Emotional Intelligence? Organizational Behavior Tamara Ramsey August 12, 2012 Abstract This paper examines how emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are associated with academic success and job performance. Emotional intelligence continues to pick up momentum in the world of business and academia. More and more research supports the concept that emotionally intelligent employees, managers, leaders, and companies produce noticeable business results.
Employers are now looking for emotional intelligence in their potential employees and leaders and utilizing assessments and directed interviews to assess a potential hire’s emotional intelligence skills. Research has shown that emotional intelligence skills are important to success on the job. The lack of emotional intelligence can break or significantly slow a professional’s career progression in today’s complex world.
An individual with emotional intelligence definitely will be a part of the finest in this complex world and will have the ability to survive its ups and downs with dignity and grace, while successfully adding value in his/her professional and personal life. What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. This concept was firstly developed in 1990 by two American university professors, John Mayer and Peter Salovey and they concluded that, people with high emotional quotient are supposed to learn more quickly due to their abilities.
These insightful publications helped pave the way for the 1995 best-seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and Working with Emotional Intelligence by New York Times behavioral science columnist Daniel Goleman, which brought emotional intelligence into the mainstream of business. According to Peter Salovey, chairman of the Department of Psychology at Yale University, “Prior to 1995, only other psychologists had heard of emotional intelligence. Goleman’s first book made the term a household word (Simmons, 2001).
Emotional intelligence provides a significant contribution to our understanding of relationships in the work place. Mayer and Salovey’s conceptualization of emotional intelligence focused on emotional abilities that link emotion and cognition, while other definitions, for example Goleman’s definition, incorporate social and emotional competencies including some personality traits and attitudes. Mayer and Salovey’s model of emotional intelligence that encompasses (a) emotional awareness, (b) emotional facilitation, (c) emotional knowledge, and (d) emotional regulation.
This model emphasizes that emotional intelligence is a multi-dimensional construct and that these four steps are iterative in that each of the abilities can contribute to enhancing other abilities. For instance, in reflecting on reactions during a crisis situation, an individual’s emotional self-awareness can contribute to a better understanding of the emotions involved (Jordan, 2004). Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identified four different factors of emotional intelligence: the perception of emotion, the ability reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotion and the ability to manage emotions. . Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions. 2. Reasoning with Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention. 3. Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings.
If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work that morning or that he’s been fighting with his wife. 4. Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management. (Cherry, 2012)
According to Salovey and Mayer, the four branches of their model are, “arranged from more basic psychological processes to higher, more psychologically integrated processes. For example, the lowest level branch concerns the (relatively) simple abilities of perceiving and expressing emotion. In contrast, the highest level branch concerns the conscious, reflective regulation of emotion” In the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, the central thesis that he tries to point out is that emotional intelligence may be more important than I. Q. in determining a person’s well-being and success in life.
At first I didn’t know what Goleman was talking about when he said emotional intelligence, but after reading the book I have to say that I agree completely with Goleman. One reason for my acceptance of Goleman’s theory is that academic intelligence has little to do with emotional life. To me, emotions can be just as intelligent as your I. Q. There is the idea of academic intelligence having little to do with emotional life. Goleman states that, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to motivate oneself, persist in the face of frustrations, regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think. (Goleman, 1995) I feel that academic intelligence gives you no preparation for the turmoil and opportunities that life brings. The funny thing is that our schools and our culture are still fixated on our academic abilities. Even though emotional intelligence is a new concept, the information that does exist suggests it can be as powerful as I. Q. The past few decades have seen increasing interest in emotion research. Although much remains to be learned, agreement is beginning to emerge regarding the way emotion should be viewed.
Emotions provide a unique source of information for individuals about their environment, which informs and shapes their thoughts, actions, and subsequent feelings, and there is a growing view that emotion information can be used more or less intelligently. A notion central to emotional intelligence theory is that individuals differ in their ability to perceive, understand and use emotional information, and this ability significantly contributes to intellectual and emotional well-being and growth.
Emotional intelligence as a concept has prospered, in part, because of the increasing personal importance of emotion management for individuals in modern society. Indeed, researchers have commonly claimed that emotional intelligence predicts important educational and occupational criteria beyond that predicted by general intellectual ability. Emotional intelligence (EQ), intelligence (IQ), and personality are not connected. The three do not go together in any meaningful way. Emotional intelligence explains a fundamental element of your behavior that is unique from your intellect.
