A friend that is moving down visited this past week. So there I was, one guy surrounded by four wonderful women. Two are moving down to Victoria and the other two, including my wife, took the opportunity to join them for dinner.

Toward the end of the meal, one of the friends from out of town mentioned EI. It is not too often that hear a reference to Emotional Intelligence since the classroom days. Emotional Intelligence is the “the ability to understand and manage moods and emotions in the self and others, contributes to effective leadership in organizations” according to Wikipedia. Within leadership studies, it is a relatively newer branch of study. Of course you can find chatter in history to themes of this topic. For instance, “social intelligence” has been mentioned way before the 1980s when EI started to catch ground. In more contemporary circles, Daniel Goleman is the more popular name of this method.

Emotional knowledge is probably one of the least taught subjects in school. Being able to emotionally communicate with a spouse, child, co-worker, neighbor etc. is extremely important. Although the emotions do not make up a person in their entirety, they do play an important role and being able to manage emotions is critical to getting along. We often hear “Emotions are neither good nor bad” and it is true, but how to take action when these emotions swell is the part that is needs the attention. I believe it was Tom Peters that mentioned a simple smile or frown can totally make a day or ruin the greatest idea.

Controlling emotions is darn near impossible, but learning how to manage our actions in their presence can be learned and practiced. Also understanding emotions of others becomes a very good trait in leadership. When was the last time you were emotionally misunderstood and how did it affect your relationship with this person?