Emotional Intelligence: Why It Works So Well

Dr. Purushothaman
October 15, 2013

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the study of "the wider range of qualities which enable people to excel - self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, empathy, etc." (Daniel Goleman).

It refers to your ability to understand and manage your own feelings and those of others, and to use the information to guide you to relate better, plan more flexibly, think more creatively, prioritize, motivate yourself and others, have better relationships and better health.

Emotional Intelligence is based on a number of competencies you can learn. Four of them are CREATIVITY, INTENTIONALITY, RESILIENCE and AUTHENTICITY. Depending upon which system you study, there are 12-24 of these competencies.

Why does it work so well? Because it solves problems quickly and effectively. If, for instance, you're not getting along at work, if you went to therapy, the therapist would immediately start looking for causes, and they would multiple. Causes might include chronic pain, anger, depression, passive-aggressive behavior, authority conflict, being the first born or the youngest, being the middle child, you're codependent, or an alcoholic.

The problem with these explanations is we all know people who are in chronic pain who are able to get along, or depressed, or passive-aggressive only in certain circumstances.

Emotional Intelligence, on the other hand assumes that you aren't getting along because you don't know how to. Pretty simple, isn't it? You aren't being creative because you don't know how to be. You aren't resilient because no one ever taught you. You aren't intentional because you've never seen it modeled by someone.

Studying Emotional Intelligence teaches you how. These things can be learned.

I read on someone's website the other day that EQ is hard to learn. On the contrary, I find most clients pick it up quickly because it's such a relief. "No one ever explained that to me,"they say, or "Now I get it." These competencies are things we can always improve throughout our lifetime, however most people see immediate positive results. The point is to set the train on the tracks so it can start rolling.

EQ is such a good system, I had a client in Abu Dhabi I worked with by phone, instant message and email who wrote me, after just 3 months: Since I started learning emotional intelligence, I have noticed the following positive changes:

1.I am more patient in dealing with angry people.
2.The ability to empathize with others helps in being able to receive love from mothers
3.I get in less fights in conversations
4.It is easier for me to solve problems

Lulwa, who gave me permission to quote her, may go on to increase proficiency in different areas, but she's already receiving the benefits in her life from what she learned in just a few weeks. Undoubtedly she will improve, because she has the foundation in place and she's getting the kinds of rewards that fuel motivation. Why would you stop doing something that makes it easier for you to solve problems?

Emotional Intelligence teaches you ways to make your life work better. It can be learned. You can get immediate results, and then continue improving as you apply the fundamentals you've learned to new experiences.

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