Working with Emotional
Intelligence to Create
Positive Change
Robert K. Bitting, Ph.D., L.M.H.C.
June, 2013
NYSCAA
What is Intelligence?

Typically focused on:
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦


analytic reasoning
verbal skills
spatial ability
attention
memory
judgment
Murky concept with
definitions by many
experts...
What’s the key?
IQ:

A weak predictor for
◦ Achievement
◦ Job performance success
◦ Overall success, wealth
Still a component of employment/career
success; maybe 20-25%
So, where’s the rest come from?
One Place:
Emotional Intelligence
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How we perceive emotions and facilitate
thought.
How we understand and manage emotions.
Refers to feelings that a person has in a
relationship.
Capacity to reason with emotions and
emotional signals – self and others.
Self-awareness, social awareness, selfmanagement, relationship management.
What’s Your Definition?
Two Important People:
Carl Rogers (and the Big “E”)
and…
The “Godfather” of E.I.
Albert Ellis
 Rational
Emotive Behavior
Therapy
 Connection Between How We:
Think, Feel and Behave
 The Idea of “Changing the
Thought, Changing the
Behavior”
Thoughts
Feelings
Behaviors
Thoughts
YOU
(CHOICE)
Feelings
Behaviors
Ellis: ABCDE
A – Activating or “red flag” event
 B – Belief or Behavior
 C – Consequences (Emotional or
other)
 D – Dispute w/ more
rational/realistic expectations
(Choose to “reframe”)
 E – Effects (positive) of these more
rational beliefs/behaviors

Ellis: Typical Thinking Errors
 Ignoring
the Positive
 Exaggerating the Negative
 Overgeneralizing
QUIT MUSTERBATING!!
Three Key Questions:
 What
Do You Want?
 What Are You Doing To Get
What You Want?
 How’s
It Working?
(Also, quit awfulizing and
whining!)
Based On Acceptance
(Unconditional)
Self
Others
Life
Really?: Let’s hear what
Ellis has to say about
this!
So…more potent predictors of
Career Success are:
 Ability
to handle frustrations
 Manage own emotions
 Manage own social skills
Problem: how we’ve historically
viewed emotions:
•Chaotic
•Haphazard
•Superfluous
•Incompatible with reason
•Disorganized
•Largely visceral
•Resulting from the lack of effective
adjustment
How we are now viewing
emotions:
•Arouse, sustain, direct activity
•Part of total economy of living organisms
•Not in opposition to intelligence
•A higher order of intelligence
Emotional processing
may be an essential part
of rational decision making
Evolutionary Advantage to
Emotion

For example:
◦ Fight or flight
response
◦ But…
Can basic emotions
overwhelm
rational thinking?
◦ Have you ever
been
“HIJACKED”?
To Get
at
Emotion,
Go
Deep...
Amygdala is
deep within the most elemental
Parts of the brain.
The main purpose of the innermost
part of the brain is survival.
Basic Emotions—we all have ‘em –
are they “hard-wired” or learned?
The “4 Core”
 Joy
 Sadness
 Anger
 Fear
Others?
So (Again) What is Emotional
Intelligence (EI)?
The capacity for recognizing our
own feelings and those of
others, for motivating ourselves,
and for managing emotions well
in ourselves and in our
relationships.
•“Being nice”
•a field in infancy
•Letting feelings
•fast-growing
hang out”
•aspects harken to
research of the
1940’s
Emotional self-awareness
The inability to notice our true feelings
leaves us at their mercy.
 People with greater certainty about their
feelings are better pilots of their lives and
have a surer sense about how they feel
about personal decisions.

