Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a behavioral model that contends that people must understand and manage the emotions of themselves and others to succeed. Effective leaders are astute interpreters of nonverbal clues most people put out about their feelings and thoughts. Research has shown that facial expressions can be interpreted to identify sadness, happiness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust with a high degree of accuracy. Posture can reveal a person’s comfort level and degree of engagement. There are many possible interpretations of eye contact; too much of it can be viewed as a sign of aggressiveness and too little may indicate that the person is hiding something. Motions and gestures may indicate a person’s level of nervousness, approval or discomfort. EI is foundational to influence; effective leaders know how to process and transmit nonverbal messages. Service industries rely heavily on nonverbal messages to make customers feel valued. New and creative mechanisms like emoticons are being developed to simulate nonverbal massaging for virtual teams. Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in the workplace and at home and provides powerful cues and insight into the emotions of others.
Emotional Intelligence and Nonverbal Communication
Psychologists and social scientists have spent years codifying what has become known as Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI contends that a person’s ability to understand and manage the emotions of themselves and others is foundational to the development of competencies such as influence, initiative and the drive for achievement; and that people with those competencies are more likely to succeed in life (Charniss, 2000, pp. 7-8). Those competencies are also foundational for leadership. Although it sounds simple, understanding what others are feeling is very challenging. Fortunately, people transmit nonverbal clues.
It is 5 AM on Sunday morning and everyone in the Young household is sleeping soundly...