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Emotional Intelligence E.Q.

Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.)

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as:

“The innate ability to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, learn from, manage and understand emotions.”

This basically means that you are aware of what you are feeling and why you are feeling it, you can express how you feel to other people, you learn how your past emotions affected you, and can control them in future situations.

E.Q and Success

The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are.

Emotional intelligence is important because to be successful you must possess self-control, this comprises of how you do something, and how you react to something, to have self control you need to understand and control your emotions.

Extreme self control is required if you are to be succesful in boxing.

Developing E.Q.

The course uses a combination of mental, emotional and physical training to develop emotional intelligence. There are specially designed workshops and activities which work in all of these three areas.

Emotional intelligence and the brain

The Triune brain

The triune brain is a model proposed by Paul D. MacLean to explain the function of traces of evolution existing in the structure of the human brain.

Your brain is not actually one brain but three different brains that interact to form one.  The three different sections are called the R – complex, the Limbic system and the Cerebrum.

The R – Complex

The R-complex, also known as the “Reptilian brain”, includes the brainstem and cerebellum. The term “Reptilian brain” comes from the fact that a reptile’s brain is dominated by the brain stem and cerebellum, which controls instinctual survival behaviours and thinking.

The brainstem

This is the hardest working part of the brain. Every second of the day the brainstem is orchestrating and controlling hundreds of unconscious processes that keep you alive. All the incoming and outgoing nervous signals must pass through this area, which also performs much of the automatic processing and fine-tuning of nerve signals.

The brainstem consists of the midbrain, the medulla and the reticular formation.

The midbrain

This controls posture and involuntary muscle movement, such as the digestive muscles.

The medulla

This area regulates things such as heart and breathing rates.

The reticular formation

This runs the length of the brainstem and into the spinal cord, and controls whether you are awake or asleep.

The cerebellum

Looking a bit like a brain in miniature, the cerebellum is involved in producing the complex pattern of nerve signals required for smooth, co-ordinated and balanced movements. You control many aspects of motion unconsciously, mainly thanks to your cerebellum. This is also where the ‘programmes’ for learned movement patterns are co-ordinated, for instance the sequence of moves in a golf swing.

The limbic System

This portion of the brain derives from “the old mammalian brain” The limbic system is the source of emotions and instincts (e.g.. feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual behaviour).

The limbic system comprises the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus. The limbic system must interact with the cerebrum in some way. The limbic system cannot function entirely on its own. It needs to interact with the cerebrum to process the emotions

The cerebrum

The outermost portions of the brain are collectively termed the cerebrum. It is the seat of consciousness and deals with uniquely human abilities, such as language, logic and self- awareness. The cerebrum is divided into two halves – the left and right cerebral hemispheres – each of which is divided into four lobes.

In humans it is the frontal lobes that are vastly more developed that in mammals.

These three sections can be known as the Reptile brain, Mammal brain and Thinking brain, another way to look at it is as the Physical, Emotional and Logical, or the Body, Heart and Mind.

Each of these serves a specific purpose and evolved for a different reason.

Conflicts between the brains

Each of the brains has their own drives but the three don’t communicate well between each other. Inner conflicts are often conflicts between the drives of each brain. We like to think that the logical, thinking part of the brain is in control, but it is actually the older brains that control the newer brains for their own ends. The older brains are of course only serving the far older creators of our bodies and minds, our genes.

However humans have the unique ability, which separates us from animals, which is to be able to think about our lives and what we are doing subjectively. We can use our logical part of our brain, to develop ways of controlling our older brains.

The key area we need to develop control of is our emotional brain.

The ability-based model

Salovey and Mayer’s conception of EI strives to define EI within the confines of the standard criteria for a new intelligence. Following their continuing research, their initial definition of EI was revised to: “The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth.”

The ability based model views emotions as useful sources of information that help one to make sense of and navigate the social environment. The model proposes that individuals vary in their ability to process information of an emotional nature and in their ability to relate emotional processing to a wider cognition. This ability is seen to manifest itself in certain adaptive behaviours. The model proposes that EI includes 4 types of abilities:

1.     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.

2.     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.

3.     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.

4. 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.


The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. Goleman’s model outlines four main EI constructs:

1.     Self-awareness — the ability to read one’s emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions.

2.     Self-management — involves controlling one’s emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.

3.     Social awareness — the ability to sense, understand, and react to others’ emotions while comprehending social networks.

4.     Relationship management — the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict.

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 developed to achieve outstanding performance. Goleman posits that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.

For the purposes of this section we are going to focus on the first two of Golemans model, Self awareness and Self management.

Self Awareness

Self-awareness is being aware of what you are thinking and feeling, as and when it occurs. It involves being aware of the emotions as they occur and the thoughts that give rise to those emotions, and beyond that it involves being aware of the thoughts that give rise to the thoughts that give rise to the feelings.

Self Management

Once self awareness has been increased, you have to learn how to manage the emotions, which involves not acting on emotions, harnessing emotions to motivate, and not letting emotions develop.

This involves controlling the mind by controlling your thoughts. We cover more on this later.

First of all you have to know what emotions are.

What are emotions?

Emotions can be defined as, “A mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors”

Emotions evolved to act as early warning systems to the things going on around us; they are also our most reliable indicator of how things are going in our lives.

However, when it comes to actually explaining what emotions are, there is no clear scientific definition. Emotions are complex because they operate on two levels, the physical biological level (body) and the cognitive level (mental).

On the physical biological level emotions affect things such as your heart-rate, body temperature, body chemistry e.g. adrenalin level etc.

On the cognitive level emotions affect things such as what you think about life and who you are as a person etc. The flip side is that your thinking also affects your emotions.

There have been five key core emotions recognised; these are Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Surprise and Fear. Other emotions are a combination of these. It is said in many philosophic doctrines that there are actually only two core emotions Love and Fear, and all other emotions emanate from either of these.

One thing to realise is that emotions are actually energy, energy that is in motion, hence the word emotion. If you have ever noticed that when you are ‘excited’ you want to jump around and shout etc, this is because you are filled with energy.

Generally emotions lead to outward behaviour, for example, fear leads to running away, anger leads to fighting etc.

Emotional states

This can also be known as a mindset or mood. A mood is your general underlying emotional state that you will be feeling over a period of time, you may wake up in a good mood, or a bad mood, Moods are different compared to just being angry for a few minutes when your car brakes down!

Your emotions are important because emotions create your experience. Whatever it is you do, it’s not what you do, but your emotional experience of it, that decides whether you enjoyed it or not, everything you do in life is actually striving to feel good.  You may be in the nicest place in the world but if you are feeling upset you will not enjoy being there.

Emotions also provide the energy to act. If you are excited about something you will feel compelled to do it, likewise if you are angry you will feel compelled to take action to resolve the problem. Emotional energy needs to be harnessed and directed to provide drive toward completing your goals, the more energy put in the greater results that can be accomplished. If you do not put the energy towards something constructive and waste it, nothing will be achieved.

When doing something, if you are not in a suitable emotional state, the chances are you will not perform to the best of your abilities.

There is an emotional state that when entered provides the best mindset for achieving success, this state is known as being in ‘flow’.


A boxer needs to be in a slightly nervous, but confident and relaxed mindset in order to box well.

Learning how to alter your emotional states is essential in order to succeed. This includes before, during and after events.

Once you have an understanding of the different emotions you then have to become more aware of the emotions you are actually feeling, there are various techniques for this.