Studies in Emotional Intelligence

Powerful Essays
Studies in Emotional Intelligence

There is a growing interest in the concept of emotional intelligence, and with that growth is a gap between what we know and what we need to know. In the article, Emotional Intelligence: Issues and Common Misunderstandings, Robert J. Emmerling and Daniel Goleman inquire as to what emotional intelligence is, how it differs from other established constructs within psychology, whether or not it can be developed, whether or not it can be a better predictor of work performance than traditional measures of intelligence, whether or not it should be measured at all, and how it relates to ethics.

Emotional intelligence has a potential utility in predicting a range of criterion across different populations, but its predictive validity depends on the context, criterion of interest, and specific theory used. Traditional intelligence measures have been unable to account for a significant portion of variance in career success and work performance. IQ was originally thought to account for twenty-five percent of how well people perform in their careers, while it was later discovered that IQ actually accounted for between four and ten percent. A more recent study found that IQ is a better predictor of work and academic performance than EI, but when it comes to becoming an extraordinary performer, IQ may be a less powerful predictor than EI. The failure of IQ to account for the variance between performance and success is especially evident among managers and senior leaders. IQ alone is unable to predict this as well as competencies that integrate emotional, social and cognitive abilities.

Emotions and cognition are interwoven in the aspects of emotional intelligence, especially in interpersonal functioning, empathy, motivation, affective self-regulation, self-awareness, and complex decision-making. The range restriction on the variable of IQ among managers and senior executives may be the cause of IQ’s inability to predict the variance in performance among managers. Leaders must process a great deal of complex information on a daily basis, and that requires a high level of cognitive ability. IQ simply provides a basis on which to recognize a minimal capability that all who are within a certain job pool should have to keep their job. IQ should remain a predictor of the vocations that are available to an individual of a certain in...

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...iduals may only receive feedback related to technical competence, people skills, or leadership style. For an individual to improve on any ability, he or she would need realistic feedback concerning their baseline abilities and progress. Providing valid and reliable feedback on specific emotional and social competence helps to provide individuals with insight into their strengths and areas for development. Providing a more balanced view and a supportive environment can help to overcome feelings of defensiveness that often undermine the development of emotional and social competencies.

Emmerling and Goleman inquire as to whether or not EI is morally neutral of or if it interacts with an ethical dimension. In psychology, morality and ethics are treated individually in a dimensin beyond the issues at hand. Certain aspects of EI certainly tend to promote prosocial behavior. Self awareness must be deployed to act in accord with one’s own sense of meaning, purpose, and ethics. Empathy appears to be an essential step in fostering compassion and altruism. These two individuals stress that the progress of emotional intelligence is impressive, but there is still a lot to be discovered.
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