The Other Kind of Smart
Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success
Author: Harvey Deutschendorf
Pub Date: May 2009
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814414057
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814414064
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What Is EI?
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by changing the attitude of the mind.”
—William James, Psychologist and Philosopher
The idea that our emotions influence how well we do in life is not
new. It has been around as long as humans have been on earth. The
ancient Greek philosophers spoke of the impact that emotions had on
themselves and on those around them. In the last few decades, we have
made major breakthroughs in the study of our emotions and their effect
on our lives.
History of a Concept
During the early part of the twentieth century, researchers and psychologists
seriously began to study various forms of general intelligence. By
the time the IQ test was established and being used in schools, David
Wechsler, who developed the latest version of the IQ test in 1940, already
felt that there were other areas of intelligence that needed to be measured.
He inferred that one of the areas we needed to look at was what
is now called emotional intelligence. In 1955, Albert Ellis, the founder of
rational-emotive therapy, speculated that people could learn to deal with
their emotions by using their rationale. In 1980, Dr. Reuven BarOn, an
Israeli psychologist and Rhodes Scholar, began to study how emotions
affect people’s functioning.
Using his own work and that of earlier researchers, BarOn began to
develop the emotional quotient, or EQ test, for emotional intelligence,
the first scientifically valid assessment for emotional intelligence. The
American Psychological Association approved the test, known as the
BarOn EQ-i®, or Emotional Quotient Inventory.
The term emotional intelligence is credited to John Mayer of the
University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University.
In 1990, the two psychology professors, along with colleague David
Caruso, developed an alternate test for emotional intelligence. Their test,
the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), is an
ability-based test of emotional intelligence. The discussion around who
actually discovered emotional intelligence or who first coined the term
is a moot point. Our knowledge base had progressed to the point that
researchers and social scientists were making new breakthroughs in the
area of human functioning. With our new understanding, it was becoming
possible to measure and test for the effects of emotions in our lives in
an accurate and meaningful way.
Think of it as being similar to technical breakthroughs such as
the automobile or airplane. Although the Wright brothers have gone
down in history as the first to achieve sustained airborne flight, there
were others who were working on this and close to achieving flight.
Technology had advanced to the point that airborne flight was possible
and there were inventors at that time in all the industrial nations such
as England, France, and Germany who were getting close to achieving a
breakthrough. If the Wright brothers had not made their historic flight in
Kitty Hawk, it is likely that someone would have flown shortly after that
time. It was an idea whose time had come. The same principle applies to
In 1995 Daniel Goleman published Emotional Intelligence, which
summed up the work that had been done up to that point in the field.
It became a bestseller, and Goleman appeared as a guest on the Oprah
Winfrey Show. If there was a defining moment for emotional intelligence,
this was it. Public awareness of the concept, which up until this point
had been minuscule, jumped dramatically. People began to talk about
emotional intelligence as articles began to appear in major magazines
such as Time and Newsweek.
In 1998, Goleman followed up his highly successful first book with
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, in which he researched how
businesses were benefiting from implementing emotional intelligence
concepts in the workplace. Like his first book, this one also became successful
and the author again appeared on Oprah. In the last few years,
articles have appeared in prestigious business publications such as the
Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, quickly clearing up any
misconceptions that emotional intelligence is some “fuzzy, feel good”
idea that has no place in the real world.
Since the term emotional intelligence has been around, there have been
some misconceptions regarding what it means. Without digging further
and investigating as to what the term actually means, people have
jumped to conclusions based solely on their connotations of the word
emotional. In the book Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel
Goleman attempts to set the record straight and clear up some misconceptions
surrounding the term emotional intelligence.
Rather than simply being nice, emotional intelligence means being real,
open, and honest regarding our feelings. This can take courage as it is
often easier to skirt around issues than to confront them directly. Rather,
we need to be real in our interactions with others. While we should
be sensitive to other people’s feelings, ignoring or overlooking their
negative or destructive behavior does them no favors. If we truly care
about someone, we must be forthright and honest even though it may be
uncomfortable for us at the time and not appreciated. True friends will
end up appreciating that we had the courage, and cared enough, to be
honest with them.
Letting It All Hang Out
As Goleman points out, “Emotional intelligence does not mean giving
free rein to feelings—‘letting it all hang out.’ Rather, it means managing
feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling
people to work together smoothly toward common goals.”1
There is a time and place for expressing strong emotional feelings to
others. For example, during a staff meeting is not the right time or place
to vent anger at a coworker. Later, once we are calmed down and have
carefully thought out what we are going to say and are in a private setting
with the coworker would be a much better time and place.
Women Have More Emotional Intelligence
Another aspect of EI that is frequently misunderstood is the differences
between the genders’ natural ability to express it. Women in our society
have always had a great deal more freedom and permission to express
and show their emotions than men. This is slowly starting to change as
Western culture has been waking up to the negative consequences of not
allowing men to openly express their emotions. Because women have
been much more open and expressive in general with their emotions, it
is assumed by some that they will be better in all areas of EI than men.
Daniel Goleman tried to clear up misconceptions regarding gender differences
when he wrote that “women are not ‘smarter’ than men when
it comes to emotional intelligence, nor are men superior to women. Each
of us has a personal profile of strengths and weaknesses in these capacities.
Some of us may be highly empathic but lack some abilities to handle
our own distress; others may be quite aware of the subtlest shift in our
own moods, yet be inept socially.”2
When we add up male/female profiles, we find that women on the
whole are more aware of their emotions and are better at forming relationships
with others while men adapt more easily and handle stress
better. However, it is important to remember that this finding does
not account for individual variations where these differences could be
reversed. There are men who are very aware of their emotions and are
able to form strong relationships, just as there are women who adapt
easily and are good at handling stress.
Emotional Intelligence Is Not Fixed at Birth
The most exciting and promising aspect of emotional intelligence is that
we are able to change it. In other words, unlike our IQ, we are not stuck
with what we are born with. The great news about EQ is that it is not
fixed or only developed at a certain stage in life. It has been shown that
life experiences can be used to increase EQ and that we can continue to
develop our capacity to learn and adapt as we grow older. The EQ realm
is one area that does reward us for successfully having gone through
stages of our lives.
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