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  1. #11
    Senior Member two cents's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    Emotional intelligence is important, but the unbridled enthusiasm has obscured a dark side. New evidence shows that when people hone their emotional skills, they become better at manipulating others. When you’re good at controlling your own emotions, you can disguise your true feelings. When you know what others are feeling, you can tug at their heartstrings and motivate them to act against their own best interests.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This paragraph holds the key, namely teaching everyone how this works so they can recognize emotional manipulation when it is happening to them. They can learn to guard their emotions in adversarial situations, and be more open with them among trustworthy friends. Coupled with learning critical thinking skills, they can separate the objective content from the emotional content of speeches, sales pitches, and other attempts at persuasion.
    I agree with this assessment. I would also like to add that not "touting the benefits of emotional intelligence" will not eliminate people who are masterful at using it for nefarious purposes. Those people have existed before the emotional intelligence craze, and will continue to exit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I have always been leery of attempts to promote emotional intelligence, as they seem designed to reprogram some of us away from who we are and into something else, much as people for a time tried to make lefties use their right hands.
    On the other hand, I disagree with this. I think that people who have extremely low emotional intelligence can benefit significantly from learning the basics and improving their performance. Even a slight improvement in this situation can garner large improvements in their interpersonal relationships and, by extension, success and personal satisfaction.

    I don't think explicit instruction can actually "reprogram" a social ignoramus into a masterful manipulator, but arguing that it's not a good idea to teach people the basic tools to understand and manage their own (and, to some extent, other people's) emotions because it might turn them into something they are not is akin to arguing that teaching things like critical thinking skills, or reading, is counterproductive, because people might access and consider new ideas and become something they are not as a result.

    I don't think that not understanding what's going on or not having tools to handle a situation is ever a better option than understanding and having the tools.

    And as far as having high EI be counterproductive to your occupation... Yes, it's absolutely true that focusing too much on the "human side" of an occupation that doesn't have much of one will actually make you less effective at your job. However, an accountant or a scientist or a mechanic still goes home at the end of the day and becomes a parent, sibling, friend, child, spouse, etc, and I'll just bet emotional intelligence actually helps in those occupations. Yeah, it's unfortunate that sometimes self-selection bias doesn't steer people into the optimal occupations for their skillset, but, once again, improving the overall emotional intelligence of large populations through some basic instruction will hardly make people less able scientists, accountants, and mechanics, and is more likely to simply equip those whose skills are deficient to better deal with things like office politics, which even accountants (and definitely scientists!) have to deal with (and probably help mechanics with customer interaction).
    And that's my two cents on the subject.

  2. #12
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by two cents View Post
    On the other hand, I disagree with this. I think that people who have extremely low emotional intelligence can benefit significantly from learning the basics and improving their performance. Even a slight improvement in this situation can garner large improvements in their interpersonal relationships and, by extension, success and personal satisfaction.

    I don't think explicit instruction can actually "reprogram" a social ignoramus into a masterful manipulator, but arguing that it's not a good idea to teach people the basic tools to understand and manage their own (and, to some extent, other people's) emotions because it might turn them into something they are not is akin to arguing that teaching things like critical thinking skills, or reading, is counterproductive, because people might access and consider new ideas and become something they are not as a result.

    I don't think that not understanding what's going on or not having tools to handle a situation is ever a better option than understanding and having the tools.
    It all comes down to what exactly is being taught. It is one thing to teach people how to recognize and understand emotions better, so we are not manipulated. It's quite another to encourage specific types of emotional behavior. People who are not naturally attuned to emotions would do well to learn the first, but should not be pushed into the second. It's almost like the wisecracks about "sexual harassment training" in some workplaces: are we learning better sexual harassment techniques? Of course not, we're learning to understand it so we can prevent it and its harmful effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by two cents View Post
    However, an accountant or a scientist or a mechanic still goes home at the end of the day and becomes a parent, sibling, friend, child, spouse, etc, and I'll just bet emotional intelligence actually helps in those occupations.
    I would prefer to be my genuine self with these people, rather than go through life creating false impressions for those I care most about.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #13
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    It's a tool, like any other sort of knowledge. It can be used in a bunch of different ways. John Wayne Gacy was a "charming monster."

    Recipients of an emotionally persuasive message should, of course, balance their responses with a bit of critical thinking.

  4. #14
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbage View Post
    It's a tool, like any other sort of knowledge. It can be used in a bunch of different ways. John Wayne Gacy was a "charming monster."

