You’ve probably heard the term “emotional intelligence.” It’s come into vogue in recent years, with numerous books being written about the subject. Businesses are increasingly focusing on emotional intelligence and researchers are increasingly learning its importance.
But what exactly is emotional intelligence? How can you determine if you have those characteristics? And why is it so important?
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
The term “emotional intelligence” (EI or EQ) was coined by researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer. Author Dan Goleman made the term mainstream in his book “Emotional Intelligence.”
Typically, EQ includes two related, but distinct items:
- The ability to recognize, understand and manage your own emotions
- The ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others
Those who have a high EQ are highly in tune with both their own emotions and the emotions of those around them. They can recognize and understand the various feelings that sweep through them and are able to appropriately manage them.
Those with a low EQ find themselves unable to understand why they feel a certain way and unable to process the emotions they’re feeling.
David Caruso distinguished between EQ and IQ this way:
It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head—it is the unique intersection of both.
Emotional intelligence is hugely important in terms of success. Those who want to excel in life and work need a high EQ. If you can’t understand yourself or others, you simply won’t be able to improve in specific, important areas.
Discussing the interplay between IQ and EQ, Michael Akers and Grover Porter write:
How well you do in your life and career is determined by both. IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else—including EQ.