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12 Apr, 2011

Emotional Intelligence – Smart thinking for the 21st century by Dee Harding

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coaching Articles|Life Coaching Articles

Emotional Intelligence - Smart thinking for the 21st century by Dee Harding

We have gone too far in emphasising the value and importance of the purely rational. Intelligence comes to nothing when emotions came to sway.

Research by Daniel Goleman in the 1980s found that up to 90% of star performer’s success was due to emotional savvy rather than other factors. According to Goleman, your ability to be emotionally savvy is a significant determinant of how successful you are in life.

What is emotional savvy?

Emotional savvy is about being consciously aware of your emotions and, with integrity, choosing those that work for you and not against you .It is the ability to recognise, understand, empathise and deal effectively with your own and other people’s emotions. Emotional savvy is the bedrock upon which effective communication and positive relationships are built.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence empowers you to manage effectively your own and other people’s emotions. Although most people have the potential to be emotionally intelligent they often are not because of internal interferences such as outdated beliefs and limiting habits. The process of becoming emotionally intelligent involves identifying and dismantling internal obstacles. In order to be emotionally intelligent you must also be emotionally literate. In his book “Emotional Literacy”, Claude Steiner defined emotional literacy as “….the ability to understand your emotions …listen to others…empathise with their emotions and the ability to express emotions productively.”

It is becoming increasingly obvious that possessing traditional intelligence alone is no longer enough. In the challenging times of the 21st century what matters most is to be intelligent about your emotions and those of others. The perception of emotional intelligence as “soft stuff” is changing. A recent Harvard Business Review stated:
In hard times the soft stuff often goes away, but Emotional Intelligence, it turns out, isn’t so soft’ …it is the key to maximising potential for success.

Emotional Intelligence has five domains -

1. Emotional self awareness – which refers to being aware of your feelings, being able to using specific words to describe them and ideally building up a vocabulary of feeling terms

2. Managing your emotions – which refer to handling your feelings in such a way that you do not become sabotaged by them. It also reflects the ability to bounce back quickly from setbacks and to refuse to be beaten when things go wrong.

3. Self-motivation – which refer to being able to delay self gratification and manage impulsiveness

4. Empathy – which refers to the recognition of feelings in others, being attuned to subtle social signals and being able to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes”

5. The effective handling of relationships – which refers to dealing with the feelings in others in all contexts,

In every area of life there is evidence that lack of self awareness and the resulting lack of emotional intelligence, can have catastrophic consequences. Feelings of overwhelm, resulting from the inability to deal with emotions are often the cause of the acts of ‘emotional hijacking’ which are witnessed worldwide almost on a daily basis.

We are continually being faced with new and bigger challenges which require a new and better way of thinking. There is an urgent need to change attitudes and to raise awareness about the importance and power of our emotions. A new paradigm shift is called for:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein

What are emotions?

Emotions are feelings informed by thoughts. The beliefs which we hold about ourselves and about life in general are at the root of all of our emotions. In order to understand an emotion consideration must be given to the belief which informed it. A person s evaluation of a situation will be based on their beliefs which will determine their thoughts, their emotions and their response. A person’s beliefs may be positive and empowering or negative and dis-empowering.

Without emotional intelligence a person will have little self awareness and take inappropriate action that is based on outdated beliefs. With emotional intelligence a person will have heightened awareness, empathy and the ability to affect positive desirable outcomes. The ability to acquire emotional intelligence is crucial to anyone who wants to reach their full potential, achieve fulfilment and be the star performer of their life.

Being emotionally intelligent is not an easy option. It requires a person to be focused and have developed a form of non abusive power known as charisma. There are seven main sources of non abusive power :

Love: A heart centred approach to living characterised by love of self, love of others and love of truth. It is the basis of effective and honest communication.

Balance: The ability to be rooted or grounded. Knowing where you stand.

Passion: The power to inspire and invigorate.

Control: Being self disciplined enough to regulate emotions.

Communication: Connecting with others.

Information: In four forms – facts intuition wisdom vision. It enables more effective decision making.

Transcendence: Rising above it all, getting beyond our immediate concerns

A person who consciously and continually applies their knowledge of emotions in a positive and empowering way is like an ‘emotional warrior’ whose mission it is to enhance and empower their own life and the lives of others.

Acquiring self awareness is central to the development of emotional intelligence and is the starting point of the journey. Discovering that the Law of Attraction can be your greatest ally and using NLP strategies and techniques will help propel a person towards becoming emotionally intelligent.

The realisation that a person has the power within them to master their emotions and thus choose the reality of their own life is both liberating and awe inspiring.

by Dee Harding

4 Responses to "Emotional Intelligence – Smart thinking for the 21st century by Dee Harding"

1 | Efe Ohwofasa

April 12th, 2011 at 3:36 pm


Dee, great article. Well done. Enjoyed it

2 | Clive Pugh

April 16th, 2011 at 4:00 pm


Emotional is what it is all about. Many are nervous of the term Emotional Intelligence as being a bit too ‘touchy feely’ so it’s great to read an article that puts in context.

3 | Adam Zola

April 17th, 2011 at 9:01 pm


Very smart and realistic thinking by Dee Harding. It is universal and transcendent. When applied is beneficial to everybody regardless of your beliefs, and your background. Thank you for sharing it.

4 | Goals for Success by Dee Harding | The Coaching Academy Blog

June 14th, 2011 at 5:17 pm


[...] and an amazing vision of the end result in mind a goal will remain a dream. There must be a strong emotional ‘buy in’ to the goal. The more attachment there is to a goal the more chance there is [...]

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