Emotional intelligence (EI), emotional leadership (EL), emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ), is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one's goals.
Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified five elements that make up emotional intelligence. These are:
Let’s look at how you can develop good skills in each area.
In his 1995 book "Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More Than IQ," Goleman explained that people with high self-awareness are "aware of their moods as they are having them."
To increase self-awareness learn about mindfulness. This involves focusing on the present moment – including how you're feeling. And keep a journal in which you write about and analyze the emotional situations you experience from day to day.
You also need to understand your strengths and weaknesses to build self-awareness. Do a personal SWOT analysis and ask for feedback from your boss, friends, and trusted colleagues to find out how you can improve further.
Self-regulation is about staying in control. To develop your skills in this area, learn how to manage your emotions effectively.
If you often get angry, note what triggers this feeling, and think about why this happens. Use techniques such as deep breathing to calm yourself down, and give yourself time to pause before you respond to emails or requests, so that you don't say something that you'll later regret.
Self-motivation is strongly affected by your emotions. When you're distracted by your emotions, you may find it hard to see tasks through.
Also, set yourself longer-term goals. When you decide what you want to achieve, you'll focus on what really matters to you. This can be highly motivating, especially when you connect personal goals with career-related ones.
If you're still struggling to get motivated in your current role, take some time to rediscover your purpose.
Empathy is the ability to recognize other people's emotions and understand their perspectives. Goleman calls this aspect of EI "the fundamental people skill."
To develop empathy, start by simply thinking about other people's viewpoints. Imagine how they may be feeling, and use active listening skills to understand them fully when they express their emotions to you.
Try not to interrupt or talk about your own feelings during the conversation. Look at their body language, too: it can tell you a lot about their emotions. If you watch and listen to others, you'll quickly become attuned to how they feel.
Even if you're not a natural "people person," it is possible to develop better social skills.
Start by taking our quiz to see which communication skills you need to improve on. Then, find out how you can develop trust and rapport with people – this is an essential part of building good working relationships.
Don't shy away from negative situations, either. Learn how to deal with conflict and other difficult situations effectively.