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Analysis of Erin Brockovich's Emotional Intelligence

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Erin Brockovich, a frantic out-of-work divorcee and mother of three who persuades a legal counsellor Ed Masry to contract her and afterwards discovers a fantastic law body of evidence against PG&E company. Powered by a craving to accommodate her family and a consistently developing sympathy for the clueless casualties of a grave social bad form, the improbable Brockovich triumphs over the advanced ideal models of social standards, manners, and expert capabilities. This paper will look at how her character exhibited emotional intelligence.

Daniel Goleman's theory of emotional intelligence outlines five components of EQ: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. As mentioned by Bandura (2016), emotion is a wide scope of recognizable practices, communicated sentiments, and changes in the perspective and body. Sentiments, feelings, our preferences, and aversions give our individual lives significance and cause us to be upbeat or troubled, fulfilled or disappointed. Insight is the capacity to get and apply information and abilities. Enthusiastic insight is the capacity to manage other individuals effectively. By understanding one's very own sentiments they can comprehend and assess others.


This is the capacity to perceive and comprehend one’s states of mind, inspirations, and capacities. Likewise understanding the impacts, they have on others. Goleman says to accomplish a condition of complete mindfulness, an individual must have the option to screen their enthusiastic state and recognize their feelings. Attributes that demonstrate a person as sincerely develops include certainty, the capacity to chuckle at one’s self and their mix-ups, and the consciousness of how one is seen by others.

At the start, Erin had a challenge on self-awareness, for example, she had no idea on how her dressing code was being perceived by her fellow workmates. She only gained awareness when her boss Ed mentioned it to her that her dress code was making the other employees feel uncomfortable.

The other challenge she had was that of not overlooking past the mistake of having bad relationships with men in the past, this made her create an emotional wall on trusting men and she acted towards men without realizing this as evidenced from the moment she met her neighbor (George). She did not trust her neighbor with her children because of her past mistakes.

Later on, Erin managed to make up for self-awareness through gaining confidence in herself. This came about as doing her job made her feel she had a purpose towards her clients. As a result, her confidence managed to do bring down her wall on trusting men. This is evidenced from when she gave her male clients her attention and trust, for example, Nelson and Charles who had previously worked for PG&E Company. Her trust also stretched into her relationship with her neighbor whom she left her children with. She now also had the confidence to justify her dress code towards her workmates and Theresa from the other firm.

Self-Guideline (Self-Regulation)

According to Jackson (2015), this is the capacity to control one's driving forces, the capacity to think before one has to talk/respond, and the capacity to convey what needs be suitable. Goleman characterizes enthusiastic development in this segment as having the option to assume liability for your activities, having the option to adjust to change, and the capacity to react fittingly to other individuals' unreasonable feelings or conduct.

Erin at the start also had some challenges on Self-regulation, she lost her accident case in court because she busted into anger and also shouted some provocative words at the lawyers and court officials. She also shouted at her neighbor (George) for taking in her children when her nanny had abandoned them at her house. This was not a proper way to treat him because he had felt for the children and helped well.

Later on, she gained some control over her anger out busts for example when she was at the park giving flyers and Charles impolitely asked for her number, she managed to remain calm. Even later on at the meeting when Charles gave her some creepy looks with his eyes and smiles, she never went to confront him but kept her distance. When she knew that the man at the library gave the threatening caller her details, she approached him calmly and expressed her position. When Charles finally confessed his story, Erin did not act without thinking. She asked for some time out and called Ed for guidance which she applied to handle Charles’s confession.

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Inspiration (Motivation)

This is having an enthusiasm for learning and personal growth. It is having the solidarity to prop up when there are impediments throughout everyday life (Maddux et al., 2015). It is defining objectives and finishing them.

Erin was an internally motivated person she had looked for a job and never had any luck but she never lost hope. This internal motivation is what landed her a job at Ed’s law firm because she was determined she would get a job even though there was no vacant post publicized. Even when she was fired her internal motivation drove Ed into the corner to give her back her job at the law firm. When PG&E had asked for 90% of the clients to sign in favor of Ed’s law firm case, the other members saw it as impossible even the well-seasoned lawyers like Theresa. Erin’s self-motivation drove her to go the extra mile in reaching out to these clients and the 90% was successful.

Compassion (Empathy)

This is the capacity to comprehend different people groups’ feelings and responses. Compassion must be accomplished if mindfulness is accomplished. Goleman accepts that one must have the option to comprehend themselves before they can get others (Hiemstra and Sisco, 2017). Passionate development in this classification incorporates individuals having characteristics, for example, an impression of others, being keen on different people groups stresses and concerns, the capacity to foresee someone’s enthusiastic reaction to an issue or circumstance, and the comprehension of social orders standards and why individuals act how they do.

The first time that Erin met her neighbor (George) she was a bit harsh on him even thou he was polite to her. She said words without considering how it would make him feel and in front of his fellow friends who laughed at him on Erin’s words.

Through meeting her clients Erin developed empathy for people’s feelings. For example, when she heard that Dona was going to have her uterus and breast removed, she comforted her and promised her it would be well. Later on, Erin began to understand how her actions affected the people around her. When she said that her neighbor (George) could not tell her anything about jobs since he was unemployed it hurt his feelings. Erin realized this and she took back her words. When it came to her children Erin worked hard to provide for them and for the children not to feel the pain of being left by their birth father.

Social Abilities

This is the capacity to get on jokes, mockery, client assistance, keeping up companionships and connections, and discovering shared opinion with others. Goleman states that enthusiastic development in this part characterizes somebody who has great relational abilities, great time the board, the capacity to be a pioneer or deal with a gathering of individuals (Brockett and Hiemstra, 2016). The capacity to determine troublesome circumstances or clashes utilizing exchange or influence.

At first, Erin had some challenges with her social skills. This is evidenced when she first met her neighbor (George). On her first days at work Erin did not go for lunch with her fellow employees she remained behind on her own.

Later on, through doing her job she gained good social skills. The moment she went with Ed to meet the clients she advised him not to decline to have a cup of coffee with them when the meeting was over. Her social skills were admired by clients better than those presented by Theresa whom he visits almost turned some clients away from the firm. Erin had some social time with her clients before addressing business, for example, she complimented their houses and children .it made her bond with them; she even knew all their details by heart. She knew their contact numbers, addresses and sickness from the head when she presented them to Theresa.


In conclusion, it was Erin’s character that made the law firm have a strong case against PG&E Company. It was her interaction with the clients that won the plaintiffs’ trust and her interaction with the librarian and PG&E employees such as Charles that brought in strong evidence. It was also her strong guidance and motivation on ED that made him not to back away from the case. Getting Erin out of the picture would make the case a weak one. So, in conclusion, Erin had a strong sense of emotional intelligence in handling her life at work and also life at home.

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Analysis of Erin Brockovich’s Emotional Intelligence. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Analysis of Erin Brockovich’s Emotional Intelligence.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
Analysis of Erin Brockovich’s Emotional Intelligence. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Analysis of Erin Brockovich’s Emotional Intelligence [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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