Thereï¿½s so much talk about emotional intelligence and how it
can promote personal and business success. What is it really? What
are its basic tenets?
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize, understand,
and manage oneï¿½s emotions and that of others. This ï¿½intelligentï¿½
concept focuses on the role of emotion in our daily lives and how
it affects our perception, reasoning, and behavior.
Emotions are pervasive in our daily existence. From the time
we wake up to the time we retire to bed, we experience emotions.
We can get excited by the news of economic recovery, or we feel
upset when our favorite team loses a championship game.
Moreover, we can get lonely when our friend of many years decides
to look for greener pastures and we can feel anxious when our child
does not go home on time after class.
So really, emotions happen everywhere and anytime. There is no
day that passes by without emotions being involved. We experience
emotions when we - win or lose, receive phone calls from long lost
friends, greet our children good morning, say hello to our neighbors,
prepare meals for our spouses, or ride the subway train.
Emotions are just as normal as the rising of the sun.
However, there are times when our emotions can become overwhelming
and can negatively affect our functioning. For instance, anger is
normal. However, the inappropriate display of uncontrolled anger
can be destructive.
Let me clarify this point with a hypothetical situation. Richard,
a relatively nice guy who works as a salesman, is married for 5
years with Cynthia. For the past few years, his sales have plummeted
due to some unknown reasons. He used to be mild-mannered but lately
he hasnï¿½t been the same.
When he gets angry, he just canï¿½t control himself. He yells,
bangs the door, throws fits, and punches the wall. In addition,
he calls his wife names and puts her down. Eventually, he has physically
harmed Cynthia. Due to his uncontrollable anger and physically abusive
behavior, Cynthia has decided to file a divorce.
In this example, Richard has failed to recognize his ongoing
anger and its associated behavioral consequences. Because of his
inability to recognize his anger and consequent behavior, he has
failed miserably to contain his anger despite signs that his wife
doesnï¿½t want to put up with it. In addition, he has failed miserably
to recognize and understand the feelings of Cynthia. How could he?
He canï¿½t even recognize his own.
Emotional intelligence can therefore become an important tool
at home and at work. By learning its basic tenets of self awareness
(knowing oneï¿½s emotions), self management (controlling oneï¿½s emotions),
social awareness (recognizing the emotions of others), and relationship
management (social skills), people can make use of the emotion to
advance the positive cause of our families and communities.
Dr. Michael G. Rayel ï¿½ author (First Aid to Mental Illnessï¿½Finalist,
Readerï¿½s Preference Choice Award 2002), psychiatrist, and inventor
of emotional intelligence games -- the Oikos Game Series. Oikos
Game won the 2005 Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Award.