The Functional Linkages Of Emotional Intelligence With The Mentoring Process

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We see emotions as organized responses crossing the boundaries of many psychological arenas including the physiological, cognitive, motivational and experiential systems. Emotions typically arise in response to an event either internal or external, which has a positively or negatively influence for the individual. Emotions can be distinguished from the closely related concept of mood in that emotions are shorter and generally more intense [Peter Salovey, John D Mayer, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Vol.9 (3) 185-211,1989-90].

The concept of EI has recently received considerable importance in various books, magazines and journals. However, everybody seems to employ different definition or make different claim for its importance. This has prompted us to explore the different facets of EI and its components as well as to clarify the real existing definition of EI. Let us first understand the terminology of EI.

Understanding of EI

To understand the concept of EI we need to explore its components namely Intelligence and emotions. Intelligence pertains to abilities such as ‘the power to combine and separate concepts, to judge and to reason and to engage in abstract thought. Where as emotions belongs to the so called affective sphere of mental functioning that includes the emotions themselves, mood evaluations and other feelings including fatigue or energy. However Goleman (1995) has given a new meaning of EI. According to him IQ accounts for only about 20{44f93193654ee8e357ba54f38b49cfc3563b7d623a8103b2d4e387aa181f7fed} of person’s success in life where as the remaining 80{44f93193654ee8e357ba54f38b49cfc3563b7d623a8103b2d4e387aa181f7fed} attributes to EI. Considering the above arguments, wetermed EI as,” the ability to perceive emotions , to access and generate emotions so as to assist thoughts, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.” The above definition combines both that emotions makes thinking more intelligent and that one thinks intelligently about emotions. However the definition is segmented into detail into the following figure:



1. Reflective Regulation of Emotions to promote Emotional and Intellectual Growth

· Ability to stay open to feelings, both those that are pleasant and those that are unpleasant.

· Ability to reflectively engage or detach from an emotion depending upon its judged in formativeness or utility

· Ability to reflectively monitor emotions in relation to one self and others, such as how clear, typical, influential, or reasonable.

· Ability to manage emotion in oneself and others by moderating negative emotions and enhancing pleasant ones without repressing or exaggerating information they may convey

2. Understanding and analyzing Emotions; Employing Emotional Knowledge

· Ability to label emotions and recognize relations among the words and the emotions themselves, such as the relation between liking and loving.

· Ability to interpret the meanings that emotions convey regarding relationships, such as that sadness often accompanies loss.

· Ability to understand complex feelings: simultaneous feelings of love and hate, or blends such as awe as a combination of fear and surprise.

· Ability to recognize likely transitions among emotions, such as the transition from anger to satisfaction, or from anger to shame.

3. Emotional Facilitation of Thinking

· Emotions prioritize thinking by directing attention to important information.

· Emotions are sufficiently vivid and available that they can be generated as aids to judgment and memory concerning feelings.

· Emotional moods swings change the individual perspective from optimistic to pessimistic, encouraging consideration of multiple points of view.

· Emotional states differentially encouraging specific problem approaches such as when happiness facilitates inductive reasoning and creativity.

4. Perception Appraisal and Expression of Emotion

· Ability to identify emotion in one’s physical state, feelings and thoughts.

· Ability to identify emotions in other people, design, art work etc., through language, sound, appearance and behavior.

· Ability to express emotion accurately and to express needs related to feelings.

· Ability to discriminate between accurate and inaccurate, or honest vs. dishonest expressions of feelings.

The other side of the concept also include EI as a type of social intelligence that involve the ability to monitor one’s own and others emotions, to discriminate among them and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions. [Mayer and Salovey, 1993: 443]. However, Goleman (1995) stated that EI is actually a constellation of abilities, skills and dispositions which, when taken together, can predict a person’s likelihood of future success in a number of areas, including one’s ultimate niche in society. This constellation includes (but is not limited to) leadership, the ability to nurture relationships and keep friends, the ability to resolve the conflicts and skill at social analysis.

Subsequently EI is mingled up with the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work and how to work collectively. Whereas intrapersonal intelligence is a correlative ability turned inwardly. It is a capacity to form an accurate model of one self and to be able to operate that model effectively in reality.

The key of EI is to use your emotions intelligently; you intentionally make your emotions work for you by using them to help guide your behavior and thinking in ways that enhance your results.

Now let us glance at the EI components.

