Emotional Intelligence Defined

What is Emotional Intelligence?

The term Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability of individuals to understand their emotions, as well as their own strengths and limitations.

Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s capacity for recognizing his or her own emotions and those of others, discerning among different feelings and label them appropriately, using emotional information to guide thought and behavior, and managing emotions to achieve specific goals.

The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence is a greater predictor of personal success than IQ, technical skills, and expertise! Also, it has been shown that emotional intelligence can be trained!

The five components of emotional intelligence are self-awareness : the ability to recognize your moods, emotions and drives; self-regulation : using awareness to control your impulses; motivation : using an emotional drive to achieve goals; empathy : understanding the emotional makeup of other people; social skills: handling relationships, collaboration and influence.

A strong correlation exists between high emotional intelligence (EQ) and performance outcomes. For instance, research has identified that EQ is more highly correlated with job performance than IQ. Individuals with high EQ make more money, get better performance evaluations and are likely to be promoted more often than others.

The Emotional Intelligence Appraisal has been scientifically developed to predict the potential for success in superior performance of people working or seeking work. The test is used by organizations worldwide to build effective teams, identify future leaders, select appropriate training and development programs, hire entry level employees, determine promotion potential and objectively assess the effectiveness of existing performance management systems.

The development of emotional intelligence is critical to success now. To outperform your peers you now need a high IQ plus good EQ skills.

Humans are only one generation from their primitive roots as gatherers but four generations from the beginning of civilization. This means that for most of us our emotions are still those hard wired into our brains just waiting for the right situation to be released.

Most modern day managers have forgotten or choose to ignore their own emotions, they need to understand why some people just don’t fit into the corporate world, although they might make good employees in another setting.

High emotional intelligence allows you to better identify the strengths of your employees, which can enable you to develop job roles more effectively or provide training that builds on existing skills. Such action will not only contribute to an individual’s success at work but also can improve their satisfaction with their employment situation.

Emotional Intelligence is a valuable asset for organizations. It can help to create a work environment where people have the opportunity to do their best work, resulting in better performance and greater productivity.

Emotional intelligence focuses on so much more than our ability to work with other people. To succeed today you must understand about self-management and how your own feelings affect motivation, goal setting, coping with change and how to get the very best from yourself and others.

Emotional intelligence is a state of being aware of your feelings, managing your emotions and acting in a socially appropriate manner. It means having an awareness of your moods along with the ability to tell when you’re feeling anxious or stressed, calm or contented, happy or sad. It is a concept that has been around since the late 1980s but it’s only recently that emotional intelligence has become widely acknowledged as an important skill both in careers and everyday life.

Being emotionally intelligent means you understand your emotions and the effect they’re having on you, others and situations, allowing you to manage them more effectively. This ability is equally useful in both personal and professional settings.

Many people often refer to emotional intelligence as a personality trait or an attitude, but it’s really a form of self-awareness and management that drives good decision making.

The Components of Emotional Intelligence:

There are five components to emotional intelligence:


The ability to understand your emotions, drives and motivations. Self-awareness means recognizing a mistake as it’s happening or understanding your reaction to certain people or situations.

Self-awareness allows you to understand who you are and how that affects the people in your life. Self-regulation enables you to control impulsive feelings, remain calm under pressure and react positively in difficult situations.


The ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, remain calm under pressure and overcome negative emotions.


The desire to achieve for the sake of achievement, to master a skill for the sake of mastery and to do things because they matter.

Motivation puts fuel in the emotional tank; it provides the energy needed to overcome conflict and the desire to achieve goals for their own sake. Although motivation is often viewed as a personal thing, it can be developed through recognition of your strengths and by surrounding yourself with people who share similar goals.


The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. Empathy allows you to recognize how others are feeling and connect with them on an emotional level.

Empathy is a two-way street that allows you recognize the needs of others while also recognizing your need to help them meet those needs. If you have a high emotional intelligence , it’s easier for you to recognize what other people need, which in turn allows you to be a better boss or coworker.

Social Skills:

The ability to manage relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence people, build rapport and navigate tricky social situations.

Social skills come from empathy; they allow you to understand other people’s emotions and relate to them on an emotional level. This enables you to build rapport and strong relationships, as well as being able to effectively communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Emotional intelligence enables you to be self-aware and empathetic, so even shy people can benefit from developing their emotional intelligence. By understanding your personality type, triggers and drivers, you can effectively manage your “weak spots.”

Working at improving your emotional intelligence will pay dividends across many areas of life, including career advancement. Whether you are looking for a position within your company or trying to develop the next generation of talent, emotional intelligence is an essential qualification.

Emotional intelligence is not something that can be faked – it is generally evident within the first few minutes of meeting someone. Like your IQ, emotional intelligence is something that you are born with and cannot be taught in school or gained through experience.

High emotional intelligence allows you to better identify the strengths of your employees, which can enable you to develop job roles more effectively or provide training that builds on existing skills. It can also allow you to recognize and work with people who share your passions and interests, as well as those who drive you crazy.

One thing is certain – emotional intelligence will provide a noticeable advantage in any career environment, so it’s important to recognize your own abilities and those of the people around you.

Here are some signs that you have a high emotional intelligence:

·   You tend to maintain long-term relationships with people.

·   Your relationships with others tend to be free of conflict and filled with trust and respect.

·   You can easily tell when other people are upset, angry or stressed out – even if they’re trying to hide it.

You can tell when someone is being sincere or just putting on a show.

·   You are good at predicting how you would feel in another person’s situation.

·   You encourage others when they are not performing well.

·   You can see your team’s strengths and weaknesses clearly, even when it isn’t obvious to everyone else.

·   When someone asks for help, you are able to jump in without being told what to do.

·   You are able to take the perspective of others easily, which helps you to understand their feelings and needs.

·   When something goes wrong, you quickly consider what happened before jumping to conclusions or pointing fingers.

Your ability to think like this is quick and effortless.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it gives you an idea of some of the qualities that emotional intelligence can bring to your work and personal life.

If you’re not quite sure how emotional intelligence will help you in your career (and elsewhere), try thinking about conflicts and difficult situations at school or elsewhere. Did you:

·        Talk things through with the other person to work out what the real issue was?

·        Go straight to your teacher or parents with any problems?

These are signs of high emotional intelligence, as they demonstrate your ability to think through a situation instead of blindly reacting.

Now that you have an idea of what emotional intelligence can do for you, it’s time to work on improving it. Emotional intelligence can not be learned – you’re either born with it or you’re not.

Your EQ is also forged by your life experiences, particularly the bad ones, so if you’ve had a difficult life then this will impact how high (or low) your EQ is.

However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. If you are feeling anxious, depressed or just have a general negative outlook on life that has been impacting your ability to function at work or home then consider talking to a doctor.

Doctors are able to prescribe various medications that help people control their emotions – anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants will change how you feel and allow you to think more clearly, which should help increase your emotional intelligence.

Most importantly, though: try and stay positive and take care of yourself. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health – if not more so – and it’s something that’s entirely within your control.

There are also various exercises you can do to help improve your EQ. If you’re in the workplace, try taking a moment at the start of each day to reflect on what’s already going well for you rather than focusing on all the things that aren’t.

Think about how your actions have impacted other people and think before you speak so that you can find out how others are feeling and what they need from you.

If you manage other people, make sure to praise and reward them for their good work as well as taking the time to find out what they would like from their career and helping them achieve it.

Many successful companies run various team-building exercises as a way of improving relationships between employees and encouraging trust, all of which will help boost their emotional intelligence.

If you spend a little time on these exercises and work on your mental health, you should start to see the benefits of an increased emotional intelligence in your daily life!

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