What is emotional intelligence? The role of emotions in our lives

What is emotional intelligence? The role of emotions in our lives

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a part of our cognitive ability that basically facilitates interpersonal behavior.

"All learning has an emotional basis."Plato


  • 1 Definition of Emotional Intelligence
  • 2 Origin of Emotional Intelligence
  • 3 Brief Chronology of Emotional Intelligence
  • 4 The importance of Emotional Intelligence
  • 5 Self awareness or emotional self awareness
  • 6 Self-regulation or emotional self-control
  • 7 Social skills or interpersonal relationships
  • 8 Empathy or recognition of the emotions of others
  • 9 Self-motivation

Definition of Emotional Intelligence

We define EI as the ability to:

  • Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions
  • Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others

In practical terms, this means be aware of the emotions behind our behavior, as well as the impact they have on other people (positively and negatively), in addition to learning how to handle those emotions, both ours and others, especially when we are under pressure.

The ability to express and control our emotions is essential, but so is our ability to understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others. Imagine a world in which you could not understand when a friend feels sad or when a co-worker is angry. Psychologists refer to this ability as Emotional Intelligence, and some experts suggest that it may be more important than the IQ.

Origin of Emotional Intelligence

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer were the leading researchers of Emotional Intelligence in 1990. In their influential article "Emotional Intelligence," they define Emotional Intelligence as "the subset of social intelligence that implies the ability to monitor their own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate between them and use this information to guide thinking. of one and actions "(1990).

The four factors of Emotional Intelligence

Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identifies four different factors of Emotional Intelligence and which are: emotional perception, the ability to reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotions and the ability to handle emotions.

1. Perceive emotions

The first step in understanding emotions is to perceive them accurately. In many cases, this could involve understanding the nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expressions.

2. Reason with emotions

The next step is to use emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what is a priority to pay attention and therefore react, thus responding emotionally to the things that capture our attention.

3. Understanding emotions

The emotions we perceive can have a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing emotions of anger, the observer must interpret the cause of his anger and what it could mean. For example, if our boss is acting in an angry manner, it could mean that he is dissatisfied with our work, or maybe he has an excess workload or has been arguing with his wife in the morning.

4. Emotion management

The ability to effectively manage emotions is a crucial part of Emotional Intelligence. The regulation of emotions, responding appropriately, and knowing how and when to respond to the emotions of others, are all important aspects of emotional management.

Brief Chronology of Emotional Intelligence

1930 - Edward Thorndike describes the concept of "social intelligence" as the ability to get along with other people.

1940 - David Wechsler suggests that the affective components of intelligence may be essential for success in life.

1950 - Humanistic psychologists like Abraham Maslow describe how people can build their emotional strength.

1975 - Howard Gardner publishes "The Broken Mind", where he introduces the concept of Multiple Intelligences.

1985 - Wayne Payne introduces the term Emotional Intelligence in his doctoral thesis entitled "A study of emotion: the development of emotional intelligence".

1990 - Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer publish their reference article, "Emotional Intelligence," in the magazine Imagination, Cognition and Personality.

1995 - The concept of Emotional Intelligence became popular after the publication of the book by psychologist Daniel Goleman "Emotional Intelligence." This book remained for a year and a half on the list of best-selling books according to The New York Times. In 2006, around 5,000,000 copies had already been sold in thirty different languages, and it has been a bestseller in many countries.

Daniel Goleman This describes Emotional Intelligence as the ability of a person to manage their feelings so that those feelings are expressed properly and effectively. According to Goleman, Emotional Intelligence is the biggest predictor of success in the workplace.

The importance of Emotional Intelligence

Experts agree that this type of intelligence plays a vital role in both personal and professional success, being even more important than the intellectual quotient. In any case, Emotional Intelligence seems to be linked to everything from decision making to academic performance.

So what does it take to be emotionally intelligent? Daniel Goleman speaks of five critical components of Emotional Intelligence.

The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

There are five fundamental aspects of EI, below we explain what they are and what they consist of.

Self awareness or emotional self awareness

This is the way that we realize our emotions and we are able to evaluate them. Most of us are so busy with the daily routine, that we rarely stop to think about how we are responding to situations and how we are. The other form of self-awareness is to recognize the emotions of others towards us. This is often difficult because we tend to see what we want to see and tend to avoid asking others for opinions if we believe they will be uncomfortable for us.

Improving our emotional self-awareness we may be able to understand many more things in our day to day. It is also interesting to know how to collect the comments of people who are honest with us and whose ideas we value.

Self-regulation or emotional self-control

Self-management is the ability to control our emotions. This component also includes emotional transparency, adaptability, achievement and optimism.

People with a good level of self-regulation tend to be flexible and adapt well to changes. They are also good at conflict management and the diffusion of tense or difficult situations. Goleman also suggests that people with strong self-regulation skills follow their path without deviating from it. They are able to positively influence others and take responsibility for their own actions.

Social skills or interpersonal relationships

Is about being able to interact correctly with those around us, regardless of place and situation. True emotional understanding implies more than the understanding of our own emotions and the feelings of others, it also has to do with being able to put this information into practice in our daily interactions and communications.

In professional settings, people with good social skills are able to build good relationships and connections with coworkers, they know how to develop a strong relationship with leaders, equals and subordinates. Some important social skills include active listening, verbal communication skills, non-verbal communication, leadership and persuasion ability.

Empathy or recognition of the emotions of others

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others, is absolutely essential for Emotional Intelligence. But this implies more than being able to recognize the emotional states of others, it also implies responding to people based on this information. If we empathically perceive that someone feels sad or hopeless, we will be better able to influence the way they respond to their emotions. We can show our concern and make an effort to keep you feeling better right now.

Being empathetic also allows people to understand the dynamics of power that often influence social relationships, especially in the workplace. Those who have good competence in this area are able to exert a correct influence on relationships, understand how feelings and behaviors work, and effectively interpret the different situations that revolve around this type of power dynamics.

Self motivation

Intrinsic motivation also plays a key role in Emotional Intelligence. People who are emotionally intelligent usually be motivated by things beyond mere external rewards, such as fame, money or social recognition. They can feel a genuine passion that leads them to meet their own needs and internal goals. They look for things that lead to internal rewards and get involved in experiences that lead them to feel good about themselves.

People who are competent in this area tend to be action oriented. They set goals, have a high need for achievement and are always looking for ways to do better. They also tend to be very committed to social issues and are good at taking the initiative to carry out a wide variety of tasks.

Video on Emotional Intelligence

It is paradoxical that IC is such a bad predictor of success among the group of people intelligent enough to perform well in the most demanding cognitive fields. Daniel Goleman


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