The term “emotional intelligence” was coined and formally defined by John (Jack) Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University in 1990.
Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey define Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional meanings, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual growth.”
Research has shown that there is no difference between emotional intelligence in men and women. Women do however frequently score higher in some emotional intelligence skills than most men.
Men are more likely to dismiss the value of emotional intelligence than women.
A “C” suite coaching client of mine who has been working with me as his coach for several years now, shared these ideas with me yesterday.
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
- “I’ve become much more efficient in my relationships.”
- “I now pick up on other people’s behaviors that I didn’t notice before because I was too busy focusing on myself.”
- “When you understand emotional intelligence, you learn to break through other people’s acts. It’s as if you learn how to decode other’s sincerity or lack thereof.”
- “Knowing my emotional intelligence has caused me to make a lot of behavioral adjustments that I could have never made before when I was unaware of how I was coming across to others.”
- “Developing EQ has pushed me to learn how to leverage my gift as a Strategic leader and I no longer feel the need to convince others that I know everything. I stick to the strategy and delegate the details to people on my team who are more capable of carrying out detailed assignments.”
- “My recent presentation to the Audit Committee was a 10 on a scale of 10. My presentation to the Board of Directors was a 9.5 on a scale of 10. These ratings came to me from my boss.”
This was one of my most favorite conversations of all time. To have worked with someone for several years to improve behavior, the most difficult task on the planet, and to learn about these kinds of results was priceless. Then the feedback got even better from my perspective.
While these are not the only benefits to be gained by understanding one’s emotional intelligence, these are benefits that came to my client’s mind in one conversation.
This “C” suite executive’s life has changed because of the work we’ve done together to improve his emotional intelligence. No, I’m not guessing at this. I’ve been told on many occasions by this same client that the work we’ve done together has impacted him professionally as well as at home with his wife and his son.
It’s never too late to learn the current state of your own emotional intelligence. It's also not too late to learn how to improve your emotional intelligence. The benefits of doing so are virtually endless. The sooner you get started the more time there is to create lasting impact.