The Value of Emotional Intelligence
Thought Leader: LaSharnda Beckwith, Ph.D.
One of the business buzzwords that garnered stream back in the early 90s was the term Emotional Intelligence or EQ as it is referred to in business. This concept was studied and developed by Daniel Goleman in his book titled Emotional Intelligence. He makes the case that our definition of intelligence as measured by IQ is too narrow and ignores a critical range of abilities that matter immensely to our success in life. Such factors are self-awareness, impulse control, personal responsibility, and social adeptness.
Consciously or unconsciously, we respond to “key moments” in a way that moves us toward survival or success. For clarity, let me explain what a “key moment” is. A key moment is a triggering event or situation that presents a challenge or demands a response.
A positive response means that we embrace rarity, exercise responsibility, clarify our vision and purpose, and act with integrity. We grow in emotional intelligence and personal success each time we act on these four principles. When we handle our key moments poorly, we take the pathway of survival. Each of the milestones along the pathway is the opposite of those of the pathway of success.
Because of many factors, but primarily our life experiences, we each have paradigms. Paradigms are mental filters that affect how we see the world and how we make meaning of our experiences.
Paradigms are mental filters that affect how we see the world and how we make meaning of our experiences.
Think of it like this:
There is the external world, our paradigms, and the inner experience.
As such, we don’t see the world as it is; we see what we look for. What we look for is determined by our personal paradigm and the mind functions to be “right” about our core beliefs that make up our personal paradigms. In fact, these can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Such elements as integrity, achievement, duty, and fear establish our paradigms. At any given time, we can live our lives in any of these four paradigms. With regard to Emotional Intelligence, we can follow a pathway to success or a pathway to survival during the key moments we encounter.
Should we choose the pathway of success, we do the following:
- Clarify our vision & purpose
- Act with integrity
- Embrace reality
- Exercise responsibility
On the other hand, if we choose the pathway of survival, there is the need to do the following:
- Resist reality
- React from fear
- Lack vision and purpose
- Disown responsibility
How do you increase your EQ? Remember, it all begins with conquering your “key moments” and that begins with awareness. By being aware, we are able to put ourselves into a powerful mental state from which we can make choices and respond rather than react to life.
Our life experiences are constantly occurring, one event after another, including ones that bring joy or sorrow. Awareness allows us to pay attention to what’s going on and to interact with life pro-actively rather than reactively. We cannot change what we are unaware of or of what we refuse to admit.
Awareness allows us to pay attention to what’s going on and to interact with life pro-actively rather than reactively.
Studies have shown that leaders with high EQ generally have more satisfied and happy employees, while those leaders with low EQ do not. Successful organizations don’t just happen; the people make the organization. If leaders want highly productive, happy and satisfied people who relate to their customers or clients the same, senior leadership sets the tone of the organization.
If you are the leader or if you aspire to be a leader of people, what is your EQ? Do you know? I bet you can ask your people and they can tell you. Would you like to know? If you say yes, the step towards becoming aware has already happened. Congratulations. You are now on the road of controlling your responses and your emotions and ultimately controlling your destiny.
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