Unit 3 – Individual Project
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Theory
American Intercontinental University
Colette McGinnis, Instructor
March 1, 2015
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as the capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.1 Emotional intelligence is a synthesis of research developed during the 1970s, 80s, and early 1990s from which different theoretical models have been expanded. Principal among those early research pioneers were Howard Gardner (Harvard), John Mayer (New Hampshire), Peter Salovey and David Caruso (Yale), and Daniel Goleman (Harvard, Rutgers). The research is instigated around the argument that traditional intelligence (IQ) is too narrow a concept to determine how successful an individual will become in life. It is postulated that IQ dictate around 20% of the attributes that decide life success, which leaves 80% to other factors.2 In accordance with the research those other factors would include emotional intelligence among additional variables. Emotional intelligence is particularly relevant to human resources development because it provides a new way of assessing people’s behavior, management style, attitudes, interpersonal skills and potential.3
Mayer and Salovey have identified four elements (branches) of emotional intelligence:
The first, most basic skills involve the perception and appraisal of emotions. The second set of skills involves assimilating basic emotional experiences into mental life, including weighing emotions against one another and against other sensations and thoughts and allowing emotions to direct attention. The third level involves understanding and reasoning about emotions. The fourth and highest level of emotional intelligence involves the management and regulation of emotion in oneself and others such as knowing how to calm down after feeling angry or being able to alleviate the anxiety of another person.4
Examples of emotional intelligence can help us understand why emotional intelligence is so important to our social and career success. People with high emotional intelligence:
1. Are self-motivated. They are not quitters.
2. Can control their impulses – including anger.
3. Can delay gratification.
4. Regulate their own moods.
5. Handle stress well.
6. Empathize with others.
7. Make others feel important!
8. Handle anger well.
9. Listen carefully.5 I was excited to take the test because I was interested in finding out how I would do on it. While it is unlike an IQ test, I wanted to see if I was emotionally adapted in my current position in life. My career is on the up rise and with the exception of not having my bachelors degree, I feel pretty confident about my progress in life; and my personal assessment of my abilities, both intellectual and emotional. As I was taking the test I began to reflect on my overall growth and maturity over the past 20 years, and I felt satisfied that I was on the right path to success. I constantly work on continuous improvement to develop skills and aptitudes to deal with new challenges that confront my emotional benchmark.
Overall I received an evaluation of “Good EQ” which indicates that I have high emotional intelligence. I was excited by the results, yet skeptical when getting to the end of the results to see advertisements about buying a book (Performing Under Pressure Book) and attending emotional intelligence training programs. It all seems like a big gimmick. Otherwise, the appraisal appears to capture my strengths and weaknesses as it relate to my abilities. One of the things the test results indicated that I needed to work on was “to stop and reflect on what