While Intelligence quotient has been talked about a great deal in relation to performance, it is not the only controlling factor that determines a person’s success. Emotions play an equally important role. Expressing your emotions and controlling it, is vital for personality development.

However, even more significant is the ability to recognize, interpret and react to the emotions of others. Being sensitive to the feelings of people around you is important for your success. This ability is referred to as emotional intelligence and is considered more powerful than IQ.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence, a fairly novel concept, denotes the ability of an individual to identify, control and assess his or her emotions and that of others. While some studies point out that it is an inherent characteristic, others believe that it is possible to learn and strengthen this quality. It has three main components, namely:

  • Emotional awareness, that is the ability of perceiving emotions of yours and others;
  • Harnessing emotions and using them for a day to day tasks and to solve problems;
  • Manage emotions, both yours and others’, by that bringing about a positive attitude.

How emotional intelligence can change you

Researchers believe that the capacity to understand emotions and information related to emotions improves the overall thought process. This skill helps you perceive other people’s emotions accurately, resulting in solving problems quickly and accurately.

Further, this ability can be used to promote certain patterns of thinking to enhance the quality of life. A simple instance is grasping the sad or angry mood of others and understanding that they might want to be left alone. Confronting a difficult issue when your opponent is in an amicable mood is another instance.

When you have high emotional intelligence, it is helpful in many ways including:

  • Solve emotional issues without much cognitive effort;
  • Have high social, verbal and other related skills;
  • Be more agreeable and open;
  • Avoid self-destructive behavior like excessive drinking, smoking, drug addiction and violent interaction with others.

In short, an emotionally intelligent person is skilled in describing and adhering to motivational goals and missions.

Understanding the limitations

While emotional intelligence does have several positive implications, it has its limitations. Overemphasizing emotions by seeing individuals as being ruled by emotions can have a negative impact. In an organization, managers are able to understand their own and others’ feelings, so their job is made easier. But, this is just a calm approach to tell others to be practical and down to earth. If emotions are easy to understand and control, then they cease to be a mystery and become just a reaction that can be controlled and manipulated. This can be quite detrimental if used for nefarious purposes.

While research suggests that emotional intelligence is critical to success, the positive effect is highly dependent on the way it is used. For accountants, scientists, technicians, etc., it may be a liability instead of an asset. The emotional knowledge can hamper their work productivity in a big way. However, for establishing a good social relationship and avoiding conflicts, emotional intelligence is necessary.