“All learning has an emotional base”
Emotional Intelligence involves our ability to understand, express, and control our emotions.
The ability to express and control our own emotions is important, but so is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. Imagine a world where you can’t understand when a friend was feeling sad or when a co-worker was angry.
Psychologists refer to this ability as emotional intelligence, and some experts even suggest that it can be more important than I.Q.
The 4 Branches of Emotional Intelligence
1. Perceiving Emotions
The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
2. Reasoning With Emotions
The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
3. Understanding Emotions
The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work or he’s been fighting with his wife.
4. Managing Emotions
The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, and responding appropriately are key. According to Salovey and Mayer, the four branches of their model are, “arranged from more basic psychological processes to higher, more psychologically integrated processes. For example, the lowest level branch concerns the (relatively) simple abilities of perceiving and expressing emotion. In contrast, the highest level branch concerns the conscious, reflective regulation of emotion” (1997).