Emotional Intelligence [EQ] in Medicine

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The Five Basic Non-Cognitive Competencies

[By Render S. Davis MHA CHE]

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA]

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Many of us have encountered a person who may intellectually be at upper levels, but whose ability to interact with others appears to that of one who is highly immature.

This is the individual who is prone to becoming angry easily, verbally attacks co-workers, is perceived as lacking in compassion and empathy, and cannot understand why it is difficult to get others to cooperate with them and their agendas

[THINK: Sheldon Cooper PhD D.Sc MA BA of the The Big Bank Theory TV show].

Enter Daniel Goleman

The concept of Emotional Intelligence [EQ] was brought into the public domain when Daniel Goleman authored a book entitled, Emotional Intelligence.”

According to Goleman, emotional intelligence consists of four basic non-cognitive competencies: self awareness, social awareness, self management and social skills. These are skills which influence the manner in which people handle themselves and their relationships with others.  Goleman’s position was that these competencies play a bigger role than cognitive intelligence in determining success in life and in the workplace.

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Five Domains

He and others contend that emotional intelligence involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains:

  • Self awareness: Observing and recognizing a feeling as it happens.
  • Managing emotions: Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger and sadness.
  • Motivating oneself; Channeling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self control; delaying gratification and stifling impulses.
  • Empathy: Sensitivity to others’ feelings and concerns and taking their perspective appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.
  • Handling relationships: Managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.

Source: Emotional Intelligence: what is and why it matters” – Cary Cherniss, PhD, presented at the annual conference of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, April 2000.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Mike Poskey, in “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.” continued his definition by stating that emotional intelligence is considered to involve emotional empathy; attention to, and discrimination of one’s emotions; accurate recognition of one’s own and others’ moods; mood management or control over emotions; response with appropriate emotions and behaviors in various life situations (especially to stress and difficult situations); and balancing of honest expression of emotions against courtesy, consideration, and respect.

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A Set of Competencies

In 1995, Goleman then expanded on the works of Howard Gardner, Peter Salovey and John Mayer. He further defined Emotional Intelligence as a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods and impulses and to manage them best, according to the situation.

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Assessment

So, how does all this relate to medical practice today? Please … do tell us!

Conclusion

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About the Co-Author

Render Davis was a Certified Healthcare Executive, now retired from Crawford Long Hospital at Emory University, in Atlanta, GA He served as Assistant Administrator for General Services, Policy Development, and Regulatory Affairs from 1977-95.  He is a founding board member of the Health Care Ethics Consortium of Georgia and served on the consortium’s Executive Committee, Advisory Board, Futility Task Force, Strategic Planning Committee, and chaired the Annual Conference Planning Committee, for many years.  

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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