Emotional Intelligence has garnered a lot of focus and press coverage of late. Now, some 10 years after the concept was born, it has proven to be much more than just a fad. Indeed, as a concept it has gained a lot of respect amongst business leaders. There are many training courses offering workshops in developing emotional intelligence. And the phrase has now passed into common, everyday usage.
The higher up in an organisation you climb the more important it is to be emotionally intelligent. Managers who score higher on a test of EI report less stress, higher morale and experience less illness.
Safety & Survival
One of the first principles of human behaviour is safety and survival. To that end we are constantly scanning our environment for danger, both consciously and unconsciously. Emotions (fear, anger, sadness, joy & disgust) are one major and rapid pathway for alerting us toward challenge and threat in our environment. We also use emotions to communicate this information to others. Recent research has shown that the brain has specific areas dedicated to processing emotional information (Joseph LeDoux – `The Emotional Brain’).
21st century survival is as much about self-preservation in the social and psychological world as it is in the physical. So emotional intelligence is really about our ability to integrate our emotions with our cognitive thoughts. Thereby ensuring our everyday safety and survival in the modern world. And like other forms of intelligence some people are better at it than others.
Research into Emotional Intelligence
The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations was founded in 1996. It was set up to aid the advancement of research and practice related to emotional intelligence in organizations. The following research projects and articles are provided by the Consortium. http://www.eiconsortium.org/reports/reports.html
Some further recommended tools to test your emotional intelligence: http://emotionalintelligence.net/products/?gclid=CKKsyYCrkbACFYwQfAodakDgyg
Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.
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