A majority of us will commonly believe that we live in smart society. Education is central and a fundamental part of building our modern world. But what has our high intellect taught us?
Canada recently had a federal election and Justin Trudeau was named the 23rd Prime Minister. Of course it wouldn’t be much of an election without political pundits spewing their opinions; like locusts running loose on a cornfield. I normally try to avoid all the noise that comes with politicking, but I came across an interesting anecdote. It turns out that Justin Trudeau is not as intellectually smart as his father Pierre Trudeau, Canada’s 15th Prime Minister. Even though, Justin possesses a far greater emotional intelligence than his father.
Emotional intelligence, (EI) is it a real measure of intelligence or just something nice we say to dumb people? To help us understand what it’s all about lets first understand what it is.
Daniel Goleman introduced us to what is known as the mixed model. It includes 5 main constructs that outline emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy and motivation. Some criticisms about EI is that it confuses skills with morality. It is really difficult to measure something that is unpredictable and based more on elements of behavior.
Like many of us most of what we learned in school has very little to do with our daily lives. We were given information; we relayed back that information, were tested, graded, hoped for an A and bingo, we’re smart? Now I’m not here to criticise the short comings of education, but maybe EI has merit and lacks the attention that it deserves in our schools and in our lives.
Many things in our society can be perceived as being backwards. We strive for intellectual superiority and neglect our noble intuition. Academia is important, but maybe the allocation of knowledge thats presented is biased. After our academic career ends another one begins, what then? Life isn’t as simple as a grade on your thesis. What type of person are you going to be when the rest of your life begins?
Emotional intelligence has everything to do with how we live with one another. It’s not only a skill we can teach and learn it’s the true building blocks of our society. It is no doubt a form of intelligence we should aspire towards. Let’s face it no one cares what your grade point average is when you’re ripping off heads in the quarterly report.
Having emotional intelligence is an integral part of how we face problems with each other. Good leaders in all capacities that possess these skills will always reflect and communicate more effectively. They will also understand decisions they make affects not only them but everyone around them. Leader or not, we all can be more receptive to issues, and understand why our circumstances work out the way they sometimes do; good or bad.
With the world sometimes teetering on war and destruction, it’s not difficult to see it needs a good dose of emotional intelligence. Sometimes people say a lot without actually saying anything. Maybe it’s not what we say to each other it’s in how we say it. Identifying the possibility of choices is always difficult; but a step worth taking. Map out that road, walk hard and uncover your emotional intelligence.