Emotional intelligence is something all of us would like to have more of. But while we are all familiar with what intellectual intelligence is, the idea of emotional intelligence might be a little more obscure.
According to Daniel Goleman, the science journalist who popularized this theory in the 1990s, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, assess, and control your own emotions, and the emotions of others. At its heart is a set of five specific skills.
People who have high emotional intelligence make a habit of doing these five things consistently and with a high level of skill.
1. They are self-aware
People with high emotional intelligence are familiar with and aware of their own emotions—including their inner drives and personal moods—and how these emotions affect others around them. They’re aware of when they’re happy or sad, for example, and how the emotion they’re feeling at the moment impacts their coworkers, their boss, customers and clients, and the other people they work with.
2. They self-regulate
People with high emotional intelligence have the ability to control their emotions—to think before they do something they will later regret. And when they have disruptive moods and impulses, which we all do from time to time, they can redirect them into more productive channels.
3. They are internally motivated
People with high emotional intelligence aren’t motivated by external rewards such as fame and fortune. Instead, they are motivated by internal rewards such as the satisfaction they get from doing a good job, solving a difficult problem, or for making a difference in people’s lives.
4. They are empathetic
People with high emotional intelligence are in touch with and sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others. They consider these emotions and feelings when they take actions which will have an impact on other people, including coworkers, friends, and family.
5. They have good social skills
People with high emotional intelligence are skilled at networking and building and maintaining strong relationships with others. They know how to break the ice when meeting someone new, they’re friendly and easy to talk with, and they are skilled at building rapport with others. They like people—and people like them.
So, are you emotionally intelligent? Work on these five skills and watch your emotional intelligence soar!