According to Salovey and Mayer (1990), emotional intelligence encompasses a number of different skills including affect regulation, emotion identification, and the ability to use these emotions and regulation skills to help with aspects of planning and life. According to authors such as Goldman (2006) emotional intelligence can be a more crucial skill to develop than even larger constructs like global intellectual ability. In order to investigate my own level of emotional intelligence and to plan for ways in which I can increase my emotional intelligence, I completed some online questionnaires which assessed my skills within the domain as well as the way that I tend to react under times of stress. Moving forward, I will be able to use the information from the assessment to develop my own plan to increase emotional intelligence.
Overall, I scored rather high across all of the domains of emotional intelligence, and I was pleasantly surprised. Specifically, self-management was my highest score (EQ=97), suggesting that I am aware of my emotions and I am flexible so that I can change my behaviors as needed. My other highest score was in social awareness (EQ=95), followed by self-awareness (EQ=91), and finally relationship management (EQ=87). All of my scores fell within the ‘strength to capitalize on’ scoring range. While I was rather shocked that I was doing so well within these domains, I do generally agree with the findings. Specifically, I have had days in which I was upset due to personal matters, but I was able to acknowledge and identify my tension and my sadness, accept those emotions, and move forward with my day-to-day tasks until I could be home to relax and unwind and process these emotions.
My lowest score was in the domain of relationship management, and this measures my ability to use my own emotions, and the emotions of others, to interact and to handle conflict effectively. This is an area in which I can improve. One way to increase my skills within this domain is to pay more attention to the emotions of others and to acknowledge these feelings when managing conflict. For instance, saying ‘I understand why you are angry and upset with me’ can be especially helpful. By using this approach, I can demonstrate better sensitivity to the feelings of others instead of becoming caught up in my own emotions to the detriment of conflict resolution.
Overall, I believe that emotional intelligence is critically important for leaders and I strongly believe that this construct is an important one to continue to develop. According to researchers (Mittal & Sindhu, 2012), emotional intelligence is necessary to effectively work as part of a team, and it is highly critical for being an appropriate leader. Tendencies towards violence and silence are both ineffective skills for leaders because these are too extreme and they are rather selfish ways of responding. In my opinion, a good leader is aware of his or her emotions and the emotions of others, and this is the definition of emotional intelligence.
- Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence, Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 1989-1990.
- Mittal, V., Sindhu, E. (2012). Emotional intelligence and leadership. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 12(16), 1-8.
- Goldman, D. (2006). Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ (10th ed). New York: NY, Bantam Books