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The Emotional Intelligence Theory Cheat Sheet by

theory     intelligence     emotion


According to Caruso and Salovey (2004), emotional intell­igence begins with:
1. Emotion is inform­ati­on.
2. We can try to ignore emotion, but it doesn’t work.
3. We can try to hide emotions, but we are not as good at it as we think.
4. Decisions must incorp­orate emotion to be effect­ive.
5. Emotions follow logical patter­ns.
6. Emotional universals exist, but so do specif­ics.

1. Emotion is Inform­ation

Emotions are reactions we have to personally signif­icant intera­ctions and situations around us each day. Our emotional responses help us to respond, adapt and thrive in the busy enviro­nment in which we live. Our emotions or internal responses, which may be positive and negative, can be thought of as “data” or signals about how we perceive various situat­ions, and if we are mindful to what an emotion is signal­ling, we can consci­ously help bring about a positive outcome.
For example, when we feel anger, we signal to others not to approach us. Conver­sely, a smile conveys happiness and approa­cha­bility. The social nature of emotion is a key source of motivating inform­ation for managers and leaders.

2. Try to ignore emotion, but it doesn’t work

Emotions, thinking and judgements are exceed­ingly interc­onn­ected. Our emotional responses to situat­ions, family and co-workers can influence our relati­onships and job perfor­mance in both positive and negative ways.
Research by a social­-ps­ych­ologist Roy Baumeister (cited in Caruso and Salovey) found indivi­duals remembered less inform­ation when they tried to suppress the expression of emotions. He asserts attentive listening skills and inform­ation processing abilities were lessened in attempts to suppress emotion. Humans need to comprehend and reframe the meaning of the inform­ation as well as the emotional component in a constr­uctive and adaptive manner without suppre­ssing our personal feelings..

3. Try to hide emotions, not as good as we think

3. We can try to hide emotions, but we are not as good at it as we think. Conscious and uncons­cious attempts to mask our emotions ultimately fail. Ekman’s research on facial expres­sions and lying indicates that it is possible to identify someone who is not telling the truth by observing pauses in their speech, speech errors, and momentary emotional display. Covering emotions and “surface acting” is associated with job burnout and turnover among other issues. The desire to ignore emotions or to engage in purely rational pursuits can lead to mistrust and poor decisi­on-­making.

4. Decisions must incorp­orate emotion

4. Decisions must incorp­orate emotion to be effect­ive
Effective interp­ersonal and management skills require integr­ation of pertinent inform­ation and associated emotions. Successful decision making is not comprised of avoiding conflict and making everyone happy all the time. The western culture tends to distrust emotion as illogical, however the emotional intell­igence theory recognizes that emotions make us truly human and these feelings must be embraced and incorp­orated into our lives.
Although we prefer to experience positive emotions, there is also just situations for negative emotions as fear, anger and hurt which create a stimulus to fight for equity. Caruso and Salovey (2004) stress “it means that there are times as a manager, a team member, an individual contri­butor, when one might feel hurt, badly hurt. But if it doesn’t hurt badly at times, you’re probably not making emotio­nally intell­igent and effective decisions” (pg. 12).

5. Emotions follow logical patterns

Emotions are not random, but reacti­onary for various reasons, and follow a sequence from low to high intensity as the event or thought which generated the emotion continues or increases.
A renowned emotions researcher Robert Plutchik (cited in Caruso and Salovey) created a model of emotions that clearly presents emotions along an intensity continuum, depicting how emotions can intensify. Eight primary emotions are arranged within an inner circle, with opposing emotions on opposite sides of the circle. This model also depicts how various emotions can combine to create more complex emotions. Unders­tanding this complexity allows indivi­duals to manage their emotional reactions in healthier ways.

6. Emotional Universals exist, but so do specifics

Emotional intell­igence can be applied to the global society at large as the rules of emotion and their associated expres­sions are universal. Although there are cultural differ­ences in social behaviour, and customs may differ from country to country, emotional expres­sions are similar worldwide. A smile, laughter, or tears will be interp­reted with the same meaning throughout the world. Caruso and Salovey exert that life can be more complex, and specific variations in emotional interp­ret­ations can be related to display rules, secondary emotions, and gender.

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