You cannot determine someone’s IQ based on their EQ and vice versa. Intelligence is how quickly you absorb new information and it does not change throughout your life. Emotional intelligence is unique because it is a flexible skill that you can improve with practice. Anyone can develop a high degree of emotional intelligence (Unknown, 2012). Like IQ, your personality does not change. Personality is the style with which you approach the world: what motivates you and the people and situations that give you energy (versus those that drain it). One example of this is the tendency we all have to be introverted or extroverted.
As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence or IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. IQ can help you get into college but it’s EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions of sitting your final exams. While some research has found emotional intelligence is positively correlated with academic performance the results have been mixed.
In addition, it has been suggested that emotional intelligence can increase as experience increases for a “maturity” effect. Considering the mixed nature of literature on the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic performance, the concept warrants further research. Perhaps the studies that did not find a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and academic performance did not examine the sub factors of emotional intelligence or perhaps it was due to the scale that was utilized (Shipley, 2010).
Goleman (1995) describes individuals with high emotional intelligence as having good interpersonal skills and interacting well with others. His description of these individuals infers they are gregarious and seek out others. In a similar vein, individuals with a need for affiliation evaluate themselves in relation to others and seek social approval. Goleman (1995) believes individuals with high emotional intelligence are ‘attuned’ to other people.
In their decision-making, individuals with a need for affiliation are swayed by the needs of people and do not seek to hurt others or break relationships, so they are more comfortable in roles where they can act as an integrator. Goleman’s framework of emotional intelligence contains ‘building bonds’ as one of the competencies in the social skills cluster (Christie, Jordan, Troth, ; Lawrence, 2007). Goleman describes the individual with high emotional intelligence as goal-focused, personally effective, self-assertive, and possessing perseverance towards their goals. The controlling and channeling of our motions toward a goal is Goleman’s definition of the master aptitude of emotional intelligence. Goleman further defines these qualities by linking them to the concept of achievement drive. But it has been found that those with a need for achievement prefer situations where they are personally responsible for the outcome and where they can get performance feedback in relation to how well they are doing on a task. Goleman considers achievement drive to be a subset of emotional intelligence (Christie, Jordan, Troth, & Lawrence, 2007). Three of the most popular theories have to be taken into consideration.
They are the theories of Mayer and Salovey, Goleman and Baron as shown in following table: Table 1: Emotional Intelligence Models Mayer and Salovey| Goleman| Baron| Perception, Appraisal and Expression of Emotions| Emotional self-awareness| Intrapersonal| Emotional Facilitation of Thinking| Managing Emotions| Interpersonal| Understanding and Analyzing Emotions, Employing EmotionalKnowledge| Motivating Oneself| Adaptability| Reflecting Regulation of Emotion to Promote Emotional andIntellectual Growth| Recognizing Emotions in othersHandling Relationships| Stress ManagementGeneral Mood| (Aruna, Suganthi, & Samuee, 2011)
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in how emotional intelligence (EI) affects everyday life transactions. For example, it has been claimed that EI is an important factor in determining life success and psychological well-being. Another area of study where the effect of EI might be influential is occupational stress. Since stress is conceived mainly as an emotional reaction (usually negative) to various environmental stimuli, EI could be used as a framework, within which the individual could learn how to cope with it and how to control strong emotions.
In one of the very few studies exploring this issue, it has been found that managers high in EI suffered less subjective stress, had better physical and psychological well-being, and demonstrated higher-in-role job performance (Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002). Research such as that from the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations demonstrates how emotional intelligence skills are instrumental in achieving success and business results.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the type of personality are very strong predictors on behavior at work. Both these concepts are very useful in determining the suitability of a person to a particular job. An awareness of a person’s EI will help both the person himself as well as the organization to grow. Every employee needs to have a good relationship with his colleagues (namely boss, peer group, subordinates) as well as his customers / clients. Studies have shown that EI affects team or group performance.
