Emotional and Social Intelligence
What is Emotional and Social Intelligence ?
What is Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) ? Intelligence is a broad assessment of intellectual capacity. This is the ability of individual to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with the environment. However, it was long felt that there lies some inadequacy in the the concept of intelligence, so far as individual’s adjustability in his environment is concerned. Therefore, the concept of emotional intelligence was proposed.
Emotional Intelligence refers to the capacity for recognising one’s own feeling and those of others’ for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. It describes the abilities distinct from, but complimentary to academic intelligence(I.Q.). Many persons are book smart but they lack emotional intelligence and such people usually end up working for the people with lower I.Q. than they themselves have, but who are excellent in emotional skills.
In our brain, two separate regions control the intelligence and emotional intelligence respectively. The intellect is based solely on the working of neo-cortex while the emotional centers are located in the sub-cortex.
Social intelligence is the ability to understand and deal with other persons.
An emotionally intelligent person is self aware. The person knows the reason for his emotional response and thus improves his chance of handling it smartly. Self aware people have greater degree of self confidence and have firm grasp over their capabilities. They take calculated risks.
Managing emotions or self regulation is another important component of emotional intelligence which frees us from being the prisoner of our own feeling. People who are able to control their feeling and impulse create an environment of trust and fairness. In such environment, in-fighting is reduced and the goals are accomplished.
Emotionally intelligent people are highly motivated. They remain optimistic even in the most challenging and stressful situation and are able to easily overcome the frustration and depression that comes after failure, if any.
Empathy, which is defined as thoughtfully considering other’s feeling, is an important component of emotional intelligence. Empathetic people are able to recognize emotion in others and are attuned to subtle social signals that indicate what others want.
Social skills which is the ability to handle emotion of others is an important component of emotional intelligence. Socially skilled people have wide circle of acquaintance and have a knack of finding common ground with the people of all other kind. Socially skilled people are able to relate themselves well with their surroundings and can easily win the confidence and trust of others. Tactfulness, cooperativeness, self-confidence, social-memory, patience, sensitivity and sense of humor are some of the characters of socially intelligent person.
How to develop emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence doesn’t merely mean being nice in all situations because assertive behavior is also an integral component of social skill. Being emotionally intelligent doesn’t mean giving free reins to the feelings. Rather, it means managing our feelings, so that they can be appropriately expressed to enable the person achieve his goal. Emotional intelligence is not genetically fixed nor it develops in early childhood. Unlike intelligence quotient, the emotional quotient continues to develop throughout life as we have new and new experiences each day. The socialization of the child plays an important role in development of emotional intelligence. The home and school’s environment are important. By providing democratic environment to children, where parents and teachers respect their individuality, value their sentiment, impose trust on them and confront them in the rationale issue oriented manner, it is likely that the child will grow up into an emotionally enlightened individual. Likewise, by reinforcing the curiosity behavior, by providing answers to their curious enquiries and by developing in children, the positive world view, parents and teachers can make children optimistic and empathetic. If the democratic environment is provided early in life, it produces maximum positive impact on the individual. However, if for some reason, such climate has not been provided and we are to make intervention only at the adult stage, then various psycho-therapeutic methods such as sensitivity training, response shaping, assertiveness training etc. can be very useful.
Emotional intelligence gives an individual a better chance to use their genetically gifted intellectual potential. Thus we can say that intelligence gets us selected but its our emotional intelligence that gets us promoted. The future belongs to those who are skilled in managing their emotions as only those people are likely to succeed in relationship building, which is a critical requirement in every endeavor in life.