We face our emotions moment after moment of the day. Whether someone cuts you off in traffic in your morning commute, or you walk into the office to a sour co-worker, we often find ourselves at war between our initial emotions and how we actually desire to respond.
Famous psychologist Daniel Goleman re-structured the well-known concept for improving self and social awareness, labelling emotional intelligence.
It starts with awareness of the self and social world: paying attention to your body’s physical responses or writing down your personal triggers.
It also tackles relationship management like being mindful of your intent versus impact, or taking the time to be curious of other’s behaviors rather than making assumptions.
Many companies have their employees engage in CU’s Emotional Seminar seminar, offered by the human resources department at CU Boulder, in hopes that with a better emotional understanding of one another, productivity will increase.
Many companies have their employees engage in seminar’s like this one, offered by the human resources department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in hopes that with a better emotional understanding of one another, productivity will increase.
First time seminar attendee Casey Kendrick came to approach her personal patience in the workplace.
Though many praise the positive impacts of these events, emotional intelligence has not been scaled in any scientifically valid way. IQ scores being the most common measure for human intelligence.
On the flip-side qualitative research by global business consultant Claudio Fernandez-Aroz suggests that IQ measures fail to account for large portions of intellect and career success, especially when incorporating social elements.
Proponents for emotional intelligence point to the biology of the brain to justify its legitimacy. As Senior Training and Development Specialist in Organizational and Employee Development in Human Resources at CU Boulder, Lauren Harris, explained it to me.
All five of your body’s senses come up to your spinal cord first. Then the spinal cord talks to the amygdala, which is your emotional powerhouse. When the amygdala gets triggered it flares up and blocks the frontal lobe, which what determines how you act. The less fluid this transition, the more likely a person is to literally act before he or she can think.
Strategies such as writing down your triggers or setting an alarm to dedicate five minutes of thought to one topic may work for some, and not others.
Though, as Harris tells, “It’s not the end all be all. It’s not the answer to everything, it’s one tool that you can build upon to put in your tool box to navigate this funky little thing that we call life.”