Emotional Intelligence? What is That?

When talking in terms of how “smart” a person is typically, only one thing comes to mind… “Someone who does well in school or has a high IQ”.  But is that accurate?  Well as I’m sure you can imagine the answer depends on the desired result.

So if you are the type of person who enjoys going to school and learning new things.  Things such as math and science.  And are good at them then you may have a higher IQ than normal.  But what does that mean?  Well it simply means that you’re on average “smarter” than the total population.  But smarter in what ways?  Well you’re likely better at problem solving using the logical portion of your brain.  You may be able to fully solve the amount of fuel needed for an aircraft to take a long 8 hour flight. Calculating the different variables, which include wind speed and direction, aircraft weight, and other aerodynamic forces that an aircraft may encounter.  But if your brain is not wired in that way there is STILL HOPE!!

Google’s definition of Emotional Intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”.  Summed up this means being self-aware.  But why does this matter?  Well it matters because being self-aware is what helps many of the most successful people become successful.  In fact, J.D. Rockefeller is a perfect example of an emotionally intelligent businessman.  J.D. Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company in 1870.  This company controlled over 90% of the oil supply in the United States during its peak!  But do you think Rockefeller was the one that decided where to dig for oil?  Where to distribute?  How to refine the oil?  If you’re thinking ABSOLUTELY NOT then you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

Rockefeller was a very “smart” man there is no denying that.  But he made most of his money with the help of others.  He understood how to speak to others in a way that motivated them to want to help him, as well as, themselves.  He would work with people and listen to all sorts of advice on what to do next with the company.  Rockefeller had a tremendous hold on emotional intelligence.  He understood how to motivate people and used his interpersonal skills to build an empire!

So now you’re likely wondering how you can be more emotionally intelligent?  Well for starters just knowing about emotional intelligence is huge step!  Since you are aware that it exists, you can now start to take steps in honing your skills.  One way I choose to master these skills was through reading and reflection.  There are many great books out there on emotional intelligence and self-awareness.  Two I recommend are Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman, and How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Both books offer valuable insight on a wide variety of issues.  And as for reflection, I would just suggest you schedule some downtime in your day to reflect on who you are, where you are headed, and where you want to be.  So now the question from the first paragraph comes back.  What is your desired result?




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James A. Lovejoy

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