The importance of Emotional Intelligence (“EI” or sometimes referred to as “EQ”) in corporate America simply cannot be ignored or overstated. Hundreds of articles have been written in various business and trade publications extolling the many benefits of EI, from increased profits to employee retention, to improved workplace environment. The popularity of EI and increased used of personality assessments for job candidates caused Time Magazine to coin a new term, “XO” (See “How High is Your XO?”, Time Magazine, June 22, 2015).
Part I of this series that appeared in Volume 70, Issue Number 3 of the Journal, introduced the topic of EI and its relevance to Corporate America and the legal profession. Now, in Part II, we will dive into the deep end of the pool, so to speak, by exploring some of the neuroscience behind how our emotions affect rational thought and decision making.
Understanding how EI works begins with learning about brain chemistry and function. EI deals with “emotions,” which can be hard to grasp and even harder to control at times. One way to view emotions is that they move us to action. Emotions create physiological responses that can be measured in terms of neurological, muscular, respiratory, hormonal and respiratory changes.