emotional intelligence and emotional maturity
Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 4 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: how emotionally maturity is connected to spiritual maturity]
When I searched amazon.com, I found 199 titles with the phrase, “emotional intelligence” in it. That’s a lot of books on one topic! There’s even a Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.
Emotional intelligence is not identical to emotional maturity. It seems to me that “emotional maturity” is a broader general category for someone’s emotional life. Whereas “emotional intelligence” is the whole science of quantifyingly studying and understanding human emotions, both individually and relationally.[*] It’s probably right to say that if one’s EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is high, that person is more emotionally mature.
Let’s use this working definition: “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions.”
- Self-awareness. The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
- Self-regulation. The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting.
- Motivation. A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status, which are external rewards. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
- Empathy. The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
- Social skills. Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport.
Found this Emotional Intelligence Test (35 ?s) and Emotional IQ Test – Abridged (10 ?s) online. Even before seeing these results, I’ve known that I’m a person still in process of growing in emotional intelligence.
Top Ten Suggestions for developing Your Emotional Intelligence (aka, 10 Habits of High EQ people) from eqi.org:
- Become emotionally literate. Label your feelings, rather than labeling people or situations.
- Distinguish between thoughts and feelings.
- Take more responsibility for your feelings.
- Use your feelings to help make decisions.
- Use feelings to set and achieve goals.
- Feel energized, not angry.
- Validate other people’s feelings.
- Use feelings to help show respect for others.
- Don’t advise, command, control, criticize, judge or lecture to others.
- Avoid people who invalidate you.
Individuals with a higher EQ (usually) get more success, more happiness, and more compassion in life. Everyone wants that, right? Let’s hear Daniel Goleman talk about why we aren’t more compassionate more of the time.
Aside: EQI.org is a website by Steve Hein, who authored a very practical e-book, “EQ for Everybody,” and posted it online for free. He says, “Emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.” Hein claims to have compiled the world’s largest list of feeling words, with over 3,000 words. Feeling words beginning with A thru S are online.
[*] Daniel Goldman popularized this fascinating phrase via his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, and he uses the phrase “to synthesize a broad range of scientific findings, drawing together what had been separate strands of research – reviewing not only their theory but a wide variety of other exciting scientific developments, such as the first fruits of the nascent field of affective neuroscience, which explores how emotions are regulated in the brain.” (huh?) The Wikipedia entry describes how the definition is constantly changing, so it’s a lot to get your hands around.