 critical values required to thrive into the future 1) EI 2) Innovation and 3) Management of people. So here we really need to define this EI thing: It is a comprehensive awareness of, and connection with one's own emotions and through mirror resonance, an awareness and connection with the emotions of others. This is authentic EI. In this context, the psychopath's comprehensive awareness of emotions is sans an emotional connection and is thus non-authentic. Authentic connections are required to manage people ie Leadership. Leadership with authentic EI will recognize, support and promote individual ownership within the greater organization - to enhance effectiveness and development (evolution). And so authentic EI is much more than dripping in warm fuzzy sensitivities, holding back evolutionary forces. It is truly about posturing in favor of individual ownership (inclusiveness) and evolution through recognition, support and mentoring of the drivers (with just reward). Inherent in this dynamic is value contribution which by definition, will preclude nefariousness. Is there a place for insensitive, driven, psychopathic-types? Sure is. But they will invariably require the support of authentic leadership managed structures to complete the evolutionary process by bringing the 'thing' to fruition, IMHO.

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Phil Friedman 11/12/2017 · #13

#7 You know, @Ian Weinberg, your problem is that you assume generosity of spirit and selfless behavior are traits of a “higher” evolutionary development. Whereas, the scum of the world would argue that such traits retrograde mutatations that pollute the species. Thus, one man’s psycopathy is another’s path to Ubermenchenlicht (I mangle the German language remorselessly in the service of anti- pedanticism) . And so it is for EI, which to my mind converts a natural striving for beneficial self-control into the nefarious practice of control over others. Perhaps EI should be treated as a secret guild that requires for membership a blood oath to use the sorcerer’s skills only for good. Cheers!

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Harvey Lloyd 11/12/2017 · #11

One of the best looks at the whole of EQ/EI i have read. If i could add one thought....Self awareness and social awareness always has a goal or expected outcome. We are either socially trying to fit in or in just as many cases we are trying to achieve something. It may be that we need affirmation, support or money. The list is endless.

But EQ/EI, for me, is the ability to see the heart of the matter someone is presenting. If i am to serve someone within a scope or environment then it is better if i fully understand their motivation, or heart. If i am asked to empty the trash then i could further observe that the individual is seeking to make a good impression on visitors or is feeling disorganized. Extending my efforts beyond the request.

I belive EQ/EI has gotten a bad rap because of the fluff or smoke we are able to create through the language, but no service follows. We feel good about the presentation, but it takes us nowhere. The process of EQ should give off warning bells when we are emotionally being sold snake oil.

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Harvey Lloyd 11/12/2017 · #10

A fresh and really honest look at EQ/EI. Great read and food for thought.

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Mark Blevins 10/12/2017 · #9

I've been lots of places and it's usually better when there's order instead of disorder, even if you think people are evil. The price for low intelligence, EQ or IQ usually costs more in the long run.

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