EQ & Empathy
Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ/EI)
Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotions and their relationships, and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them (Mayer, Caruso & Salovey, 1999, p. 267)
Four Attributes of Emotional intelligence:
- Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
- Social awareness – You have empathy. You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
- Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Can EQ/EI be Trusted?
"To consider EI as a scientific construct, it is necessary to determine whether EI is a measurable phenomenon (Matthews, et al., 2004). Self-report measures of EI have shown satisfactory internal consistency reliably across a variety of cultures, as well as more than adequate levels of test-retest reliability over 1 – and 4-month periods" (Heather Craig, BPsySc., 2019).
While there are many arguments regarding whether EI is a measurable phenomenon, researchers Matthews, Roberts & Zeidner (2004) found that "past research has found a relatively modest association between self-report measures of EI and actual ability measures" (Heather Craig, BPsySc., 2019).
EQ - Self Assessments
"The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling" (GGM, 2020)
"Contemporary researchers often differentiate between two types of empathy: “Affective empathy” refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety. “Cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions. Studies suggest that people with autism spectrum disorders have a hard time empathizing" (GGM, 2020)
"Humans are wired to experience empathy, possibly via multiple systems of mirror neurons in our brains. These mirror neurons reflect back actions that we observe in others causing us to mimic that action in our own brains. When we observe someone in pain or when we are with someone happy, we experience that to a certain extent. These mirror neurons are the primary physiological basis of empathy. They create a neural Wi-Fi that connects us to the feelings of people around us" (Swink, 2013)
"Research has shown that empathy makes people better managers and workers, and better family members and friends. But it’s bigger than just its personal effect. We’re all in this together, and researchers say that connection and compassion are crucial to a sustainable and humane future" (Miller, 2020).
Ways to Improve
We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives, says Roman Krznaric—and use it as a radical force for social transformation. (Krznaric, 2012)
1: Cultivate curiosity about strangers
2: Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities
3: Try another person’s life
4: Listen hard—and open up
5: Inspire mass action and social change
6: Develop an ambitious imagination (Krznaric, 2012)
"A study conducted by the Center for Creatively Leadership investigated 6,731 leaders from 38 countries. Their results reveal that empathy is positively related to job performance" (Swink, 2013)
That which gets in the way of our empathetic-selves
- Not Paying Attention
- Hidden Biases
- Feeling the emotion of the other person but not knowing how or when to communicate empathetically.
- Not feeling the other person's emotion but knowing intellectually that you need to communicate empathetically. This is known as cognitive empathy.