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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE & SOCIAL ADAPTABILITY
Ms. Ranju Lal1
, Ms. Manisha Dayal2
1Faculty of Management, KIET, Ghaziabad,(India)
2Faculty of Management MAIMS, Delhi,(India)
Emotional Intelligence is an umbrella term because its concept comprises various skills dispositions of the individual which are generally called “soft skills or interpersonal and intrapersonal skills”.
Emotional Intelligence has been found to be a predictor of life satisfaction, healthy psychological adaptation, positive interactions with peers and family and higher parental warmth. Lower Emotional Intelligence has also been found to be associated with violent behavior, illegal use of drugs and alcohol and participation in delinquent behavior.
Engelberg and Sjoberg (2004), Adeyemo (2005), and Safavi et al. (2008) who preached that emotional intelligence was related quite strongly to social adjustment. Positive emotionality is associated with sociability (e.g. Argyle &
Lu, 1990), whereas persistent negative affect keeps other at bay (e.g. Furr & Funder, 1998). Accordingly, people need to process emotional information and manage emotional dynamics intelligently to navigate the social world.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the role (or positive impact) and relation of Emotional Intelligence and Social Adaptability. The present work is a compilation of few selected papers written by researchers aiming to disseminate the knowledge generated by the previous researchers. In this article, we are presenting thoughts, ideas, experiences and findings of the practitioners and academia’s across the globe.
Keywords: Emotional Intelligence, Adjustment, Social Adaptability, Emotions, Social Relationships.
Emotions play a very important role in our lives as emotions are basic primeval forces of great powers and influences designed by nature. They enable individual to circumstances which demand the utmost efforts for survival or success or to add colour and spice to our living.
Emotions are prime movers to thought and conduct, which gives best to life and important qualities to personality.
Emotions and feelings are interwoven with the network of reason and there is interconnectivity between emotions and cognition.
The work by McKee, Goleman and Noyatzis has shown that the missing link in providing a much more accurate explanation of how an individual was likely to be successful in work or life is the role played by how an individual handles feelings or emotions. Consequently feelings:
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Direct us to what we want and / or need.
Determine our behaviour or actions toward what we want and / or need.
Allow us to access and act upon empathy for others.
Facilitate relationship forming and inspire others.
Create bond and a sense of higher purpose in groups, families, organizations and more.
The ability to express and control our own emotions is important, but so is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. Imagine a world where you couldn’t understand when a friend was feeling sad or when a co-worker was angry. Psychologist refers to this ability as Emotional Intelligence.
1.1 Emotional Intelligence
In 1990, Salovey and Mayer coined the term ―Emotional Intelligence‖ and based their work on the non-cognitive aspects of intelligence. These authors defined emotional intelligence as ―a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others thinking and action.‖ In 1995, Goleman wrote his book, Emotional Intelligence, based upon Salovey and Mayer’s work. Since then, emotional intelligence has become the hottest buzzword everywhere.
EI or EQ embraces two aspects of intelligence:
- Understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses, behaviour and all.
- Understanding others and their feelings.
1.2 Four Branches of EI
Mayer & Salovey proposed a model that identified four different factors of Emotional Intelligence: the perception of emotion, the ability reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotion and the ability to manage emotions.
1. Perceiving Emotions: the first step in understanding emotion is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding non-verbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
2. Reasoning with emotions: the next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity.
Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
3. Understanding emotions: the emotions what we perceive can carry a wide variety if meaning. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean.
4. Managing emotions: the ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence.
Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.
Emotional Intelligence has been found to be a predictor of life satisfaction, healthy psychological adaptation, positive interactions with peers and family and higher parental warmth. Lower Emotional Intelligence has also been
803 | P a g e found to be associated with violent behaviour, illegal use of drugs and alcohol, and participation in delinquent behaviour.
1.3 Components of Emotional Intelligence
The main identifying characteristics of Emotional Maturity are made possible by the Emotional Intelligence component:
1. Self-awareness: Recognize and understand your own moods and motivations and their effect on others. To achieve this state, you must be able to monitor your own emotional state and identify your own emotions.Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:
Sense of humor (can laugh at self)
Aware of your impression on others (can read the reactions of others to know how you are perceived)
2. Self-Regulation: Controlling your impulses—instead of being quick to react rashly, you can reign in your emotions and think before responding. You express yourself appropriately. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:
Conscientiousand take personal responsibility for your own work/deeds.
