The term and theory of “emotional intelligence” (EI) dates back to a 1990 scientific paper by Peter Salovey and John Mayer.
To paraphrase their definition, EI is the ability to read and regulate your emotions, and to act while being mindful of others’.
Why EI matters to you
Looking around on any given day, you may sense invisible spheres separating us from one another. In our own orbits, we can often be shut off—plugged in yet still disengaged. Our priorities seem to be our grades, our jobs, our status among our peers.
Although we are all in university to study, each of us also has the opportunity to further develop our EI during our time here. We can do this by learning how to build meaningful social connections, how to communicate effectively and compassionately, and how to be leaders.
Research shows that individuals with higher EI are more likely to be top job performers and successful leaders. Businesses are certainly aware of this trend. Google, for example, offers “Search Inside Yourself,” a class that boosts employees’ emotional intelligence levels through teaching habits of kindness and strategies of staying calm. (Fun fact: Of all the training courses available to Google employees, this is the most popular one.)
To be emotionally intelligent is to be strong in the fields of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
As students and citizens, we often hear perspectives different from our own, have to express our opinions, and land in situations where the way we communicate affects the outcome. How well we work with others—at UBC and beyond—is based on our ability to be self-aware and compassionate, to think a little more about those around us, and to be open to reaching out and placing the emotions of others at equal value as our own.
How this series can help
During your time at UBC, you may find yourself in sticky situations where you don’t know what to say or how to talk about how you feel.
The Emotional Intelligence 101 series will bring you tips and advice on how you can communicate with candour, compassion, effectiveness, and self-regulation. We will also share what it means to be caring, to be emotionally savvy, to be, ultimately, human.
We’ll highlight scenarios that you may encounter, and steps you could take to resolve them. The topics we will look at over the next several weeks include:
- Empathetic responses
- Tactful truths
- Heartfelt apologies
- Keeping your cool
- Resolving concerns
A huge part of being a student is connecting with those around you—and that starts with your ability to be kind, aware, and caring.
Like a full circle, kindness begets kindness. Being able to understand how others feel can help you build and keep more friendships, and better understand who you are and how you can connect with and lead others more effectively.