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Emotional Intelligence 101

Updated on March 21, 2015

Have you ever watched someone lose their temper with a customer service representative while standing in line? Have you ever known a supervisor to use yelling as a “motivational technique”? Have you ever witnessed someone at work having such a difficult time dealing with a change that they became anxious, fearful, or angry over it (even if the change is beneficial to them)? Have you ever felt or done any of these things yourself? All of this falls under the umbrella of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence has been a hotbed of activity for researchers over the past few decades. This research has created some exciting and relevant information for the business sector and individual human beings. I was so intrigued by the concept that I wrote my doctoral dissertation about emotional intelligence. I also teach EI workshops to create awareness about emotion management.

By now, many people know something about the concept of emotional intelligence. It even made the cover of Time Magazine in 1995. Some of the renowned researchers in this field of study are (but, not limited to): Dr. Goleman, Dr. Salovey, Dr. Bar-On, Dr. Caruso, and Dr. Mayer. The definitions vary among researchers, but there are some similarities.

The essence of emotional intelligence is a person’s ability, knowledge, or competencies to manage their own emotions, perceive and understand other people’s emotions, and to make logical and effective decisions with their emotions. The regulation of emotions is also a significant element of emotional intelligence. Therefore, emotional intelligence can include: understanding non-verbal cues and communication, problem-solving, self-awareness, confidence, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, mindfulness, optimism and many others.

If an individual has a higher level of emotional intelligence, they will be able to work with the customer service representative to solve the problem, they don’t feel the need to yell at employees to motivate them, and they are much more adaptable to change. They don’t allow their emotions to control them. A significant amount of research over the past two decades has revealed that having a higher emotional intelligence quotient allows for closer personal relationships, marital happiness, professional success, better physical health, and greater overall life satisfaction. Getting to know the concepts of emotional intelligence is worth your time.

Emotional intelligence can be tested. The result of this assessment is called your Emotional Quotient. There is a variety of EI tests you can take. My favorite test is the EQ-i 2.0 or the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). As an emotional intelligence and leadership coach, I have used the EQ-i 2.0 quite a bit.

Here’s the deal: It’s okay if your emotional intelligence isn’t soaring high into the sky. But, what is important is that you recognize that you may have some work to do in this area. That is known in EI terms as “self-awareness”.

Kitty Brandal, PhD

About Dr. Kitty Brandal

Dr. Kitty Brandal is an experienced independent trainer who has been training and teaching for over 20 years. She currently serves as a part-time instructor for college-level business courses and is the President of Corporate Compass Training and Development.

She has designed curriculum and taught various topics while serving in the U.S. Navy, working in higher education, and the corporate sector. Dr. Brandal earned a doctorate degree in Organizational Management and Leadership and is a Certified Stress Management Coach, Emotional Intelligence Coach, and Reiki Master.

Dr. Brandal offers a variety of leadership development programs, to include: Diversity, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace, First Time Supervisor Workshop, Communication, Dealing with Difficult People/Conflict and many others.

She is also an award winning speaker with Toastmasters International and is a member of the Professional Speakers Guild.



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