Friday, March 05, 2010

Wisdom as Emotional Intelligence

The concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) has become very popular in leadership literature. EI is the ability to read and understand emotions in one's self and others (good and bad), and then to act or respond properly in light of those emotions. As theologian Temper Longman has pointed out in his book, How To Read Proverbs, EI is a modern day way of expressing ancient bibilcal wisdom, especially wisdom exercised through our interpersonal relationships.

For example, consider Proverbs 25:11 -
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. The person that knows exactly what to say to minister to the need of the moment, is not only exercising solid EI, moreover, they are exercising keen wisdom.

EI was part of the focus of my doctoral research, following Longman's lead, I investigated it as an expression of biblical wisdom when applied to a leader's relationships. It was a lot of fun and I have much I could say, but take a look at this chart from
Travis Bradberry (author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0) and you'll get the idea. As you read it, take EI - he calls it EQ - and replace it with the word "wisdom." Leaders with wisdom (EI) know what, when, and how to say what is needed at the moment.

3 John 8
Bill H.

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