Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the learned ability to identify, experience, understand, and express human emotions in healthy and productive ways. Research has shown that emotional intelligence skills are primary factors of motivation and the gateway to lifelong learning and high levels of achievement. That is because emotional experience and expression are unique to each person – no two people think, feel, and act in the same way. Each person must learn these skills for oneself.
Individuals learn and work best in environments that are physically and emotionally safe. Building effective learning and work environments like this requires emotional intelligence skills that are vital to improving human performance and healthy organizations. Successful organizations must provide an atmosphere that will enable peak performance for all of their members. For any organization to be successful there must be a commitment to develop emotionally healthy members within all levels of the organization.
Core Beliefs about Emotional Intelligence
Here is a short summary of what was learned in our 40 years of research and development:
- Emotional intelligence is the most important variable influencing personal achievement and professional success.
- Emotional intelligence is a learned ability requiring a systematic, experienced-based approach to assessment and learning.
- Educational institutions historically have not provided a practical and systematic model to assess and learn emotional intelligence skills.
- Learning emotional knowledge and skills requires an intentional, active, learner-centered assessment and skill intervention process linked to self-directed coaching, mentoring and visualization.
- Emotional intelligence consists of specific skills, behaviors and attitudes that can be assessed and taught, learned, applied and modeled to improve personal satisfaction, achievement, behaviors and career success.
What are Emotions For?
Our emotions are an important part of our human experience. Emotions guide us in many ways us when facing everyday tasks, such as alerting us to danger, persisting in achieving a goal, finding a mate, and selecting a career.
Each emotion signals us to act. Some emotions assist us in getting what we want in a positive way without violating the rights of others (assertion), while other negative emotions send us signals that tell us to overpower, dominate, or discredit another’s rights or feelings (aggression), while still other negative emotions shower us with self-inhibiting, self-denying, passive and ineffectual ways of expressing ourselves (deference).
Many researchers feel that the amygdala is the center of the brain. It controls emotions and can quickly decide on an emotional way of acting in a situation. The amygdala seems to work as a storehouse of emotions and feelings. A visual signal goes from the eye (retina) to the thalamus. This is where the message gets translated into the language of the brain. The message then goes to the visual cortex. The visual cortex is where the message gets analyzed for meaning and an appropriate response. If the response is not rational but emotional, things get sidetracked here. In an emotional response, a signal goes to the amygdala to activate the emotional center.
A smaller portion of the signal goes from the thalamus straight to the amygdala, resulting in a faster and less precise response. The amygdala can trigger an emotional response before the visual cortex has fully understood what is really happening, creating what is known as “emotional hijacking.” When this happens, the individual makes a rash, emotional decision on what to do that is often wrong.
This understanding is the core of emotional intelligence training, especially when learning to properly identify and deal with one’s anger. We see the results of this emotional hijacking in our cities every day, in actions ranging from road rage to broken relationships to child abuse and more. Learning to manage emotions is what emotional intelligence is all about.
Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed, strengthened and enhanced throughout one’s lifetime. In other words, it doesn’t matter how you start – it matters how you finish. You can improve your emotional intelligence RIGHT NOW. When EQ is improved, it has an immediate impact on your health, education, relationships and your work. The first step toward improvement though is to first understand what areas need attention. If you really want to improve your emotional intelligence, you need to develop an accurate awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. Try a sample of our EQ assessment – FREE!
At the core of our EQ programs is an evidence-based assessment called the Personal Skills Map. With 143 research papers, books and masters/doctoral dissertations, a norm base of 35,000+ participants and over 9 million administrations, nothing else comes close in terms of credibility and validity.
Want to know more about our EQ programs? Our PDF brochure has information on how our credits-based pricing system works, an explanation of our pre and post-assessment process and a detailed breakdown of all the different components that make up our EQ programs.