What is EI?

Rule Your Feelings, Lest Your Feelings Rule You. 

— Publilius Syrus

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

  • Emotional intelligence refers to ‘the ability to identify one’s own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and to regulate and manage them’.
  • Emotional Quotient (EQ) is a measure of one’s EI i.e. through a standardized test, one’s awareness of emotions in relation to self and others is known.

“What really matters for success, character, happiness and lifelong achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ — not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.”

– Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman’s Elements of EI

  • Self-Awareness: It is the skill of being aware of and understanding one’s emotions as they occur and as they evolve.
  • Self-Regulation: It is about controlling one’s emotions i.e. instead of reacting quickly; one can reign in one’s emotions and thus will think before responding.
  • Internal Motivation: It includes one’s personal drive to improve and achieve commitment to one’s goals, initiative, or readiness to act on opportunities, and optimism and resilience.
  • Empathy: It is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from the point of view of others.
  • Social Skills: It is applying empathy and balancing the wants and requirements of others with one’s. It includes building good rapport with others.

EQ in common words

  • EQ is a measure of a person’s level of emotional intelligence. It refers to a person’s ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions.
  • EQ is centered on abilities such as identifying emotions, evaluating how others feel, controlling one’s own emotions, perceiving how others feel, using emotions to facilitate social communication and relating to others.

Why is EI important?

EI is very important for our everyday lives because it is

  • The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others accurately.
  • The ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking.
  • The ability to understand emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed by emotions.
  • The ability to manage emotions so as to attain specific goals.

How can we improve our EI

  • By self-evaluating oneself, one can know one’s emotions and reactions to different situations.
  • By observing others, one can comprehend feelings of others.
  • By improving one’s expression, one can communicate better.
  • By analyzing the impact of one’s action over others, one can fine tune the actions.

“Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy.”


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