EI has various components and dimensions as well as sub dimensions, which is categorized in the following figure:






o Emotional self awareness

o Accurate self assessment

o Self confidence



o Self control

o Trustworthiness

o Conscientiousness

o Adaptability

o Achievement driven

o Initiative



o Empathy

o Service orientation

o Organizational awareness


o Developing others

o Influence

o Communication

o Conflict management

o Leadership

o Change catalyst

o Building bonds

o Team work and collectivity

Important points:

o EI matrix is composed of two dimensions self and other – recognition and regulation

o Self comprises of personal competence, which is sub-divided into two sections: self-awareness and self-management.

o Self awareness consists of the assessment of the emotional components as well as of the individual’s self confidence whereas self management is all about one’s own control level as well as one’s own adaptability, initiative ness and achievement drive.

o Other components of EI comprise of social competence, which is segmented into social awareness and relationship management.

o Social awareness is related to the empathy, service orientation and organizational awareness whereas relationship management is all about interpersonal linkages and collective behavior.

EI derives from four basic elements that operate like the building blocks of DNA. These blocks represent the abilities that together give rise to your EI. They are hierarchical, with each level incorporating and building upon the capabilities of all previous ones. The four building blocks are:

  1. The ability to accurately perceive, appraise and express emotion
  2. The ability to access or generate feelings on demand when they can facilitate understanding of yourself and of another person
  3. The ability to understand emotions and the knowledge that derives from them
  4. The ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth

Mentoring Process

Mentorship is an important training and development tool for upward professional advancement in an organization. It is a fundamental form of human development where one person invests time, energy and personal know-how in assisting the growth and ability of another person.

The concept of mentoring is not new. The story of mentor comes from Homer’s “Odyssey”. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca, went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the case of his household to a mentor, who served as a teacher and an overseer of Odysseus’s son. Similarly in Indian Mythology, the story of Chanakaya resembles the concept of mentoring. Today we often relate mentoring to our careers, but mentors can touch every facet of our lives if we take their offerings and apply them in various aspects of our lives.

Mentoring can be defined as,

“A complex, interactive process occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise, which incorporate interpersonal or psychosocial development, career and/or educational development and socialization function into relationship. This one to one relationship is itself a developmental process and proceeds through a series of stages which help to determine both the conditions affecting and the outcomes of the process”. [Carmin, 1988]

In an organization, senior managers are experienced people who, as superiors, also need to take the roles of coach and guide for the new entrants. Mentoring is an important aspect of these roles.

The main purpose of mentoring is to provide opportunity to young people to share their concerns and get both moral support and guidance for their development. It involves the following:

  • Establishing a relationship of trust
  • Modeling behavioral norms for the new entrants
  • Listening to the personal and job concerns of the new entrants
  • Helping new entrants to search alternative solutions for their problems
  • Sharing one’s own relevant experiences so that cumulative experiences are shared and handed down
  • Responding to emotional needs of the new entrants, without making him dependent on the mentor
  • Building long and lasting relationships

Characteristics of Mentors

In order to be a good and effective mentor, the individual needs to possess the following skills and qualities:

· Management perspective

· Organizational know-how

· Credibility

· Accessibility

· Communication

· Empowering orientation

· Developmental orientation

· Inventiveness

· Maintaining a relationship

· Intrapersonal and Interpersonal skills (Parikh, Indira, and Kollan, Bharti, Paradigms of Mentoring Process, Working paper in Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, March 2004)

Functions of Mentoring Process

Mentoring process has got two functions, which are depicted in the following figure

  1. CAREER FUNCTIONS: tHE FUNction include:
    • Sponsorship
    • Exposure and visibility
    • Coaching
    • Protection
    • Challenging assignments
  • Role modeling
  • Acceptance and confirmation
  • Counseling
  • Friendship

By analyzing and relating the figure 2 and figure 3 we find that EI components matches with the factors of mentoring functions as well as with the characteristics of the mentors. This implies the fact that in order to be a good mentor one need to have high on EI dimension in general and few EI components in particular. However, if the mentor is following the career function then he needs to be high on few EI components like service orientation, organizational awareness, achievement drive and change catalyst. The mentor should possess high EI score (which is called as EQ, i.e. Emotional Quotient) on that dimension. Subsequently, if the mentor is operating through the psychosocial perspective of mentoring then he needs to have a high score on EI dimensions such as emotional self awareness, self confidence, empathy, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, initiative, influence, communication, conflict management, leadership and last but not the least team work and collectivity.

Henceforth, the following salient features will enhance an individual to be a good mentor with a high EI ratio

  • Knowing one’s emotions and of others
  • Managing emotions of both
  • Motivating oneself and of others
  • Handling relationships


Goleman, D. Emotional Intelligence, New York: Bantam, 1995

Mayer, J.D., and Salovey, P., The intelligence of emotional intelligence, Intelligence, Vol, 17, pp. 443-42, 1993

Parikh, Indira, and Kollan, Bharti, Paradigms of Mentoring Process, Working paper in Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, March 2004

Peter Salovey, John D Mayer, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Vol.9 (3) 185-211, 1989-90

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