Emotional intelligence : A yardstick for life skills

Rojina Tokpam
Emotion is a state of any conscious experience that are characterised by strong mental process and the way we response to our inner instincts and our outer surroundings. According to some theories, emotions are the feelings that result in physical and psychological changes that influence our behaviour. Whereas Intelligence refers to one’s cognitive abilities, which include memory, comprehension, understanding, reasoning, and abstract thought. It was only in the last few decades that a new form of intelligence came into existence called “Emotional Intelligence”. The concept of emotional intelligence was created by Peter Salavoy and John Mayer in 1990 and popularised by Daniel Goleman in the year 1998. He mentioned that “emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage our own emotions and the emotions of others.” Emotional Intelligence is how well a person can read and  monitor their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It is a different way of being smart i.e. the ability to recognize, manage, and use one`s emotion in positive and constructive ways. Later on, Dalip Singh (2003) proposed that emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to appropriate and successfully respond to a vast variety of emotional stimuli being elicited from the inner self and immediate environment. In today’s era EI (Emotional Intelligence) is being perceived as the most important element in a person’s success. For example, while comparing IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient), researchers have shown that while 20 percent success is contributed by IQ and the remaining 80 percent success is determined by EQ. It is now widely believed that EI rather than IQ may be the true measure of human intelligence. This is the reason that behavioural scientists are now focusing more on EI rather than IQ. Emotional intelligence taps into a fundamental element of human behaviour that is distinct from our intellect. Intelligence is our ability to learn, and it is the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is not an inborn quality but a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Although some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, we can develop high emotional intelligence even if we aren’t born with it. People with high emotional intelligence will find it easier to build healthier relationship and likely to achieve more fulfilling goals.
Emotional intelligence plays an important role not only in personal success but also in professional success. Today, the rule of the workplace are rapidly changing because a workplace is comprised of all kinds of different personality types and you have to work alongside people that you might not interact with in your personal life. For such reason, a new yardstick is being used to judge people in workplace. It is often said that employees with high EQ are better able to work in teams, adjust to change and be flexible.
No matter how many degrees or other paper qualifications a person has, if he or she doesn’t have certain emotional qualities, he or she is unlikely to succeed.
As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities may become increasingly important.
The writer is from Uripok