Investigating EI abilities, personality traits and work performance, a study found that EI abilities enhanced the effects of agreeableness on task and contextual performance indicating that individuals possessing a personality trait that predisposes them to get along with others, such as team player, are even more effective in task role as well as contextual role when they possess high EI abilities (Shaffer ; Shaffer, 2005). Emotional intelligence is said to influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures, clearly an important set of behaviors to harness stressful work conditions.
Table 2: Work Benefits from Emotional Intelligence Factors| Workplace Benefits| Self-Regard| Builds better work attitudes and behaviors; better self-confidence leading to better performance. | Reality testing| Focuses on daily based real things happening. | Self-actualization| Inspire, encourage individual/team performance; bringing more life experience to the job. | Empathy| Understands feelings, duties and demands being placed on contemporaries creates consistent functioning; understanding others viewpoints helps make one group. Assertiveness| Encourages individuals to work more effectively and share ideas without any fears and act as a leader. | Emotional Self-Awareness| Lifts successful policy and leads to improved interaction among workers. | Impulse control| Knows rash actions can be costly; often stay away from mistakes by simply discussion time to stop and think. | Flexibility| High perform better in positions where tasks are dynamic and changing. Low, perform better at more defined tasks requiring reliability and consistency. Independence| People fluid thinking for themselves, yet still active listening to and utilizing ideas from others when appropriate. | Social Responsibility| Contributing to recognized departmental and company plans; being aware of the greater good you and your group can contribute towards benefits of society. | Optimism| Self-fulfilling prophecy: staff believing something is possible; often make it happen; optimistic attitude that wards off stress. | Problem Solving| Create viable alternative solutions, including a cost / benefit analysis / long-term implications. Interpersonal Relationship| Avoid communication related barriers within and between departments. | Stress Tolerance| Coping with reasonable amount of work pressures, establishing clear priorities, and meeting pragmatic deadlines. | Happiness| Boosts spirits / holistic performance| (Allam, 2011) An important new direction is in the use of emotional intelligence in institutional effectiveness. EI assessment, intervention, and evaluation provide a valuable research perspective in studying both student performance and institutional effectiveness.
Research studies in progress show a positive and significant relationship of EI skills and competencies to student achievement and retention. Research related to the characteristics that are sought by recruiters and prospective employers in graduating college students suggests that emotional intelligence (El) skills are as important as, if not more important than, job-related skills. Counselors working with college students, however, usually focus on career management and job search skills and neglect the development of emotional intelligence skills.
Emotional intelligence seems to be an excellent framework to use in helping college students find a job and succeed in the workplace. More than ever, college graduates must have a wider array of skills and knowledge to become successful employees and citizen. Although job-related knowledge is critical, today’s college students need other skills to succeed in the workplace. Research suggests that many students finish college only to find that they are ill prepared for dealing with many aspects of their personal and working lives (Liptak, 2005).
The theory of emotional intelligence (El) can provide a valuable framework for career counselors in higher education settings to use to help students be more successful in the workplace upon graduation. By using El skills as a focus, counselors can effectively integrate personal counseling with career counseling. Research indicates that interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are some of the most sought-after characteristics of new and prospective employees, even more so than job-related knowledge.
These characteristics and skills, however, have been neglected in the literature in research, and in services provided by career counselors working with people transitioning into the workforce. EI seems to be an excellent framework to use in working with college students to help them be more successful in finding a job and in being successful on the job (Liptak, 2005). Managing your emotions will improve your work performance and develop good connections with others. Emotionally intelligent people are in tune with themselves and how they impact others.
They can read others and the situation well, understand how they are affected by others’ emotions and behaviors, and can respond accordingly. As a manager or leader, using your emotional intelligence skills will mold productive and effective employees and teams, which will produce good business results and grow an emotionally intelligent organization (Kappesser, 2010). Everyone is born with some degree or level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can affect several factors in your life, such as: performance at work; your physical health; your mental health; and your personal relationships.
Using your emotional intelligence can give you an edge in maximizing what you have in the way of appearance, IQ, education, and work experiences by reflecting on, identifying, and shaping any of these areas to bring about a positive impact or outcome. Emotional intelligence is believed to develop as you experience life and interact with others and your environment. In a normal course of a lifetime emotional intelligence tends to increase as we learn to be more aware of feelings, effectively handling distressing emotions, to listen and empathize.
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