Definition and Elements of Emotional Intelligence

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Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success or happiness. Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman was named of the 25 most influential business management books by Time Magazine with 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide and translated into 40 languages. In this book Daniel Goleman expands the model of what it means to be intelligent and puts emotions at the center of aptitudes for living. He brings up the idea that emotional intelligence rather than IQ plays a greater role shaping our success in life.

Emotional Intelligence which is also known as the EQ refers to the ability of a person to recognize their own emotions and able to manage and control his or her emotions, as well as the emotions of other people. In other words, they can influence the emotions of others. EQ also allows a person knowing what feels good, what feels bad, and how to change bad feeling to good. EQ can refers to the emotional management skills that provide competency to balance emotions. It allows people to identify different sensations and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and adjust emotions to adapt to the environment or achieve goals. Daniel Goleman delineates the five crucial domains of emotional intelligence which are the self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

First, self –awareness, is how aware we are and how accurately we can assess to our emotions. It is our ability to recognize and understand own moods, motivations, and abilities. Also being aware of the impact on others. Goleman says to achieve a fully self-awareness state, one must be able to monitor his emotional state and identify his or her emotions. He also suggests that people with this self-awareness have a good sense of humor, have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and know how others see them.

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Second, self-regulation, the next step we may take after managing our self-awareness. We manage our perceived emotions by soothing ourselves and controlling anxiety, depression or anger, and dealing with them to make them appropriate such as shorten the time to move from a negative state to a positive one. People who excel in emotional management can recover far more quickly from setbacks, frustrations, and failures, and move toward goals. Goleman defines emotional maturity as the ability to be responsible for one's actions, to adapt to change, and to be able to respond appropriately to other people's irrational emotions or behaviors. For example, if someone yells at you, you know that they are not always angry with you. You can know that they may be angry with a particular situation and you will not be angry with them.

Third, motivation, is about having desire for learning and developing new things and self-improvement. People with emotional intelligent and competent in this area tend to be action-oriented. They set goals, have high requirement for achievement, and are always looking for ways to do better. Their motivations are not limited to external rewards such as reputation, money, recognition and praise. Even when there are obstacles in life, it has the power to keep moving forward. Goleman says that in this domain, an emotionally mature person will always have the initiative and determination to accomplish tasks and perseverance in adversity. For instance, a student fails in a certain class, he or she see this as an opportunity to learn and retake the class without self-doubt. He does not let the failure get in the way of his goal.

Next, empathy, is the ability to understand the feelings of others, to understand what others have to say. It is absolutely critical to emotional intelligence. But this does not only involves identifying the emotional state of others. It also involves your response to that particular person based on this information, and to adapt to the subtle social signals of what he or she need or want. For example, when you feel someone is sad or desperate, it is likely to affect your reaction to that person. Goleman believes that one must be able to understand themselves before they can understand others. When we are more open to our emotions, our ability to read others' feelings increases. The greater our ability to empathize, the more successful we are in all areas of life.

Lastly, social skills. Social skills are more than just friendliness. It involves managing relationships, building networks, finding common ground and building rapport. Being able to interact with others is another important aspect of emotional intelligence. Goleman points out that emotional maturity in this section defines a person with good communication skills, good time management skills, leadership skills or ability to manage a group of people, and the ability to resolve dilemmas or conflicts through negotiation or persuasion.

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Definition and Elements of Emotional Intelligence. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Definition and Elements of Emotional Intelligence.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
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