The emotional quotient (EQ or Emotional intelligence (EI))

There is a lot of talk about EQ - a measure of intelligence with different types of intelligences being categorised.

Through my professional experience, I was able to meet collaborators with different personalities. It has always been clear for me, that it is not just about intelligence measured for IQ but that other forms of intelligence exist. Once this intuition is installed, references are essential. This intuition turned to what is called the Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence (EI) or when the heart reasons with the emotions.

Why do some succeed better than others in companies, with identical profiles and graduating from Grandes Ecoles? What makes this difference for people who might have similar ambitions? But first, what is Intelligence?

(well, human intelligence)


According to Wikipedia, it is ”characterized by several skills, especially cognitive, which allow the human individual to learn, to form concepts, to understand, to apply logic and reason . It includes the ability to recognize trends, understand ideas, plan, solve problems, make decisions, retain information and use language to communicate. "


Emotional Intelligence encompasses many skills and competences. It was developed in the early 1990s by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, researchers in psychology and then developed in 1995 by David Goleman,psychologist and journalist.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

It is the ability to recognize one's own emotions, to analyze them and to compose them with those of others. It therefore has an impact both in terms of the relationship with our loved ones and that of professional success. It goes through the understanding of emotions.

Eva Reifler, personal development practitioner, offers a reading grid established from the work of Linda Kohanov and Karla Mc Laren. Behind each one is a message, not necessarily conscious but which it is interesting to decode:

· The fear that threatens life, psychological integrity and mental balance,

· The anger with a problem or a person invading the psychic or physical space that ignores needs and disrespect. We must set boundaries,

· The guilt with a bad conscience, the sense of wrongdoing

· The shame with a sense of inferiority, the awareness of having been mistreated or abused,

· The envy with the fact of wanting to be in another person's shoes, of feeling frustration, of being furious for not taking advantage of it.




For David Goleman, EI is based on 4 fundamental skills

· A good knowledge of oneself, a realistic vision of one's strengths and weaknesses, an understanding of one's own emotions and recognition of their impact,

· A management personal effectiveness , that is to say, good management of his emotions, the ability to take responsibility, to be adaptable and flexible, to demonstrate conviction

· A good knowledge of others, thus having a capacity for empathy, political sense and to perceive well the expectations,

· An ability to work with others, that is to say knowing how to listen, get involved, recognize the abilities of those around them, communicate well, be able to manage conflicts and changes, innovate.


Thus, Jacques Salomé, psycho sociologist and writer and Thomas d ' Ansembourg, lawyer and psychotherapist (in CNV), insist on the need to verbalize one's feelings and to be authentic in order to communicate with others.


They help in the process of developing emotional intelligence.

This approach is interesting more companies which have realized that recruiting solely on the basis of Intellectual Quotient (IQ) and diplomas is not entirely satisfactory.

However, Emotional Intelligence is an abstract dimension and it is invisible to those who do not see it and refuse to admit its existence. Thus, a manager endowed with an Emotional Intelligence, can understand the stakes, the power games and influence while being able to surround himself well and to put each of his collaborators into a role he can/could be the best.



Emotional Intelligence for Leaders?

The word “leader” refers the individual who will inspire other people, who will bring them together in order to achieve common goals.


David Goleman, according to his studies, drew 6 leadership profiles:

· Coercive or authoritarian, based on discipline. Keep discipline above all value but which can lead to demotivation

· Democratic, with the need to take into account the opinions of the whole group when making a decision, thus increasing the number of meetings.

· Affiliate, which is based on the collaboration between different members of the group but this can result in a lack of organization or discipline

· Visionary or orientative. Leaders with this profile motivate their subordinates through a clear and exciting vision. It is one of the most important styles of leadership.

· Pilot, with the role of setting a course and maintaining it. The leader will define himself as a model.

· Coach, with helping group members identify their strengths and weaknesses.

All of these styles are very useful for understanding managerial styles and their impact on team work. Each has advantages and disadvantages. They are not, moreover, incompatible.

On the contrary, the best leaders are able to take elements of each of them to adapt to the demands of the moment. They are able to choose at any time the one that best suits the group and the circumstances.



The keys to improving your Emotional Intelligence

Yes, emotional intelligence does work. You have to think of emotion as an intelligent “messenger. Several simple techniques exist to recognize, understand and therefore regulate emotions such as:

· Keep your cool, calm by relying on your body and feelings. According to Catherine Aimeler -Périssol, “ emotion follows a logic : it begins in the body before spreading in the mind ”. It is an indication. Then the mind may or may not add another emotion to the initial emotion. Coming back to the body and bodily sensations, it is possible to bypass the process. This is one of the foundations of sophrology .

· Express difficult emotions, first to yourself. To express oneself first of all to oneself, to let the storm pass. The emotion is not there for nothing, to indicate a state of mind and to move. Secondly, it is possible to bring it out with the right words.


There are also techniques like ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - which proposes to leave defensive mode and move towards acceptance and commitment. Ask yourself what you can do to act in the direction of your values, without forgetting the upheaval but observing it differently.


These solutions allow a better knowledge of oneself, of one's emotions and help to be more present to oneself and to the world. Once, the EI approached, visited, intelligence remains plural.

What if I told you Howard Gardner has nine forms of intelligence?


But, that is another story or another article...

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