A Beginner’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence


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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability for someone to manage, understand, interpret, and respond emotions. It’s arguably one of the most important traits for a person to have, as it will influence all their social interactions.

The term “emotional intelligence” was coined by psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey. They came up with a four-branch model to identify emotional intelligence, and leading psychologist Daniel Goleman expanded the model to five branches.


Daniel Goleman believes that EQ might be even more important than IQ. In fact, Harvard management professor Bill George believes that companies should hire people based on their EQ rather than their IQ. How can you tell if someone has EQ? Goleman has decided on five major components:

Self-Awareness: You know what you are feeling and understand how your mood can impact others.



You can control impulses and resist temptations. You always think before acting. You are also very trustworthy, open to change, and comfortable with ambiguity.



You are driven by more than just money and external rewards. Your passion and desire to reach your goals are what drive you to succeed. You take initiative to get things done and don’t let obstacles stop you.


Social skills:

You are great at leading others, finding common ground, communicating, collaborating, and building networks.



You are very good at understanding other people’s emotions. You know how to meet their needs when they are in a bad mood.



Why do you need EQ? It’s something that will influence both your personal and professional lives. Here are just a few reasons:


First of all, people with high EQ are great at managing their emotions. This means they will not blow up on someone out of anger or break down due to stress. Emotionally intelligent workers recognize when it is time to step back and calm down.


Second, people with high EQ are more motivated and dedicated. Motivation is one of the key components of a person’s EQ. This is because emotionally intelligent people know how to avoid distractions, stay focused, and motivate themselves. They find motivation in their passion and are willing to work hard and take initiative.


Third, people with high EQ are great at communication. They are extremely empathetic and know how to read facial expressions and react accordingly. This makes them better at everything from selling to negotiating. Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discovered that people would rather do business with someone they likeable and trustworthy rather than someone who is neither, even if the likeable person is offering a higher price or a lower quality product.


Fourth, people with high EQ are great at learning from their mistakes. They can easily identify when they caused a mistake or accident because they possess a high amount of self-awareness. On the other hand, those without high EQ are more likely to blame others for their failure. Also, emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on past mistakes. They will move on and learn from it instead.



Finally, people with high EQ know how to say “no.” They can establish their boundaries and set limits for themselves and others. They know how to spot a bad deal or investment and will not say “yes” just to please the other party.

EQ is a fairly young concept in the world of psychology, but is nonetheless very important. People who learn to master their EQ will go very far in life and business.



What areas of emotional intelligence can you work on?




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