The term emotional intelligence was first used in a doctoral thesis, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence by Wayne Payne in 1985 (Payne, 1986). The development of this term was actually initiated in late 1800s, when Darwin’s work on survival and second adaptation stressed on the importance of emotional expression (Bar-On, 2006). In 1900s, the researchers begin to realize the important role of emotions in determining one’s intelligence which can be seen from the works by Edward Thorndike, David Wechsler, Barbara Leuner and Howard Gardner (Thorndike, 1920; Wechsler, 1940; Leuner, 1966; Gardner, 1983). What is actually the so-called emotional intelligence? The first description of emotional intelligence was developed in 1990, attributed to Peter Salovey and John Mayer, which define it as the capacity to reason about emotions, and emotions to enhance thinking, which includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer and Salovey, 1990). The idea was then continued by Daniel Goleman in his book entitled Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ in 1995 and brought into the public by its highlight in Time magazine article in the same year (Goleman, 1995; Gibbs, 1995). Nowadays, the modern definition of emotional intelligence has been developed into much more specific and complicated one, depending on the needs and situation.
In understanding this ability, different approaches and theoretical models have been developed. Mayer and Salovey (1997) propose a four-branch model of the skills involved in emotional intelligence which consisted of reflectively regulating emotions, understanding emotions, assimilating emotion in thought and perceiving and expressing emotion. Daniel Goleman in his book describes two aspects of emotional intelligence which are understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses, behavior and understanding others, and their feelings as well. He also identified five domains of EQ which are knowing your emotions, managing your own emotions, motivating yourself, recognizing and understanding other people's emotions and managing relationships, ie., managing the emotions of others (Goleman, 1995).
The impact of EQ on many aspects of life has been aggressively discussed since its introduction to the public in 1995. One of the most highly ranked is leadership, a skill which is crucial in everyday life, and in every organization. The role of EQ on leadership skill has a very significant effect on the performance of the group. As the name implies, this skill is mainly about being a leader, an important position that is being assigned to a person by the other member of a group. However, the role of this position could not be played properly without being equipped with several characteristics such as intellectual intelligence (IQ), charisma and the most important thing that is EQ. How does EQ have an impact on leadership skill? In my opinion, EQ influence the quality of leadership through many ways. A leader of a group or an organization usually acts as a driver, who steers the direction of his or her group members as well as the performance of the group as a whole. For a good performance to be achieved, the members of the group or organization should move along together with their leader, and it is very important for the leader to impose a good quality of leadership, since the group members usually tends to mimic their leader. This trend is crucial in determining the decision making, a process that would lead the group to either being excellent or perished. Thus, a good or high score of EQ in leadership is important in order to increase the performance of the group.
EQ also has impact on workplace performance. In this case, the people involved can be separated into two, which are the leader and the group members. The impact on the leader should be similar to those previously described, while the impact on the group members is yet to be discussed. In workplace, the quality of EQ among members of the group plays significant role in determining its performance. For instance, different level of EQ among group members will lead to poor synchronization, which subsequently will affect the work performance. For a group to perform, of course a high or at least good level of EQ among members is needed.
Nowadays, many people has started to realize the importance of EQ. starting from a person’s childhood education up until entering the working environment, or until one’s grow old, this ability is seem to be a compulsory element needed to be gained or learned, in order to obtain a better quality of life. However, the idea of seriously taking this skill to enhance important aspects in life seems to be still at moderate level. More works needed to be done in order to prove the seriousness of this kind of ability in how it can affect one’s life. As EQ is claimed to be trainable, more effort should be done in emphasizing it especially in education. Also, a role model or more should be appointed in order to give a better and clear picture to people on how effective the implementation of EQ could affect their life quality. Also, the employers should stress more on assessing their employees based on EQ quality rather than other skills such as IQ.
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