What is emotional intelligence? The term was first used in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, American psychology professors. Emotional intelligence (“EI”) refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Have there ever been times in the workplace when you simply wanted to lash out or scream ? Of course there have, many times if you’re like me. However, it is how we channel that energy that makes the difference.
According to Psychology Today, EI is said to have three skills: (1) emotional awareness; (2) the ability to use your emotions in a productive manner – such as problem solving; and (3) the ability to manage emotions – such as regulating your emotions and helping others to do the same.
Back in the late 1990’s I watched an interview with Bill Romanowski, former NFL linebacker. I heard him say something that has stuck with me since. He said “emotion high, logic low.” If you are extremely emotional about something, are you able to logically process information associated with that particular situation? No, you are not. Conversely, if your emotions are low, your ability to process information and make productive decisions increase significantly. I think Mr. Romanowski was on to something very profound.
Is EI important? Yes. Why? Because when we have high emotional intelligence we are able to communicate more productively and make better decisions. That leads to a more productive workplace, better relationships, and a happier life!
As always, thanks for reading!