Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

The concept of, and terminology, “Emotional Intelligence” first surfaced in 1995 in a book with the same title by Daniel Goleman. This title aimed to define and introduce the concept of emotional intelligence to the global community. Additionally, Goleman also posited that to thrive in today’s world, Emotional Intelligence is more than Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

Therefore, the questions that beg are: “What is emotional intelligence, and why is it more valuable (and important) than natural intelligence?” Once these questions have been answered, the next step is to consider is why is emotional intelligence a vital component of the successful business leadership model? Simply stated, what makes an exceptional business leader?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) versus natural intelligence (IQ)

Before we discuss this topic in-depth, let’s look at the definitions of IQ and EQ

Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is defined as the “capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).”

On the other hand, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a score that is derived from a set of standardised tests that are designed to determine the level of human intelligence. IQ scores do not measure the emotional response to a particular scenario. They are purely intended as an estimate of an intelligence level, which, in turn, translates into the potential to perform a specific job function. Also, IQ scores are also used in to determine levels of intellectual dysfunction, if there are any.

EQ versus Neuro-Associative Conditioning and Neuro-Linguistic Programming

As highlighted above, EQ is the ability of an individual to recognise, regulate, and control the emotional response to a specific scenario. It has nothing to do with the individual’s intelligence level.

Therefore, the question that must be asked and answered is: “Can emotional intelligence be learned?” If so, how can an individual’s EQ levels be enhanced?

The good news is that emotionally intelligent responses can be learned by using a combination of Neuro-Associative Conditioning and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Simply stated, Neuro-Associative Conditioning is a cognitive methodology that forces the individual to learn new behaviours and responses to stressful and negative scenarios. Neuro-associations are mental associations, both negative and positive, that are created in our minds.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, on the other hand, is similar to Neuro-Associative Conditioning in that it aims to teach positive behaviours by modelling successful psychologists and psychotherapists.

According to the website, www.behappy101.com, the Neuro-Associative Conditioning and Neuro-Linguistic Programming model is based on the premise that an individual’s personal experience is not reality but a representation of reality. Therefore, through cognitive modelling and conditioning, it is possible to remodel the experience as it is only a representation of reality.

Shaping exceptional business leaders

If we take the definition of Neuro-Linguistic Programming as being one of the most important ways to learn and shape positive behaviours, it stands to reason that one of the best ways for organisational leadership to become exceptional is to model the extraordinary behaviour of current leaders and business coaches.

This concept might sound trite and simplistic; however, when considered in the light of the information presented above, Neuro-Linguistic modelling is a useful tool to utilise when training junior leaders to lead with empathy, strength, and moral courage.

Furthermore, the current foundational principle of Neuro-Associative Conditioning being “that a person’s experience is not reality, but a representation of reality,” allows for the retraining of the brain to deal with historical stressful and negative scenarios in a positive manner.

Succinctly stated, the individual focuses on the past event; however, the ending is changed in the brain to turn the situation into a positive outcome. This, in turn, will allow the individual to provide a positive response should a similar scenario occur.

Final thoughts

Raising business leaders and mature thought leaders is a critical part of the implementation of plans, models, and methodologies to ensure that the business organisational unit not only survives but thrives in the modern corporate environment.

The current global economic and political conditions, including challenges such as the USA / China trade war, Brexit, and other financial and geopolitical crises have ensured, and continue to make sure that driving business growth and success locally, nationally, and internationally is incredibly challenging.