Where Are You On The Emotional Intelligence Continuum?

Where Are You On The Emotional Intelligence Continuum?

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EI) is said to be the combination of:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Self-management;
  • Social awareness – empathy; and,
  • Relationship management.
  • Where are you on the Self-Social Awareness / Self-Relationship Management Continuum? Do you…

    1. Hurt people at will and not think any more about it or say sorry. The basic attitude is, ‘It’s their fault.’ This is ‘unconscious incompetence.’ In other words, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It’s ignorance either by choice or not.

    2. Hurt people at will, then regret it perhaps a day later, but still not say sorry. You live with the ill feeling, and by virtue of your lack of action you leave ‘them’ with it too. This is the beginnings of ‘conscious incompetence.’ Suddenly you’re becoming more socially aware. Yet, you’re still unable to do anything about it.

    3. Hurt people “unintentionally” and see it basically straight away, but fumble with the situation. You see you’re wrong but can’t help them or you with resolution. You feel guilty. You are still in the ‘consciously incompetent’ stage.

    4. Hurt people without meaning to and regret it straight away, and then you actually do something to remedy it; though perhaps later. This is the beginning of the transition from ‘conscious incompetence’ to ‘conscious competence’ in the realm of social awareness and self-management.

    5. Adjust as you’re about to unintentionally hurt someone. Before you hurt them, you pull yourself (and your proposed speech or action) back. In other words, you’re ‘consciously competent’ with others’ feelings. You catch the words as or before they escape forever.

    6. Not hurt others. You’re so aware most of the time that essentially others’ feelings are safe with you. You could consider yourself ‘unconsciously competent.’ Another way of putting it would be, you’ve mastered the skill of reflecting in the moment.

    If you featured mainly in the 5/6 range you are demonstrating what could be called ‘distinctive’ competence in Emotional Intelligence. You have groomed a character that is rare these days. Your self-awareness and social competence is sought after, and it leaves its impression on others; they can’t help but notice ‘you are different.’ You are said to be respectful, friendly, mature, and considerate. If you’re in this bracket you still need to maintain your EI, however.

    It’s something to strive for in life. EI, unlike most other forms of intelligence, can be developed. It can be perfected more and more. In theory, and by virtue of the fact we’re human, there’s no limit to how much our EI might be developed. Now, if you give yourself more of a 3/4 rating you’re certainly on the right track, but you might need to search for ways to develop your EI further, for instance, through a leadership program, mentoring, or reading EI-style books.

    There are literally millions of places to get good EI material to ‘feed on’ these days. As you learn and grow you’ll find yourself developing a sense of discernment for this material, knowing instinctually what’s good and what’s not so good. Simply exercise choice. Less is best. Good quality material is good to meditate and muse on. Daniel Goleman (1995, 1998) is one of the foremost gurus on the subject.

    It’s been said that you can have four (4) PhD’s and still not know really a thing about EI. And it’s true unfortunately. What is wonderful however is when the much learned person applies the learning potential in developing themselves in an entirely different way, the personal EI way. Conversely, the person who develops EI can also deploy these skills in the development of knowledge. It’s then only a matter of time before you can earn that degree or doctorate you’ve always wanted!

    Here’s a challenge I give to both academics and novices alike, especially those who may have reached dizzy heights. It’s to enter into a personal growth journey. And it’s to not only improve their own ‘quality’ of life, but it’s also to enhance others’ lives so much through the quality of education, character and influence they have. Powerful people must understand the power of their influence. It needs to be used positively. It needs to be used to serve people.

    I believe we’ve failed as human beings if we haven’t spent our lives driving toward achieving the “6” rating on this scale; to become unconsciously competent at treating others with irrefutable and utmost respect; and for it to be first, not second nature.

    When we reach ‘this place,’ we are nothing short of inspiring to those around us, and this effect is infectious. Love oozes out of every situation and we feel simply alive! Can you imagine working or living in an environment where everyone is on the “same ‘EI’ page?” I think that would be the pinnacle of living.

    Let me give you an example of this type of environment in real life, though an example from the ancient Near East, during the first Century of the Common Era.

    They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.(Acts 2:42-47 NIV)

    What do you think? Could it be that God is the missing dimension in developing EI? Can it be that God can give the right drive and motivation for loving and serving our fellow human beings? Is it that the person of Jesus, no matter what you currently think of him, is the way to the humility, generosity, and selflessness that’s required in your life to attain a higher level of EI?

    It’s such a pity to see an otherwise fully developed older person who’s emotionally unintelligent. Not only does it affect them personally, but it has widespread ramifications for anyone close to them; in the extreme cases it’s responsible for damage and abuse that leaves a mark on the affected lives of loved ones.

    If you want success and a future for your loved ones it’s foreboding to not commit to EI from today!

    © 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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