What is Emotional Intelligence ?

Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability of an individual to keep a check on his/her emotions not only at workplace but also otherwise. There are very few individuals who know how to express their emotions in the right way and also control them. Such people are known to have low emotional intelligence as compared to others who are extremely good in managing their emotions.

Peter was extremely upset over his break up with girlfriend but that certainly did not affect his productivity and output the next morning. He was at his usual best and even his colleague sitting next to him had no idea about his foul mood.Peter always believed in keeping his emotions and feelings separate from his professional world and never let them disturb his routine work. He very well knew how to manage his emotions. Harry, Peter’s colleague, on the other hand failed to perform as per expectations of his superiors and management as he was so engrossed sorting his personal problems, that he hardly had any time for his office. Honestly, mood swings and personal problems have no place in the professional world. You can’t cry at work just because you had a fight with your spouse previous night.

Every individual has feelings and emotions but wise is he who leaves his emotions at home and do not bring to work. The term emotional intelligence was popularized by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, both of them contributing immensely to make people understand their’s as well as others ‘emotions and direct their actions accordingly.

According to Salovey and Mayer, emotional intelligence is known to have four factors. Let us go through them in detail:

  1. Perceiving Emotions: How would you control your emotions if you fail to understand them? Unless and until you know what is actually troubling you or your team member, it would be difficult for you to respond or react. One needs to perceive emotions correctly. That is actually the first step. Do not only depend on verbal communication to perceive emotions. There are other options as well which are more reliable. The other person might not come to you and share his emotions. Very few people actually do that. It is for you to understand. Body movements, gestures, facial expressions play an important role in acquainting you with other’s emotions.

  2. Logical Reasoning: Once the emotions are perceived correctly, the next step is to figure out which all emotions need prompt attention and which all are irrelevant. Sometimes, one may feel upset without a reason. In such cases emotions certainly can be given a pass.

  3. Decoding Emotions: Decoding emotions in simpler words refers to understanding and finding out the exact reason behind a certain emotion. For example, if someone is feeling low, you need to know the exact reason as to why the other person is upset and sad. Interpreting the emotions correctly is extremely crucial. Let us make it simple with the help of an example:

    Tim noticed that his Boss, Charlie was not at all speaking to him for quite some time now. He could somehow make out from his expressions and gestures. Tim was smart enough to find out the exact reason of his Boss’s anger. He immediately finished all his pending assignments and also ensured his team met its monthly targets.

  4. Managing Emotions: The last but most important part is to know how to manage your emotions. You may be angry over someone but that does not mean you can shout over him/her or abuse in public. Do not let your emotions come out and spoil the office environment. As a mature professional, you are expected to deal with your emotions sensibly. Try to find a solution to your problems rather than cribbing and crying over spilled milk.


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