Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More Again on Emotional Intelligence

I googled the phrase "listening to your emotions" and the top ranked page was:

"Emotions - How To Understand, Identify Release Your Emotions".

Now as far as I can make out, that article has quite a lot of valuable information on the subject. It really does.

But it does suffer from a few drawbacks which are common in circles that deal with psychology or pop psychology. Let me touch on a few such examples using this article as my jumping board.

First, when you read about the author you learn that she is a "vibrational consultant" who can perform a "vibrational assessment" on you. Wow! Whatever is that and whatever does it mean ?

Do you see already where I'm going with this ? For me, if I were approaching this subject cold the image put out by this article would immediately lead me to write it all off as 'cranky' and 'weird' and boy I sure don't have any time for that sort of thing, thank you very much. It might be a mistake but you do "consider the source" and if the source smells fishy well out it goes with the rest of the garbage.

Secondly, while the article does have a lot useful and insightful information it all sits in a sea of subjectivity and is presented in such a way that what is subjectively real is ultimate. Nothing wrong with subjectivity since the topic we are considering demands it but if it leads to navel gazing then it's too much. And this article as probably 90-95% of all psychological literature does just that-- navel gaze.

This is why my appreciation of the subject of emotional intelligence had it's impetus from what i read about it on Brett Starbarger's blog called Trader Feed. It's an interesting trading blog where Brett quite often has a pastoral take on things. In the context of rational intelligence and analysis which is what all good stock market traders do plenty of he manages to bring in emotional intelligence in a grounded way that also makes a lot of sense.

For instance, consider that once all the hard analysis has been done, the trader must take a decision to buy or sell. From that point on he has skin in the game. He is emotionally engaged which means he's now existentially heightened. That is where Brett comes in and he says "listen to your emotions" because your emotions are giving you important information about this trade. What is that information ? Well it has to be drawn out and that takes 'emotional intelligence'.

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