So, What Exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

Sure, you’ve heard of “Emotional Intelligence.” But what exactly is it? Is it just another corporate buzzword to be thrown around without any real understanding of the meaning behind it?

Absolutely not!

Popularized by Dr. Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) describes your ability to recognize and effectively manage your own emotions as well as others’. Many studies have shown that emotional intelligence may be a more significant and accurate predictor of career success than any other factor, including IQ. So it is extremely important.

ThinkstockPhotos-79994226But according to the Hay Group, which distributes Dr. Goleman’s specifically developed Emotional Intelligence Tests, emotional intelligence is on the decline, especially among those just graduating and entering the work force.

As a result, a survey conducted of American employers by the Hay Group reveals that:
• More than 50 percent of the people who work for them lack the motivation to keep learning and improving on the job.
• Four in 10 people are not able to work cooperatively with fellow employees.
• Only 19 percent of entry-level applicants have enough self-discipline in their work habits.
• Billions of dollars are wasted on development programs, a less-than-desired return on investment in leadership training.
• Seventy percent of all change initiatives are not netting the desired results due to people issues — ability to lead, work with others in teams, take initiative, deal with change, etc.

Components of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is being tested and measured by various instruments, but the most widely used is the scale established by Dr. Goleman.

Five Key Components of EQ

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1. Awareness of your feelings
2. Managing your moods so they don’t get in the way of productivity
3. Ability to remain positive despite setbacks or stress
4. Empathy, or being able to read between the lines to determine others’ states of mind and their nonverbal messages
5. Social skills, which involve managing relationships, leading, persuading, and dealing with others’ emotions

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