In 1995 Daniel Goleman, a New York Times writer, published Emotional Intelligence - Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, and the entire business world, including non-profit, was introduced to the concept of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
After an initial flurry of interest, the concept lost favor because no one seemed to be able to measure emotional intelligence. Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, "I know it when I see it..." managers began to identify emotional intelligence when they saw it in an individual.
Emotional intelligence was found to have a profound effect on:
PERFORMANCE AT WORK - Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require EQ testing before hiring.
PHYSICAL HEALTH - If you're unable to manage your stress levels, it can lead to serious health problems. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
MENTAL HEALTH - Uncontrolled stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand and manage your emotions, you'll also be open to mood swings, while an inability to form strong relationships can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
RELATIONSHIPS - By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you're better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling.
In recent years, social service agencies nationwide are attempting to develop in their supervisors the three critical skills of the emotionally intelligent:
PERCEPTION - The ability to detect and decipher emotions in themselves and others.
UTILIZATION - The ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities such as thinking and problem solving.
COMPREHENSION - The ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate the complicated relations among emotions.
When these three skills are cultivated, the emotionally intelligent supervisor can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.
Trained supervisors can create work teams with emotional intelligence.
Such teams demonstrate:
§ Trust among members
§ A sense of group identity
§ A confidence in the group's efficacy
Perception-Utilization-Comprehension in the SUPERVISORcreatesParticipation-Cooperation-Collaboration in the WORK TEAM
Becoming aware of your own EQ is the first step toward more emotionally intelligent behavior in your work group.
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