Emotional Intelligence – a fuzzy term with serious business meaning


What’s it all about?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is one of those terms that has increased in popularity over the last ten years or so; I imagine this is because there is more awareness in the business community both of its meaning and its application.

The term was first brought to our attention by Daniel Goleman, (Author) in 1998.

‘Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships’

For many people self-awareness is where the real journey begins, it is the first step. Until you have awareness of yourself then you will only have limited awareness of others and the situation that surrounds you. Without self-awareness you can only have limited personal effectiveness. 

Still for many, the term is confusing and mis-leading, the word ‘emotion’ doesn’t go down well in the workplace.

Not so ‘fuzzy’ after all

Theinteresting thing is that the behaviours that make up this fuzzy term are identifiable and trainable. And when we look at the detail, there is nothing fuzzy about emotional intelligence at all.
In the working environment, people with high EI are a very sought after resource because they :

–  are more likely to stay calm under pressure
–  are more likely to know how to resolve conflict
–  are empathetic to team members
–  lead by example
–  generally make more thoughtful business decisions

I touched on this subject in a radio interview with Ann Hawkins, Business Advisor, Consultant and Mentor also Broadcaster of The Business Hub and The Social Media Show. here You can listen to the interview here