Adaptable (and favorable) to change
When someone is complaining or is rude to you, you do not respond in kind. You respond in a manner which would not escalate the situation. (At this point, you will also realize that when someone expresses anger at you, they’re not always angry at you; they’re often just angry and want to take it out on someone.)
3. Internal Motivation: Internal motivation is marked by an interest in learning. It is also self-improvement vs. a pursuit of wealth and status (as a pursuit of wealth and status is an external motivator). Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:
Initiative and the commitment to complete a task
Perseverance in the face of adversity
4. Empathy: The ability to understand another person’s emotional reaction. This is only possible when one has achieved self-awareness—as one cannot understand others until they understand themselves. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:
Perceptive of other’s emotions and taking an active interest in their concerns.
Proactive—able to anticipate someone’s needs and the appropriate reaction.
Social Situations such as office politics do not faze one who has a firm grasp of empathy.
804 | P a g e 5. Social Skills: Identifying social cues to establish common ground manage relationships and build networks. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:
Communication: Listening and responding appropriately
Influence and Leadership: The ability to guide and inspire others
Conflict Management: The ability to diffuse difficult situations using persuasion and negotiation.
1.4 Why Emotional Intelligence?
EI helps to predict success because it reflects how a person applies knowledge to the immediate situation. Emotional Quotient measures ―common sense‖ and the ability to get along in the world. EQ training is used in corporates, employee development, leadership programs, and in education settings. From a leadership development perspective, participants enhance their leadership capacities, improve communication, decrease workplace conflict, and improve problem-solving skills. As a personal benefit, individuals are motivated and inspired to achieve their life goals, have greater career success, build stronger personal relationships, increase their optimism, and are healthier.
1.5 Gender and Emotional Intelligence
Since females tend to be more emotional and intimate in relationships as compared to males, so their emotional intelligence ought to be higher than that of males. This is perhaps because of the society, which socializes the genders differently as has been found in studies by Duckelt and Raffali (1989) and Sandhu and Mehrotra (1999).
Moreover higher emotional intelligence among girls can also be explained in terms of their personality characteristics. Similar findings were reported in studies by Tapia (1999) and Dunn (2002). They observe that girls score higher with regard to empathy, social responsibilities and interpersonal relationships than boys. They were more sensitive towards their relationships with parents, friends and siblings. All these traits help them to acquire more emotional intelligence as compared to boys.
1.6 Urban/Rural Areas and Emotional Intelligence
The urban adolescents had comparatively better emotional intelligence and adjustment as against their rural counterparts. This might be due to being prevalent nuclear family units in urban area where parents feel more concerned of their wards activities and provide suitable guidance and emotional support to their children.
1.7 Adaptability / Adjustment
To adapt comes from the Latin word – apere (to bind, to attach). Its past form, aptus (apte), when added to the locution ad (to, towards) created the verb adaptare (to adjust to, in prevision of) (Rey, 2006). The present use of to adapt emerged in 16th century, along with a few other derived meanings (aptitude to appropriate or to adhere).
805 | P a g e Adjustment refers to the ability of an individual to fit into his environment. Adjustment is an important factor to complete a person’s goal successfully. It is the process by which a living organism maintains a balance between its needs and the circumstances that influence the satisfaction of these needs.
The concept of adaptation has been at the heart of psychological modeling since its origin in psychological adaptation. It is defined as the process of unceasing interaction between man and the ever-changing world within which he evolves. But when the constraints continue, the adaptation system becomes exhausted and ―adaptation‖
illnesses appear (asthma, ulcers, hypertension or psychosomatic diseases).
1.8 Social Adaptability
Social Adaptability is the ability to form and maintain friendship according to the norms of one’s peer group reflects the level of social competence of any person.
It’s an adjustment and adaptation to humans to other individuals and community groups working together for a common purpose. Social adaptation occurs in the process of socialization and also with the aid of mechanisms of social control, which include social pressure and state regulation.
Social adaptation becomes increasingly significantly when social change affects important aspects of life over comparatively short periods of time. Such changes include migration, changes in age, rapid industrial development, and major shifts of the population from the country to the city.
