There is a lot of buzz about emotional intelligence right now, from self-help to leadership. In publications like Harvard Business Review and Inc. magazine it’s a much discussed topic when it comes to corporate leadership. One of the first, and most popular, books on the topic, Emotional Intelligence, was published in 1995 by Daniel Goldman PHd. I also dove into this fascinating topic in my thesis when I was pursuing my doctorate.
Our society tends to put what it considers to be “intelligence” into a box. For years the IQ test was the standard for measuring intelligence. However today we know that is heavily influenced by gender and cultural bias. There have always been problems with the standard IQ test as a measurement of intelligence. A person could be a genius, for example, and not be able to read or write.
Einstein is one of the most famous examples. His parents thought he was mildly mentally retarded. A more contemporary example is Apple’s Steve Jobs who struggled in school and discovered later he had dyslexia. One interesting statistic shows that upwards of 60 percent of all self-made millionaires are dyslexic! I myself am dyslexic and struggled with traditional school.
People like this tend to not to do well in school because standard, traditional teaching methods are based on linear intelligence. Spatial learning is more out of the box thinking, while linear is more step by step.
Today we realize there are literally hundreds of intelligences -- musical intelligence, working with your hands intelligence, relational intelligence. Just do a Google search for types of intelligence and you’ll see many results.
This is wonderful news! I have yet to find anyone who is not intelligent at something. In the past they might be pigeonholed because they are considered “dumb.” Today we know better. Focusing on your unique area of intelligence is one of the most positive healthy movements in the human experience.
I believe that no one is inferior. When people who were considered inferior because they made Cs instead of As discover their unique God-given area of intelligence, they realize they are just gifted in a different area of intelligence not typically recognized by society. As a result, they feel so much better about themselves!
Most of academia is focused on left brain intelligence. Interestingly, enough, however your unconscious and subconscious brain are much more related to your right brain than left brain. And the right brain is much more powerful!
Now to circle back to emotional intelligence. I believe it is more important than logic, rational thinking intelligence because it is primary.
First of all, your feelings or emotions come from the heart. They come from the subconscious. National Geographic did a special on intelligence and the brain which focused on decision making. Before making any decision there is an electrical spike in the brain. That spike is literally your unconscious mind telling you what to do and it comes in the form of feelings and not logic. Now after the fact you will come up with a logical reason of why you did what you did, but again the origin of that decision comes from feeling.
Antonio Damasio, head of the University of Southern California Brain and Creativity Institute, has said imageless thought is impossible. Any thought, any reasoning, any action, any behavior or belief has to have a related image tied to it. And the image consists of a memory or or multiple memories. What you experience when making a decision is that feeling related to those memories. You then use your left brain to apply logic as to why you chose it and that is why emotions and feelings are so significant.
I have clients who are very left brain oriented. They fell under the standard perception of intelligence, made great grades in school and pride themselves on making logic based reason but the funny thing is actually they don’t. We all make decisions based on emotions and feelings!
Emotional intelligence is really the most important mode of intelligence, in my opinion, because if you get that right then everything else falls into place. Think of it as the foundation of a house!
To me everyone is a genius, you just have to find your particular area of intelligence and accept it and nourish it and it will start to flourish. But some people cannot do that because they have so much “junk” holding them back - fear, anxiety and self-worth problems.
How do you fix this? First of all, ask yourself what is bothering you the most right now? What is your biggest negative emotion or feeling related to that? Then ask yourself when in your life was the strongest and earliest other time you felt a similar feeling or emotion? Typically that earlier memory is the one you must heal before you can move on to the next. Working, and fixing, these early issues will creative a positive domino effect.
Use both my Trilogy and Memory Engineering methods to resolve this problem from two different angles, but in harmony. You’ll clean up that junk that is holding you back and really start living!