Partially born out of a search for an alternative intelligence as researchers became increasingly frustrated that IQ tests didn't explain important life outcomes, EI initially surfaced in the 1990s and then became more popular in the 2000s with Dr. Daniel Goleman's book.
Now, is "EI" the end-all, be-all of thriving, high-performance, and excellent leadership? No.
The research shows there are some situations or roles where EI matters a lot, and some where it matters less (and may even be detrimental). And the research also shows there are a host of other factors, including IQ, that play a role.
In the area where I work - the human dimension - in sports, business, leadership, and teams…emotions and emotional intelligence matter.
So what is EI?
"The ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions." -Marc Brackett
Too easy, right?
Challenge yourself to consider these questions:
"They ensure our survival. They make us smarter. If we didn't need them, they wouldn't exist." -Marc Brackett, "Permission to Feel."
This is the tiniest snippet of the decades of research that clearly demonstrate the importance of emotion in our lives.
Sharing this with you, and you with others, is my effort to get people to give a damn about...
Too often, "emotional" and "strength" are seen as opposites.
There is an evolutionary component to this belief. We are instinctually wary of those who seem unpredictable - it feels threatening and dangerous. So if our inability to self-regulate makes us unpredictable to others, then we have a problem.
The bigger problem, though, is we have also come to believe that emotional suppression is the solution. The solution to appearing predictable. The solution to appearing strong.
It's not. Suppressing emotion makes us weaker - both mentally and physically.
I'll be adding content on emotional strength. I hope it challenges some of your beliefs about emotions and strength - and I hope you take the time to reconcile and work with those beliefs…changing them if necessary. I hope this series motivates you to assess your personal emotional strength. And I hope this series provides you with a few tangible strategies to adjust as needed.