    Recipients of an emotionally persuasive message should, of course, balance their responses with a bit of critical thinking.
    This has come up on other threads. I find critical thinking skills even more essential than emotional intelligence skills. They address some of the same goals, and are even more broadly applicable.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #15
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This has come up on other threads. I find critical thinking skills even more essential than emotional intelligence skills. They address some of the same goals, and are even more broadly applicable.
    Actually, I'd consider them specialisations in the same field. As for applicability, i suspect that might have something to do with preference and experience within that field of specialty.
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  6. #16
    The Iron Giant
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    Fascinating article.

    In my understanding, emotional intelligence isn't simply the ability to control one's emotions, but rather an understanding of our emotions and a level of comfort with them. From that perspective, it's as though the article is warning about sociopathy, not emotional intelligence. Right?

    I also think that if someone is emotionally intelligent, they will be empathic, and would feel wrong about manipulating others, but I guess that would come down to values. I definitely agree that critical thinking skills are very important.

    Maybe I thought emotional intelligence was something that it isn't. Is it naïve of me to assume that two emotionally intelligent people will tend to recognize emotional manipulation quickly, and therefore not really be able to manipulate each other, even if they want to?

  7. #17
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post
    In my understanding, emotional intelligence isn't simply the ability to control one's emotions, but rather an understanding of our emotions and a level of comfort with them. From that perspective, it's as though the article is warning about sociopathy, not emotional intelligence. Right?

    I also think that if someone is emotionally intelligent, they will be empathic, and would feel wrong about manipulating others, but I guess that would come down to values. I definitely agree that critical thinking skills are very important.
    This is why I made a distinction between encouraging understanding, and encouraging behavior. The first gives people information; the second tells them what do to with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post
    Maybe I thought emotional intelligence was something that it isn't. Is it naïve of me to assume that two emotionally intelligent people will tend to recognize emotional manipulation quickly, and therefore not really be able to manipulate each other, even if they want to?
    I had this thought as well. It's a bit like Ronald Reagan saying we should just give our SDI technology to the Soviet Union. Then neither side, supposedly, could launch a nuclear attack against the other, and everyone would be safe.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #18
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post
    I also think that if someone is emotionally intelligent, they will be empathic, and would feel wrong about manipulating others, but I guess that would come down to values. I definitely agree that critical thinking skills are very important.
    A problem (I have) with this article is that they’re equating “emotional intelligence” with “emotional skills” (the writer actually uses them interchangeably). Using one’s understanding of emotions to navigate one’s external environment is a different thing than understanding how to be honest with oneself about one’s emotions.

    I haven’t read Goleman’s book on emotional intelligence, so I’m not sure how he defines it- but personally yeah, I would also normally assume the phrase “emotionally intelligent” meant the latter (understanding how to be honest with oneself about one’s emotions). As such, I would think that manipulating others would be a sign of not having emotional intelligence.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    so basically the article is saying I'm a terrible manipulator because I have very little control over my emotions and have low eq? Well then there must only be one way to skin a cat.

  10. #20
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    so basically the article is saying I'm a terrible manipulator because I have very little control over my emotions and have low eq? Well then there must only be one way to skin a cat.
    I think his view is that there there are multiple aspects to emotional intelligence:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The model introduced by Daniel Goleman[25] focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. Goleman's model outlines five main EI constructs (for more details see "What Makes A Leader" by Daniel Goleman, best of Harvard Business Review 1998):

    • Self-awareness – the ability to know one's emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
    • Self-regulation – involves controlling or redirecting one's disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
    • Social skill – managing relationships to move people in the desired direction
    • Empathy - considering other people's feelings especially when making decisions
    • Motivation - being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.

    Goleman includes a set of emotional competencies within each construct of EI. Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned capabilities that must be worked on and can be developed to achieve outstanding performance. Goleman posits that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.[26] Goleman's model of EI has been criticized in the research literature as mere "pop psychology" (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008).
    So those aspects cover a pretty broad swath, and aspects of them might not fall under what the term "emotional intelligence" initially brings to mind. For example both "social skill" and "motivation" (as defined above) have a leadership/workplace feel to them, which makes sense given Goleman's focus on leadership.

    Also, a fair amount of EI research depended on instruments that depend on self-reporting, which can be problematic.

    EDIT: I find the "Ability Model" to be a little broader:

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    • Perceiving emotions – the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one's own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible.
    • Using emotions – the ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand.
    • Understanding emotions – the ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time.
    • Managing emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.
    Would be interesting to speculate about how those aspect related to type-related strengths (there's an article here summarizing some findings).

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