Why Temperament is the Key to Lifting Your Emotional Intelligence

Sissinghurst – the famous garden planted by Vita Sackville-West

Recently Guy Winch published a terrific blog on emotional intelligence.  Guy was discussing a yet unpublished study of 3,000 adults who were asked to respond to the following question:

You arrive at a social event, excited to see friends you haven’t seen for a while but as you walk in you overhear two of these friends saying negative things about you. What would you feel in this situation? 

Anger   Shame   Sadness   Contempt   Worry   Guilt   Good Humour   Fear

The most common response was Anger (42.8 percent), followed by Sadness (38.3 percent), Contempt (23.8 percent), Good Humour (14.2 percent), Worry (5 percent), Shame (4 percent), Guilt (2.3 percent), and Fear (.7 percent).  Guy makes the telling point that even though we were only asked to provide one answer, most of us would actually have a mix of emotions.  Indeed, he provides a simple questionnaire listing 15 emotions scaled to seven intensities from “none” to “very much” to both answer and demonstrate his point..

This demonstration sums up in the problem with most articles on emotional intelligence.  It has been estimated that 90% of our waking life we are feeling some emotion.  The number of different emotions has been defined from 8 to 27.  The organisation Six Seconds derives its name from the length of time an emotion lasts.  Given we are awake for at least 16 hours would suggest we go through at least 8,000 emotional shifts a day.  Corroboration comes from Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, and the co-inventor of the Mood Meter.  According to Marc an individual goes through hundreds of positions on the Mood Meter every day.

Every emotional intelligence book and course tells you to analyse your emotions and those of others.  My issue is that with so many changes in a day this is impractical advice.  On the other hand, temperament defined as your genetic emotional predisposition is stays relatively constant which is why I recommend the 7MTF/Humm model as the most practical tool for lifting your emotional intelligence.

I do however agree with the advice to try to increase your emotional vocabulary and read fiction.  I am currently reading All Passion Spent.  The heroine of the book, Lady Slane, is 88 years old and recently widowed.  Her husband was the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Viceroy of India.  The novel spends considerable time describing the feelings of Lady Slane as she contemplates her past and her children.  I would be the first to admit that 40 years ago I would have stopped reading the novel after 50 pages.  However now aged 73 I am finding much of the novel resonates with my current emotional mind set.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-temperament-key-lifting-your-emotional-christopher-golis/?published=t



Add Your Comment

Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web www.ceo.com.au.