Emotional Intelligence is something we all hear about but most of us either don’t have a clear understanding of it or have understood EI to be some overly exaggerated trait.
Here is the history of Emotional Intelligence. The term emotional intelligence was first used as a reference in a paper written by Michael Beldoch in 1964. The first use of the term was in Wayne Payne’s doctoral thesis in 1985, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence. It wasn’t until 1995 that the term became widely known. The best-selling book written by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ lead to the popularity of EI.
In simple terms “Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviors”.
Currently there are 3 main models of EI.
- Ability Model
- Mixed Model
- Trait Model
Today we will be discussing the most popular model, that’s the Mixed Model.
The 5 key components of the Mixed model of Emotional Intelligence are:
- Self-awareness – the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
- Self-regulation – involves controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
- Social skill – managing relationships to move people in the desired direction
- Empathy – considering other people’s feelings especially when making decision
- Motivation – being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.
There are three different parts to our brain. The First Brain, the Emotional Brain, and the Rational Brain.
The First Brain (brain stem) is where all of our automatic responses come from, as well as where our habits are formed. This is the most basic form of our brain out of the three that we are discussing. The first brain links us to our external world through our skin, pores and nerves. It controls which impulses we recognize and which will be passed on to the two higher levels.Our habits are formed in this brain by imitation, avoidance, and repetition. Information enters this brain usually without any conscious awareness. We have the opportunity to make this information conscious and use it to our benefit, as biofeedback and hypnosis have shown us.
The Emotional Brain (limbic system) is where our “hunches, intuitions, and gut reactions” come from. These reactions become stronger as we move through life because we have more experiences which store more information in our limbic system. Intuition is the emotional learning we have gained over years. A 14 year olds intuition will not be as stronger as a 50 year olds because they have not experienced enough life to make connections between experiences. As we grow older, we gain more reliable emotional data that can offer us valuable clues in our life, as well as it can guide our behaviour, if we become aware its existence and learn to interpret it.
The Rational Brain (neocortex) is the part of the brain that helps us solve problems, make decisions, question things, plan, and generate new ideas; as well as assisting us with functions related to thinking and language. The rational brain and the emotional brain are connected, allowing them to influence one another. This helps provide our brain with rich data on which to draw conclusions and initiate action.
Our emotional responses have been around for centuries. They helped our ancestors with their survival responses. Emotional responses are milliseconds faster than our cognitive, or thinking responses. This could mean the split second of survival when an animal is chasing you.
The limbic, or emotional brain sends a warning of crisis before the neocortex, or rational brain has even began processing the incoming signal. Because of this our body is alerted and is ready to act in the sign of danger.
In today’s world, physical survival is much less of threat than it was to primitive men, but none the less, the data from our emotional brain still gives us important clues to our surroundings and the actions we need to take. This is why our emotional brain has been conserved for so long.
How To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Take an Emotional & Social Competency Assessment (EI Quiz) to understand the baseline of your current EI.
Mood Meter app for increased Self Awareness & Self- Regulation. It helps track your emotional patterns over time. This app will train your Limbic System and with time you will learn to have controlled responses to complex emotions. It also teaches our brain to have a variety & complexity of emotions vs scaling them to be just sad and happy.
In order to improve your Social Skills, we don’t recommend that your start going out more and plan more events. Instead, spend time alone analyzing your daily interactions and decoding them in your journal in order to understand social cues and reading expressions.
More attention you pay during your daily interaction on things like body language, context and emotional significance of the topic in discussion better you will become with the interactions in social settings.
It’s a totally wrong concept that people who talk more are effective communicators. Good listeners with a high degree of realization of reading expressions are highly regarded communicators in social settings. It’s not what you say it’s about how others feel when they are around you.