What is Emotional Intelligence?
The phrase “emotional intelligence” can actually be traced back to a paper published by Michael Beldoch in 1964. However, it became very popular in the United States and elsewhere, especially among management circles, in 1995. In that year, the journalist Daniel Goleman published a book of the same name.
The initial public perception of the concept of emotional intelligence is that it is a mix of Trait and Ability impacting social leadership or interpersonal relationships. More specifically, it can be broken down into four key parts: perceiving emotions, using emotions to our benefit, understanding other people’s emotions, and managing our own.
Put in these terms, emotional intelligence seems pretty straightforward. However, it has very important components that we need to seriously examine instead of just automatically assume.
This is the big danger of emotional intelligence. Since we get along with other people and have some level of experience as far as social interactions are concerned, it’s too easy to gloss over the intricacies and fine details of this skill. That’s precisely what emotional intelligence is. It is a skill.
Some people have higher levels of natural emotional intelligence, especially empathy, but it is still a skill. You need to fine tune it and polish it for your initial level of emotional intelligence to help you live up to your fullest potential.
The key components I mentioned above can be actually be broken down into four key areas: awareness, understanding, control and empathy.