What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a concept that was first introduced in 1990 by two psychologists, Peter Salovey, and John D. Mayer. They defined it as “the ability to monitor one’s and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.”

Have you ever wondered how to keep up with the breakneck pace of modern life? You need to be not only intellectually brilliant but also emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence (EI) is an elusive yet critical concept involving the ability to perceive, comprehend, and regulate your emotions and understand the emotions of others. It’s a complex set of skills that enables individuals to regulate their feelings, communicate effectively, empathize with others, and make sound, reasoned decisions.

The Four Components of Emotional Intelligence

There are four components of emotional intelligence, as identified by Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, and author of the book “Emotional Intelligence.” They are as follows:

  1. Self-awareness is the profound aptitude to fathom and appreciate your own emotions and how they influence your thoughts and actions.
  2. Self-regulation involves the complex capability of managing and controlling your emotions and impulses, while still being able to adapt to life’s ever-changing circumstances.
  3. Social awareness is a complex ability to recognize and understand the nuanced emotions and needs of others while effectively responding to them.
  4. Relationship management involves building and sustaining positive relationships with others and mastering the delicate art of communication and collaboration.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Emotional intelligence is essential for both personal and professional success. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Better communication: People with high emotional intelligence can better communicate their thoughts and feelings and understand those of others.
  2. Improved relationships: Emotional intelligence allows people to build stronger and more positive relationships with others, as well as resolve conflicts in a more productive manner.
  3. Effective leadership: Leaders with high emotional intelligence can motivate and inspire their team members and navigate complex situations quickly.
  4. Greater resilience: People with high emotional intelligence can better cope with stress and adversity and recover from setbacks more quickly.

Improving Emotional Intelligence

Improving emotional intelligence is a worthwhile goal, and there are several ways to go about it. Here are four ways to improve emotional intelligence:

  1. Practice self-reflection: Reflect on your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. What triggers certain emotions, and how do you typically respond? Identifying patterns can improve self-awareness.
  2. Practice empathy: Put yourself in other people’s shoes and imagine how they might feel. This can enhance social awareness and relationship management skills.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Be present and aware of your thoughts and emotions without judgment. This can help you regulate your emotions and respond to situations more effectively. Try meditation, breathing exercises, or taking deep breaths when stressed.
  4. Seek feedback: Ask for feedback from trusted individuals and be open to their suggestions. This can help you identify blind spots and areas for improvement, resulting in personal growth and greater emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Test

Are you looking to level up your game in your personal and professional arenas? Look no further than emotional intelligence. This elusive skill set is all about recognizing, comprehending, and managing your own emotions and those of others. With emotional intelligence, you can step up your communication game, build stronger relationships, and overcome those tricky situations with ease and resilience. Want to know where you stand? Check out our 20-question quiz to get a handle on your emotional intelligence skills and identify the areas where you can focus your efforts to take your EI to the next level.

  1. Do you find it easy to express your emotions to others? A. Yes B. No
  2. Do you often take a step back to reflect on your emotions before responding to a situation? A. Yes B. No
  3. Are you able to recognize when someone else is feeling upset or stressed? A. Yes B. No
  4. Do you find it easy to empathize with others? A. Yes B. No
  5. Can you regulate your emotions and stay calm in stressful situations? A. Yes B. No
  6. Do you tend to take criticism personally and become defensive? A. Yes B. No
  7. Are you able to apologize when you’ve made a mistake? A. Yes B. No
  8. Do you tend to avoid conflicts? A. Yes B. No
  9. Can you read nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, to understand how someone feels? A. Yes B. No
  10. Do you find it easy to forgive others? A. Yes B. No
  11. Can you stay positive and hopeful in the face of adversity? A. Yes B. No
  12. Do you tend to interrupt others when they’re speaking? A. Yes B. No
  13. Can you set and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships? A. Yes B. No
  14. Do you tend to react impulsively when you’re feeling angry or upset? A. Yes B. No
  15. Can you give and receive constructive feedback without getting defensive? A. Yes B. No
  16. Do you tend to blame others when things go wrong? A. Yes B. No
  17. Can you stay focused and productive even when you feel stressed or overwhelmed? A. Yes B. No
  18. Do you tend to avoid taking risks? A. Yes B. No
  19. Are you able to communicate your needs and feelings effectively? A. Yes B. No
  20. Do you tend to hold grudges? A. Yes B. No

Scoring: For each question, give yourself 1 point if you answered “Yes” and 0 points if you answered “No.” Add up your points to get your final score out of 20.

Interpreting your score:

  • 16-20 points: You have a high level of emotional intelligence and are likely skilled at regulating your emotions, empathizing with others, and maintaining healthy relationships.
  • 11-15 points: You have an average level of emotional intelligence and may benefit from further developing your skills in certain areas, such as managing your emotions or communicating effectively.
  • 10 points or below: You may have some challenges with emotional intelligence and could benefit from working on your skills in various areas, such as self-awareness, empathy, or conflict resolution.


Emotional intelligence is a crucial component of our daily decisions and success. With EI, we can achieve greater self-awareness and a better understanding of the world around us, making it easier to navigate those challenging situations with the grace and ease of someone in control of their thoughts, emotions, and ego. By honing our emotional intelligence, we can enhance our communication skills, build strong and meaningful relationships, and achieve greater success in our personal and professional lives.