I read an article earlier which discussed the implications of emotional intelligence for decision making.
What is emotional intelligence? Psychologists define it as the ability to identify and control both your and others’ emotions, and to apply that ability to certain tasks (Psychology Today). What the article in question affirms is that the key to making better decisions lies with emotional intelligence…
Stéphane Côté, a professor in the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, said that people with high emotional intelligence were protected from biases in the decision making process. Take for example a horrific car journey to work. You’re innocently minding your own business, shamelessly singing along to One Direction’s latest ‘hit’ on the radio, and a person who’s speaking on their mobile phone cuts in front of you and forces you to slam on your breaks. The only words exiting your mouth are expletives, resulting in your blood boiling and ‘that’ vein on the side of your head protruding more than is humanly possible. Finally arriving at your office, you enter to only be presented with a mountain of work and several important calls to make regarding sales leads. The way in which you approach both of these tasks will be influenced by “the absolute moron” who ruined your morning commute. However, what the study illustrates is that people with high emotional intelligence are less likely to be affected by such events in the decision-making department. Instead of frothing at the mouth and bursting major arteries, they will likely commence with their day and do a good job too.
Taking this into consideration, one could argue that people should spend more time allowing their feelings to take a hold of them. If you do this regularly, away from the stressful environment of work, it is likely that you will become familiar with your feelings and therefore increase your emotional intelligence capacity. With the current way society is constructed, there are so many distractions from having to deal with life. From iPads to laptops to mobile phones to apps, there is always something to procrastinate with. If you’re feeling rubbish because of a bad break-up, gone are the days of buying tubs of ice-cream and sobbing to the chick flick of your choice. Whilst some people may deem this to be pathetic, it’s probably an important part of the break-up process. Wallowing can do some good, it seems! I’m a firm believer in feeling your feelings, as it only allows you to grow as a person.
I genuinely believe that the human race as a whole should take notice of this study. Of course it’s only one study and with a certain amount of people, therefore it lacks generalisability. However, if you put your mobile phone down and think about it for a second, it does make sense. Understanding the way in which you feel under the influence of certain triggers will only benefit you in the long-run. After all, who wants to embarrass themselves at work by sweating buckets out of pure hate for the human race?