What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence is a term that refers to our ability to recognize, understand and effectively manage, regulate and monitor our emotions. Emotional Intelligence relates to our ability to pursue more intentional action, to exercise emotional restraints and emotional management, thus enables us to become more personally and relationally resilient. Emotional intelligence contributes to and enhances the overall quality of our life.  

Daniel Goleman, a major leader and contributor to the field of Emotional Intelligence, identified the following significant  traits and abilities which relate to the emotional aspects of our life:

1. Emotional Self-Awareness: Knowing, regulating and reasoning about our own emotions.


2. Emotional Regulation: Managing and monitoring our own emotions and appropriately directing them toward desired goal(s).


3. Emotional Perception: The ability to recognize others’ emotions and to empathize and recognize others’ perspectives.


4. Self- Motivation: The ability to self-motivate and self-direct toward the attainment of personal goals. The ability to regulate and manage emotional reactions and impulses as well as delay immediate gratification.


5. Inter-Relational skills: The ability to interrelate effectively, positively and ethically with others and to cooperate with others in the pursuit of personal and relational goals. 

According to Steven Hein 2005, a leader in the area of Emotional Intelligence, emotionally intelligent people demonstrate the following competencies: 

1. Label their feelings rather than people or situations:   " I feel hurt and frustrated" vs. “you are inconsiderate/selfish…”


2. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings:   “My perception is…my interpretation is… my view is… How it occurs for me is..."  “I feel angry/hurt/sad…


3. Own and take responsibility for their feelings:   “I feel hurt/frustrated/jealous..vs. “  "You are making me…” did/said… and “How would I feel if I don’t…"


4. Use their feelings to help them make decisions:   “How would I feel if I did/said...  How would I feel if I didn't?"


5. They respect other people’s feelings:   “How will he/she/they feel if I… and “What would be the impact of my actions/words on other(s)? " what is my intention in..."


6. Feel energized/motivated/aroused (not angry):   They use what others call  “anger” to motivate themselves, to become energized to take proactive/productive action.


7. Validate other people’s feelings:   They show empathy, understanding, compassion and acceptance for other people’s feelings and circumstances.  "I understand how you feel." vs. "You shouldn't feel this way."


8. They practice getting positive value/ learning from their negative emotions:   “What am I feeling?"   "What is going on with me?"  "What can I do to feel better?” They seek clarity and understanding: “What are you feeling?"  "What is going on for you?" "What can you do?"  "What do you need to feel better?” " What can I do to help myself?"


9. They don’t give advise without being asked, nor do they command, criticize, judge or point a finger at others:   They ask permission to provide feedback, they use “I” statements when they share their opinions, and they take ownship for their feelings and experiences.


10. They avoid people who invalidate them or disrespect them and their feelings:   As much as possible they associate with other emotionally intelligent people.