Origin and Characteristics of EQ – Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for Professionals – Philadelphia, Seattle


Emotional Intelligence is as primary for leading a fulfilling life as Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

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Earlier, people thought that IQ was sufficient to judge the intelligence of a person. But when it was found that just having good IQ does not make you good at social skills, then the need for the development of soft skills was felt.

History of Emotional Intelligence

The term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ was coined in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. They explained Emotional Intelligence as a type of “social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”.

Later, Daniel Goleman, a science writer for the New York Times who specialized in brain and behavior research, came out with his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’. He had come to know about the work of Salovey and Mayer, and developed on their theory. That is how it was not one person, but many, that put together their skills in creating and developing what we now call ‘Emotional Intelligence’.

The prime concern of these researchers was how the standards to test cognitive intelligence did not address success at social skills, which is vital to lead a fulfilling and successful life.

The Three Models of Emotional Intelligence

There are three models of EQ:

  1. The ability model
  2. The trait model
  3. The mix model of both ability and trait

The first model was developed by Salovey and Mayer, the second by Konstantin Vasily Petrides, and the third by Daniel Goleman.

Features of Emotional Intelligence

In defense of Emotional Intelligence, Goleman went a step further to say that it was not cognitive intelligence, but emotional intelligence, that determined success in business. According to him, the four characteristics that defined people with high emotional intelligence are:

Self-awareness – Understanding of one’s own emotions

Self-management – Managing one’s own emotions

Social awareness – Understanding of other people’s emotions through empathy

Social skills – Managing of other people’s emotions

It is now believed that management of one’s own and others’ emotions is essential for establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with others. The power of emotions, which was long ignored, cannot be underestimated. Various studies have shown how our emotions drive us. Because emotions make us act, they must be understood and managed. Emotional Intelligence helps us to do that.

The Four Branches of EQ

The four branches of Emotional Intelligence that have evolved after years of research and development are:

  1. Perceiving Emotions
  2. Using Emotions
  3. Understanding Emotions
  4. Managing Emotions

Perceiving Emotions - It involves observing and recognizing emotions in others such as facial expressions expressing happiness, sadness, irritation, anxiety etc. and body language signals that communicate the emotional state of a person. A person with high emotional intelligence is able to accurately perceive the emotions of the other person.

Using Emotions – Emotions are connected with thoughts. We are emotionally attracted to something that we think is important to us. Understanding this link and using it to conduct positive actions is a trait of a person with good EQ.

Understanding Emotions – When communicated, emotions tell us something about the other person. To receive this information, it is vital to observe and understand emotions and emotional signals. This provides the power to make better judgments and decisions in life.

Managing Emotions – Even though certain emotions, often those that are overwhelming, cannot be controlled, most can be. Managing emotions is necessary to control behavior of oneself and others. Most emotions that are not too strong can be observed, understood and managed. The development of these skills helps in guiding relationships towards positivity at work and in life.

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