What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? I have actively been involed in EQ for over two years and I  never posted a blog post answering the question.  In 2010 I was offered a job to teach Emotional Intelligence after doing a talk based on the book –  The Self-Esteem Trap and I confess I went home and googled Emotional Intelligence.  As realize that this is something I’d been studying for sometime.  I didn’t have a name for it or an umbrella under which all the information fitted.  So for those who would like more clarity about what Emotional Intelligence is – here you go:

Intelligence (IQ) is being smart with data and Emotional Intelligence is about being smart with feelings. Is how Susan Stillman, director of education for Six Seconds, explains it beautifully.  The definition Six Seconds uses to explain what emotional intelligence is ‘It is combining thinking and feeling to make optimal decision for your life.’

I was raised regularly hearing phrases like:

  • Stop being so emotional, you’re not thinking straight.
  • Women are ruled by emotion and men are rational and logical.
  • Boys don’t cry.
  • Strength is to show no emotion.
  • We’re told to leave emotions at the door as they get in the way of our efficiency.
Thinking + Feeling = Better outcomes

What research now shows us is that emotions and thinking are intertwined.  It’s not a case of EITHER thinking OR feeling it’s a case of AND and BOTH.  Emotions and thinking work together and the more we understand of what we’re feeling the better we can leverage thinking to understand and to make decision that really serve our lives, our dreams and our community better.

6 Second Model

A Map to grow Emotional Intellignece

When I facilitate training I use the simple and sophisticated Six Second Model of Emotional Intelligence.  This model is a map to developing EQ.  It’s a circle that we continue to go around all our lives.  Emotional Intelligence is not a subject you get to pass and you’re done with it. Pass. Degree. Tick. It’s a part of life from the moment you’re born until the day you pass on.

It’s about how you handle yourself and how you interact with others and how you respond to the experiences life throws at you.  Studying EQ allows you do this in a more mindful and conscious way.  Not studying EQ means you’re studying EQ through the school of life, it’s just without the support of those who have studied best practices and can offer a wide range of wisdom and experience to share it with you.

That’s a quick synopsis of what Emotional Intelligence is. If you’re interested in developing your own EQ see how to get started on developing your EQ.  If you’re a reader, get your hands on some of these recommended reads on EQ. Finally you’re welcome to take the on-line Six Seconds Social Emotional Intelligence test (SEI) followed by an in-person or Skype debrief to understand your own EQ.  Explore our experts page to find the right expert for you.  Contact me to support you in finding the right expert for what you need.