Emotional Intelligence in Africa Society (Nigeria as a case study); A moment of Choice is Here
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to recognise, manage and respond well to one’s emotions and the emotions of others. It entails the ability to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to manage social relationships judiciously and empathetically. People who possess high levels of EI are able to build better connections and can adapt easily to life’s changes.
Psychologists, in the last two decades, have however argued that I.Q could only account for 10 percent of the totality of human intelligence. This means that the remaining 90 percent is accounted for by another form of intelligence – Emotional Intelligence (EI).
In the last few decades researchers all over the world have published their research works based on the need for Emotional Intelligence. Without being left out, here are a few notable research works by Nigerians which adequately gives credence to the need of emotional intelligence.
Research conducted by Oyewunmi, Adebukola E, Osibanjo, Adewale O. and Adeniji, Anthonia A. on “Major connection between Emotional Intelligence and the Academic Performance of university undergraduates” which was also in consonance with the works of Abisamra (2000) and Bar-On (2003), studies by Nigerian scholars, Ogundokun and Adeyemo (2010), Adeyemo (2007), Tella and Tella (2003) reveals that:
“The competencies of emotional intelligence are crucial to academic performance. Students who possess these competencies are at an advantage, as they have the ability to identify and regulate their own emotions and manage the emotions of others. The ability to utilize and rise above emotions is crucial to task accomplishment, whether in the academic setting or in the corporate world. The term performance has become commonplace and liberally used, not only in the academia but also in the corporate world, where businesses compete in a volatile environment.”
The findings of this study indicate that performance is greatly influenced by the ability to manage emotions. This fact underpins the need for policy makers in the Nigerian higher education sector to re- evaluate university curricular and accommodate emotional intelligence as a subject, to enhance academic performance, so as to produce total graduates that can compete and exceed expectations in the workplace.”
In recent times, organizations are realizing that academic abilities are only part of the formula for success. These organizations are persuaded that the capacity to manage emotions advances performance (Oyewunmi, Oyewunmi, Ojo, Oludayo, 2015).
Another research conducted by AbdullahI, O. E. on “The need to introducing Emotional Intelligence in the Nigeria higher Education” reveals that the “Nigerian education system especially at the tertiary level seems not serving the needs for economic, social and psychological growth and development of the Nigerian people. This therefore, underscores the need to seek alternatives in emotional intelligence to complement our academic goals that is purely intellectual. Perhaps, the contradictions and paradoxes of zeal to attain a height in vision 2020 cannot be resolved through educating the emotions at schools but there is no doubt that the vision 2020 in Nigeria will be a friendlier, more stimulating era for those future citizen who have greater emotional intelligence”. His findings further reveal that teaching emotional intelligence has become a necessary task in the present Nigeria. In field of education, emotional intelligence has a large implication especially in ensuring the students' ability to compete in their life and self development.
After rigorous research on the “Assessment of Emotional Intelligence among Nigerian Police” by A. Oyesoji Aremu and T. Oluwayemisi Tejumola, it is submitted that more than ever before, what the Nigeria Police need is the inclusion of emotional intelligence in its training curriculum. And for those presently on the job, seminars and workshops on emotional intelligence would be a great benefit to them, and by extension to the public. The researchers feel strong about these because the results of their study provide enough empirical support to assert as such.
Another research conducted by Victor Ayebami Torubeli and Elisabeth Tonbra Ambakederemo on “Emotional intelligence training and global security challenges among young adults in nigeria’s niger delta university” shows that “Participants who underwent emotional intelligence training improved on their anger-security provoking behaviour posttest scores than the participants in the control group”
The result is consistent with previous studies. For instance, Ducket (2002), Moss (2001) have in their various studies established the effectiveness of emotional intelligence. This corroborates the tenet that emotionally intelligent individual develop ‘meta mood’ which empowers them to pull back and recognize the need to take it easy and be less ‘mad’ from the ongoing. This is because emotionally intelligent persons have higher problem-solving abilities that would manage security provoking anger that could pose security challenge.
Akinboye (2002) also submitted based on his findings that inculcation of emotional intelligence skills reduces negative life skills and enhances positive life skills of individuals.
With all the aforementioned studies made by scholars, it is crystal clear that emotional intelligence is a major prerequisite for a better World, a better Africa, a better Nigeria, a better Society, a better you and a better me and together we can make the world a better place.
A moment of choice is here as Pause Factory convenes the forthcoming Africa Emotional Intelligence Conference, as expert would be discussing on how to use Emotional Intelligence to increase productivity, improve profitability and optimize learning.
Africa the time is now.
By Owolabi Aforinwo;
Associate at Pause Factory
aka Afonrinwo Proactive (AP).