How do you stay open to your
emotional experiences?-can we tolerate the full range?
Self-awareness
Value of taking time for selfawareness requires abilities
to recognize appropriate body cues
and emotions
 to label cues and emotions
accurately
 to stay open to unpleasant as well as
pleasant emotions
 Includes the capacity for
experiencing and recognizing
multiple and conflicting emotions

Emotional Self Awareness
Managing One’s Own Emotions
EI is like a smoke alarm. EI tells us a
particular emotion is arising.
 Tremendous individual variability visà-vis duration and intensity of
emotion.
 EI can help us “reframe” and move
forward more quickly.

Self regulatio
n
Out of Control Emotions
 Impair
reasoning (even smart
people sometimes act stupidly –
example?)
 May
increase the likelihood that
chronic emotional problems will
result, (e.g., clinical depression
or chronic anxiety or hostility)
Using emotions to maximize
intellectual processing and decisionmaking:
As a person matures, emotions
begin to shape and improve thinking
by directing a person’s attention to
important changes.
 Example: Learning to Delay
Gratification

SelfMotivation
Utilizing mild emotional swings to
more effectively:
Promote or hinder motivation - anxiety,
hostility, sadness
•
• Understand emotional swings to increase
perspective on future events.
Read Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell – a great
book for “reading” other people!
Developing empathy
Empathy is the ability to recognize
another’s emotional state, which is
very similar to what you are
experiencing.
 “Here I am, as I am” leads us closer
to conditions for Unconditional
Acceptance, Social Interest, and
the Big E.

social
awareness
Developing empathy also links to:
Greater emotional
stability
 Greater
interpersonal
sensitivity
 Better school and
work performance

Developing empathy
The Art of Social Relationships-managing emotions in others
Effective friend, negotiator,
and leader.
 Ability to guide interactions,
inspire, and make others.
comfortable in social situations
 Influence and persuade others.

The “Dark Side”:The danger of
the nice personality

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Have you ever met a
nice person, but the
“bells have gone off?”
Charisma draws in but
not always to desired
ends, e.g., Hitler, Jim
Jones.
Empathy can be faked;
so can other emotions.
Anyone you know?
The Development of “EI”

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A genetic
contribution is likely
But it is not destiny
Early expression of
emotion by parents
helps learning
Early abuse hinders
learning

Poor ability to read
others’ emotions
may lead to the
development of
poor social skills.
Emotion-Related “Dysfunction”
(the Everyday Type!)
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Can lead to THE 4
HORSEMEN of
Negative Emotions:
Defensiveness
Stonewalling
Criticism
CONTEMPT!!
Impacts on
physical health:
 Cardiovascular
disease
 Progression of
diabetes, cancer,
hypertension
 OVERALL BAD
STUFF

Dysfunction at Work Questions to Ask:
Is the person in the wrong job?
 Does the job require the person to
be difficult?
 What is remarkable about the group
dynamics of the organization?
 What about individuals, personal and
interpersonal?

Importance of EI to Organizations:
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50% of work satisfaction is determined
by the relationship a worker has with…
his/her boss.
EI is a prerequisite for effective
leadership across borders.
◦ Requires a high level of self-mastery
and people skills; ability to put
yourself into the positions of others.
What is Improving EI Worth?
Increases retention.
Decreases absenteeism.
Increases overall organizational growth.
Could increase production as much as 20%
Current estimates to American Business:
Losing between $5.6 and
$16.8 Billion annually
TAKING THE TIME FOR MINDFULNESS
Recognizing and naming emotions
Understanding the causes of feelings
Nine
Strategies
for
Differentiating between emotion and the need to take action
Preventing depression through “learned optimism”
Managing anger through learned behavior or distraction techniques
Listening for the lessons of feelings
Using “gut feelings” in decision making
Developing listening skills
Promoting
Emotional
Intelligence
Using E.I. in the Workplace
• Should skills related to EI find their way
into workplace strategic planning?
• Can such skills be effectively developed in
the workplace?
• Would the introduction of skills related
to EI radically modify the workplace – and
if so, how?
• How does effective customer service
relates to the basic concepts of E.I.?
• What is the EI skill set applied to where
you work?
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Emotional Intelligence