Emotional intelligence is 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 behavior.
Friendliness, empathy and striving to understand the thoughts of others is natural to us as humans as we do not develop without social relationships.
Recent research shows that emotions are more important to both individuals and societies than previously thought.
Emotions are needed for:
– when under threat (fear, suspicion)
– when there is a need to stand up for oneself or others (anger, furiosity)
– prioritising tasks and people (liking, dislike, irritation)
– making right decisions (we are at our sharpest when emotional charge is biggest)
– improving memory (all positive feelings)
– to connect with others (love, caring)
Emotional intelligence was first brought up in scientific discussion by American researchers Peter Salovey and John Mayer. It became widely known with a book by Daniel Goleman, published in 1995: Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ.
Emotions reveal how you are doing
People tend to start analysing themselves and their behaviour most often within a state of crisis, not after a pondered decision. When the surroundings became unbearable and the person can no longer adapt, an analysis process starts. During this anguish hasty decisions are made that might be regretted afterwards: getting a divorce, quitting a job, selling the house.
On the other hand, positive decisions often follow when one´s feelings are analysed with intelligence. This thinking can be improved by literature, courses or discussions with people trained on the subject.
Analysis of one´s feelings need to take into consideration both the physical and mental dimension. What happens when I get furious? Do I feel like bursting to pieces? What about when I feel happy – how does that feel? Regulation of feelings means the possibility to knowingly affect how long and how strong the feeling is. We can get rid of, or reduce the power of unpleasant feelings and find ways to increase the occurrence of positive ones.
Feelings need to be felt, not suppressed. However, understanding one´s feeling mechanism the emotions can be tackled when they are just about to rise to the surface: Do I let myself get raving mad now?
Emotional intelligence does not equal logic-rational thinking: a person might be a famous mathematician and still unable to start a discussion with a stranger. Western thinking inclines to recognise only certain types of intelligence and this is enforced in schools. A Pre-schooler would name a housewife as an example of an intelligent person, later possibly a director of a big company.
What are the benefits of developing one´s Emotional intelligence?
– understanding emotions of yourself and others
– reacting correctly in social interaction
– coping in surprising or unpleasant situations
– finding concensus
– building a better life with your partner
– helping development of your children´s socio-emotional skills
A high performing person needs a wide set of skills and emotional intelligence is a powerful tool in pursuing any goal.
Based on a book by Mikael Saarinen, Marja Kokkonen: Tunneäly (Emotional intelligence)
How can the Moodmetric ring support development of Emotional intelligence?
Recognizing feelings can start with the help of the Moodmetric ring. Simply by understanding the moments of the day when emotions are the strongest and calmest can help in building emotional intelligence. The Moodmetric ring shows current emotional state and records your emotional past for later review. Understanding how certain times of the day or situations affected your emotional levels help towards further development of emotional intelligence.