Does Emotional Intelligence matter more than IQ?
At school and university I was diligent and disciplined and graduated with straight A’s and high distinctions. At work I consistently deliver beyond expectations. Yet all through my life, I can honestly say there is one thing that consistently challenges me and, at times, holds me back from true success – the ability to manage my emotions and my relationships, especially in times of high stress.
Emotions play such a large role in thought, decision making and individual success yet at school or work we are never encouraged to talk about them or learn how best to manage them. Perhaps it is assumed, we will learn all we need to know from our environment growing up. But what if this is not always the case…. What then?
Are we left with our lot in life? Left being labelled the impulsive one, the shy one, the loud one, the sensitive one, the calm one, the angry one, the argumentative one, the aggressive one or the highly emotional one, which is ironic because we are all highly emotional – it’s just what we do with them that counts!
What if we acknowledged emotions, learn to understand emotions and harness them in such a way that it makes our life even better?
I recently attended a presentation based on the contents of the book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman and I was relieved when I discovered the Amygdala hijack! Finally here was an explanation to my instinctive ‘fight or flight ’response and the guilt and shame of past behaviour was somewhat lessened; not only because there was an explanation but there were strategies you could put in place to manage it too; it would just take discipline. In short, when the amygdala, located in the primitive or reptilian part of the brain, perceives a threat, it can lead that person to react irrationally and destructively, without thinking. And it’s in these situations, self-control and effective strategies are crucial. Whether you’re the person being hijacked or witnessing a hijack, being present and showing empathy will get you to the other side, and hopefully without any casualties or near death experiences!
As Daniel would say, ‘Emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us. It involves self-awareness and impulse control, social awareness and empathy’. Just like learning a new skill or new talent or building a muscle, being disciplined around your emotions will change your relationships and change your life.
What are your emotions telling you right now?
Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson
m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: firstname.lastname@example.org