I was recently challenged to share my thoughts on whether emotional intelligence was an oxymoron.
I guess it’s pretty understandable that if someone chose to take the two words at face value, it could be construed that they are potentially somewhat contradictory.
Emotions are felt and experienced, not learned. They are instinctive and automatic.
Intelligence is acquired and needs external influence and input.
Emotional intelligence is measured as EQ and intelligence uses IQ – and that is where one of the major differences comes in.
It is widely accepted that an individual’s IQ stops developing beyond their late teens, whereas EQ can be shown to grow continuously throughout someone’s life right up until their 70’s or 80’s.
The term emotional intelligence describes the acquisition of intelligence and knowledge about emotions – how to recognise and deal with them, in both yourself in others.
Everybody experiences emotions, all of the time.
To have the most positive impact, what’s truly important is learning what to do with them.
Improving your emotional intelligence will potentially have a significant impact on your ability to create, manage and develop the key relationships you have in your life – with yourself, your friends, your family, your colleagues and your customers.
With IQ it’s seen as important to have as big a score as possible. With EQ, it’s all about achieving a balanced result, not just for yourself but across your teams.
In fact according to the likes of the World Economic Forum and McKinsey developing EQ in the workplace is one of the most important areas to focus on in the future if businesses want to succeed and differentiate themselves.
It’s not about being emotional – it’s about being intelligent with your emotions!