Emotional Intelligence vs NLP What's the Difference

Emotional Intelligence vs NLP: What’s The Difference?

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When you begin a foray into the world of neuro-linguistic programming you will come across two separate terms that seem incredibly similar, emotional intelligence and NLP. 

On the face of it, it may seem like these two phrases are interchangeable or mean the same thing.  However, there are some important differences between these two concepts.  

In this article, we will look at the two concepts of emotional intelligence and Neuro-linguistic programming and how they are different.  We will also look at which can be more useful for you and why. 

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

The term emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and regulate the emotions that you feel.  It also refers to the ability to recognize and empathize with the emotions that are displayed by other people.  

The skills that are required to have high emotional intelligence can be used to effectively communicate with others.  It can also be used to build healthy and productive relationships with other people.  

Having strong emotional intelligence can have benefits for both your personal life and your professional life.  

The Components Of Emotional Intelligence

There are four main components that make up emotional intelligence.  Below are the four main components and how they are significant to building overall emotional intelligence. 

Perceiving Emotions: this is the first step toward understanding emotions.  It is necessary to be able to accurately perceive emotions in order to eventually understand them. 

Perceiving emotions involves understanding nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language as well as verbal communication. 

Reasoning With Emotions:  once you are able to perceive the emotions of others and yourself, you also need to be able to reason with them.  This involves using the emotions you perceive to promote cognitive activity such as thinking. 

The emotions we perceive help us prioritize what we give our attention to and we respond emotionally to things that grab our attention. 

Understanding Emotions: the emotions that we perceive in others can have a wide variety of nuanced meanings.  For example, if someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer is tasked with interpreting the cause of the anger and what it means. 

A more in-depth example is if your boss is expressing anger, it may mean that they are unhappy with the work you produced, and it may also mean that they got a speeding ticket on the way to work. 

Managing Emotions: The most crucial part of emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively manage emotions.  Being able to regulate your own emotions and respond to them appropriately is important. 

You should also be able to appropriately respond to other people’s emotions at this level of emotional intelligence.  

How Is Emotional Intelligence Measured?

The most common way for emotional intelligence to be measured is through self-report tests. 

This is because they are the easiest to administer and score.  There are plenty of online resources that use the basic framework of one of two tests administered by mental health professionals. 

The first common test is the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).  This is an ability-based test that focuses on Mayer and Salovey’s EI model.  

The second test is the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI).  This is an older model that uses a questionnaire to test EI.

What Is NLP?

What Is NLP?

NLP or neuro-linguistic programming is the concept of understanding how people organize the way their behavior, thinking, feeling, and language to produce specific results. 

NLP provides people with a fixed methodology on which they can model outstanding levels of performance which are often achieved by geniuses and leaders in many fields.  

NLP is often used to help people achieve success in business and to develop themselves on a personal level. 

NLP is used to form unique internal maps that are produced as a result of the information that we filter, perceive, and absorb through all of our senses.  

Components Of NLP

There are three main components of NLP.  All three components work together as part of the process that helps us to make sense of the world around us and to influence how we respond to things. 

Neuro: this is the first aspect of the process once an external stimulus is detected.  At this stage, internal images are generated.  There may also be internal sounds and feelings based on the stimuli. 

Feelings may include tastes and smell that form due to the neurological filtering process. 

Linguistic: after the first access, the information is passed to the linguistic map.  This aspect of mapping focuses on conscious descriptions in the mind. 

This can sometimes manifest as a perceived internal voice. During this stage, personal meaning will be applied to the information being received.  

Programming: the final stage is programming.  This is also known as a behavioral response.  This is where the neurological filtering process happens. 

What Is The Difference Between Emotional Intelligence and NLP?

Despite the fact that both of these concepts revolve around the processing of external information and improving responses to external stimuli, there are some significant differences between them. 

NLP is essentially a package that has been informed by the ways in which different people have achieved excellence in their careers or lives due to certain emotional or behavioral responses to external stimuli. 

The strategies, both internal and external, were modeled by psychologists Bandler and Grinder.  They introduced the concept of NLP to the wider public as a package that can help you do better in life and achieve more. 

On the other hand, emotional intelligence focuses solely on emotions and temperaments.  It is also concerned with understanding mindfulness, self, and the ability to understand and manage others using improved social skills.  

The overlap between these two concepts is around 20%.  However, both of them can be extremely beneficial in your life.  

Which Is More Important?

This is a really interesting question to answer as it really depends on the individual.  Ultimately, both of these concepts are useful to learn and understand to help you improve your life. 

The more important question that you should be asking yourself is which concept you want to be empowered with first.  

Both of these concepts add value to your life in different ways.  If you are looking to boost your progress in your career or chosen field of work or study, then NLP is the perfect place to start to help alter your attitudes and perception of things.

However, if you are looking to improve your relationship with others both professionally and personally, beginning with emotional intelligence can help you reach your goals.

Final Thoughts

Both NLP and emotional intelligence are similar concepts that sometimes get confused.  Despite this, there is only about a 20% overlap between them. 

These are both concepts that can help to improve your life and the way you reach your goals.  It is best to learn both of these concepts to get the most out of them and allow similar benefits to complement one another.  

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