What is the difference between emotional intelligence and emotional competence?
Emotional intelligence deals with knowing about ourselves, as well as understanding the impact of our thoughts and feelings on our behavior and performance.
Emotional competence deals with our ability to take that information and apply it to our actions and performance. It’s one thing to know, it’s another thing to be.
What can we do to become better at both?
To be emotionally intelligent we try to understand that there are things happening in our world that are constantly affecting our experience. Everywhere we look we experience triggering events that take place which are beyond our control. How we respond to these things and how we relate to these events, is something we can control.
To take a step back, our original definition of emotional intelligence refers to our ability to stay focused on a goal in the face of competing emotions.
We have the ability to experience a wide range of emotions at the same time. Some of the emotions that we are experiencing may be in conflict with our goals. For example, I can feel both happy and sad at the same time. I can be excited about a new opportunity, but also sad because it requires change and giving something up. I can be excited about making a difference, but anxious and fearful that I might not be able to do it.
Feeling these emotional conflicts is okay, but my ability to make my actions be consistent with my goals in the face of those competing emotions is what we’re talking about here.
We are constantly performing, whether its the arts, sports, business or otherwise. All of us in our jobs are performers. The question is, how can we perform to the best of our ability, even though there is a lot going on around us that we can’t control.
For example, in sports, I might have 50,000 fans screaming and calling me a loser, but I still need to execute successfully. To do this, we can recognize our experience and be aware of our emotions, without judging or fighting them. Be sure to take a deep breath, pause, and remind yourself of your purpose. Then you’ll be good to go.
Have a question for Rick about high performance? Please feel free to send him an e-mail here.