EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN NIGERIA
It is my pleasure to have this beautiful conversation with you on Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence as defined by Peter Salovey, the creator of the concept is the effective blend of your thinking and feeling capacity to make optimal decisions. That means the effective blend of your thought and feeling like a smoothie machine to produce a smoothie. According to Peter, we should think and feel before we act. Once we don’t think before we act. We will move from feelings to actions. And when we do, we will most likely mess things up.
Another school of thought says that emotional intelligence is being smart with your feelings and I agree with it because if financial intelligence is being smart with your money which is the ability to save and invest. Spiritual intelligence is the ability to defer to a flavour of God. Physical intelligence is about your health. Emotional intelligence is being smart with your feelings.
My jocular definition of emotional intelligence as a Nigerian is the ability to always engage System 2 and not System 1. System 1 is our ability to jump from feelings to actions without thinking. We only think that we think. That part of us attempts to protect ourselves by fighting, freezing, and taking to flight every time we encounter a situation. System 1 shows up to protect you every time an experience is not in tune with your core values.
System 1 reacts without thinking. It is your default unprocessed setting.
While System 2 is the Emotional Intelligent soul that processes before it acts. It is the side that effectively blends thoughts and feelings to make optimal decisions. It understands that the difference between emotions and emotional intelligence lies in your capacity to “pause”. The pause is what turns emotions into emotional intelligence. The ability to pause before you speak, while you speak and after you have spoken.
System 2 reminds us to give up our anyhowness. To retire the habit of attacking people and not issues. Deal with people and not issues. The ability to be assertive and not aggressive. System 2 refines you. It reminds you that it is too expensive if it will cost you your peace. It engages mental edit. The ability to think before they speak. The ability to apply consequential thinking.
This is the journey I am inviting you to embark on today. A journey of being human. Because emotional intelligence is not a hard or soft skill, it is not just a life skill either. Emotional intelligence is life. Or how can you say kindness or empathy are soft skills? Kindness is life. Empathy is life. So, welcome on board, be a part of the Emotion Revolution. Lack of emotional intelligence starts wars. Emotional Intelligence end wars.
Oyinkansola Alabi, The Emotion Doctor
I Preserve that which is to be Human