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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Big Think | 5:33


Emotional Intelligence refers to how well we handle ourselves and our relationships, their four domains, self awareness, knowing what we're feeling, why we're feeling it, which is a basis of, for example, good intuition, good decision making.

Also, it's a moral compass.

The second part is self management, which means handling your distressing motions in effective ways so that they don't cripple you, they don't get in the way of what you're doing and yet, a tuning them to them when you need to, so that you learn what you must. Every emotion has a function, also marshaling positive emotions, getting ourselves, you know, involved, enthused about what we're doing, aligning our actions with our passions. 

The third is empathy, knowing what someone else is feeling. And the fourth is putting that all together in skilled relationship. So that's what I mean by emotional intelligence. There are many definitions out there, the part of the brain, it turns out that it supports emotional and social intelligence is actually the last circuitry of the brain to become anatomically mature. And because of neuroplasticity, the brain shapes itself according to repeated experiences. 

So my argument is, Hey, we should be teaching kids regularly, over time in a systematic way, self awareness, self management, empathy and social skills, when in fact, there are now enough programs and they've been around enough in schools, that they're about to publish a huge meta analysis looking at hundreds of schools and kids that had the program versus those that don't guess what, all antisocial behavior, you know, disruption in class violence is called goes down 10%, pro social behavior, liking school well behaved up 10% academic achievement scores up 11%. So it really pays an executive function, which is mediated by the prefrontal lobe. Both helps you manage your emotions and helps you pay attention. 

So as kids learn these skills, they also learn learning basic learning skills, I think that the fact that that was an argument was one thing that caught people's attention. Then there was a little chapter on called Managing with heart, which argued that leaders who were sons of a bitch were actually defeating the company's own mission. And I think that made a lot of people happy because they worked for people like that.

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