Emotional Intelligence

How smart are you? While this question may be seemingly simple to answer, it is an interesting question because it suggests someone’s level of mental competence can be measured. If there is an answer to this question, it suggests that a person’s level of smartness or intelligence can be found pretty straightforwardly by a score on a measurement of intelligence such as an IQ test. Find a pen or pencil, have a seat, and take an IQ test. Even better, look one up on the internet. Hours…or even minutes later you will receive a score that supposedly tells you how smart you actually are. Based on these results, you are ______ smart. ” The emphasis is on smart and how well a person’s mental capacity is captured in writing, on a test. Is this really how intelligence is measured? What I would like to introduce today is not just how smart an individual is, but how well he or she handles his or her emotions. I would like to introduce emotional intelligence: the balance of emotion and reason that plays a role in the intelligence of a person, or how smart he or she is to a degree.

I will discuss certain aspects of emotional intelligence and introduce the theory as it relates to the business world. Upon completion of this speech, we will all develop an understanding of the role emotional intelligence plays in both our personal and professional lives. According to Kendra Cherry, emotional intelligence refers to “the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions” (Cherry, 2010). Opposing views surround the notion of emotional intelligence as some researchers suggest it can be learned and strengthened while others claim it is an inborn characteristic (Cherry, 2010).

Since 1990, Peter Salovey and John Mayer have been the leading researchers on emotional intelligence. Their influential article, appropriately titled “Emotional Intelligence” holds that the “subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them ad to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990, p. 186). In other words, emotional intelligence means taking one’s feelings and emotions to develop rational thinking.

It refers to using emotional factors to think about an issue and create balanced decision-making. When emotions take over, rational thinking can be destroyed or sabotaged because we tend to let our emotions, positive or negative, take over. For example, an individual who is highly depressed may contemplate suicide as the only way to feel better. The rational thing to do is to think it over and understand that suicide is not the best solution as others will be hurt, it is an eternal end to one’s life, and so on; however, because emotions are taking over, suicide seems like the only option.

Another example…take an individual who is short on the rent and gets the wild idea that he can double his current money at the casino. The emotional high, though positive thinking and not negative thinking where he wants to kill himself, takes over. Rational thinking would say: stop, think this out, save the money you have and find a way to get the rest. When we remove rational thinking from the equation, we have a problem. This is why emotional intelligence is so import. It separates emotion from reason and creates a balance between the two.

In addition to the effect emotional intelligence has on our own thoughts and actions, emotional intelligence, according to Sean Brotherson (2003) can be defined as “a component of interpersonal or relationship intelligence” (2003). In simpler terms, it is our capacity to build and maintain personal relationships with others (Brotherson, 2003). Brotherson (2003) holds that it “concerns our awareness of our own and others’ emotions, their influence on us, and how to manage them in positive and meaningful ways” (2003).

Ask yourselves if music affects your spirits and how it either uplifts or saddens you depending on the mood you are in and what form of music is being played. When you are feeling angry or ready to “explode,” are you able to get control of yourself, take a breather, and lower your temper or hostility towards others? Are you sensitive or sympathetic towards others when you realize that you are acting badly towards them? If so, you have learned and developed emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is critical in the business world.

In addition to being sensitive to and perceptive of other people’s emotions, emotional intelligence involves having the ability to intuitively facilitate improved performance based on knowledge, a crucial trait in the work environment. According to Mary White (2006), the modern workplace is “characterized by open communication, teamwork, and a mutual respect among employees and their supervisors” (2006). When we possess emotional intelligence, we can better understand our fellow employees, managers can better motivate those they supervise, and everyone in the work nvironment has improved communication with one another. The old school style and philosophy of management does not work in today’s world. Management by intimidation is no longer the best option. According to White (2006), “if you want to succeed in the business world now and in the future, it’s important that you understand the role of emotional intelligence in business today” (2006). Today I have introduced emotional intelligence, discussed examples of how it translates into one’s personal and emotional life, and identified how it is important in the work environment.

I have identified the proper usage of emotional intelligence, using expert advice, and how without emotional intelligence we are incapable of controlling our emotions, which can be drastic or even tragic. I have taught you that just because someone is smart because an IQ test says so does not mean that person has a high level of emotional intelligence, though it helps. I hope that you have all learned something about emotional intelligence today and will use it to your advantage in the future. Thank you. Works Cited Brotherson, S. (2003).

Exploring emotional intelligence. Family Connections. Meridian Magazine. Cherry, K. (2010). What is emotional intelligence? About. com: Psychology. Retrieved June 14 2010 from http://psychology. about. com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell. htm Salovey, P. , Mayer, J. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Baywood Publishing Co. , Inc. White, M. (2006). What is the role of emotional intelligence in business today. LoveToKnow: Business. Retrieved June 14 2010 from http://business. lovetoknow. com/wiki/What_is_the_Role_of_Emotional_Intelligence_in_Business_Today