In socialist society, the process of social adaptation requires study and concentrated action. The failure of certain individuals to adapt, combined with specific unfavourable situations, may adversely affect the individual’s conduct.
It is useful to study crime from the point of view of unsatisfactory social adaptation in order to understand the causes of crime and to fight crime effectively.
A person who is socially inadaptive could be shy, withdrawn, or aggressive. The manifestations are:
Difficulty in joining a group conversation
Unable to see how his/her behaviour could affect the group
Unable to see if his/her behaviour has caused any problem
talks about a happy event with a stern expression
gets into a fight for even a minor incidents
1.9 Relationships between Emotional Intelligence and Social Adjustment
Researchers realized that a child’s emotional life has an impact in his social adaptation (Gardner, 1993; Pekrun, 1992). Positive emotionality is associated with sociability (e.g., Argyle & Lu, 1990), whereas persistent negative affect keeps other at bay (e.g., Furr & Funder, 1998). Accordingly people need to process emotional information and manage emotional dynamics intelligently to navigate the social world. Kierstead (1999, page 4 of 8) quotes Mayer and Salovey describing the role of EI, it states ―EI plays a role in our friendships, parenting and intimate relationships.‖
806 | P a g e Engelberg and Sjoberg(2004), Adeyemo(2005), and Safavi et al. (2008), who preached that Emotional Intelligence was related quite strongly to social adjustment.Safavi et al. (2008) investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence and socio-emotional adjustment in pre-university girl students in Tehran. The result showed that there was a significant correlation between emotional intelligence and Socio-emotional adjustment.
Evidence for associations between EI ability and Social success have been summarized in a number of recent book chapters and review articles (see Brackett, Lopes, Iveevic, Mayer & Salovey, 2004; Brackeet &Salovey, 2006;
Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, 2004). In general, studies have shown that EI ability has related to greater empathy (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000), less negative interactions with peers (Brackett, Mayer, & Warner, 2004), higher quality relationships, less conflict and antagonism with friends (Lopes, Brackett, Nezlek, Schutz, Sellin, & Salovey, 2004; Lopes, Salovey, Starus, 2003), and lower levels of violence and drug problems (Brackett et al., 2004; Gil- Olarte, Guil, & Mestre, 2004; Rubin, 1999; Trinidad & Johnson, 2002).
Success of social adaptation of the person is reached by means of his personal and professional qualities, including a high level of development of emotional intelligence. Schools have to develop teamwork and co-operation that are so evident in activities so that children take part in and outside of school such as sports and productions. As Vygotsky (1978) posited that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition and that everything is learned on two levels – first through interaction and then integrated into the individual’s mental structure.
Elias et al (1992) argued that the teaching emotional & social skills by the teacher are very important at school. It can effect academic achievement positively not during the years that follows as well. Teaching these skills has a long term effect on the achievement. Though the development of EI is a natural process, yet it can be enhanced as it has been concluded that EI can be learned and it should be a component of leadership training.
2.1 Strategies To Incorporate Appropriate Social Skills:
Learn how to begin and maintain conversation
How to share
How not to offend others
Find solutions to problems
Take part in team / group games
Role play appropriate and inappropriate behaviour
Discuss morale in human value stories
Cues for body language
Ways to find the level of emotion stated in a text
Maintain a diary to develop inner dialogue
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2.2 How To Improve Emotional Intelligence
Observe how you react to people? Do not rush to the judgment before you know all the facts. Try to put yourself in their place and be more open and accepting of their perspective and needs.
Look at your current environment. Do you seek attention for your accomplishment? Humility can be a wonderful quality and it doesn’t mean that you are shy or lack self-confidence.
Do a self-evaluation. What are your weaknesses? Have courage to look at yourself honestly – it can change your life.
Examine how you react to stressful situations? Do you blame others or become angry on them? The ability to stay calm and in control in difficult situations is highly valued. Keep your emotions under control when things go wrong.
Take responsibility for your actions. Apologize – if you hurt someone’s feeling. People are usually more willing to forgive and forget if you make an honest attempt to make things right.
Examine how your actions will affect others – before you take those actions. If your decision will impact others, put yourself in their place.
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