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Spirit in Action

by SOM Magazine

» Practicing Emotional Intelligence

Why does a high IQ not necessarily guarantee success in the classroom or boardroom? In the 1980s, psychologists, biologists and others studied how processing emotional information plays an important role in worldly success, leadership, personal fulfillment and happy relationships. In 1990, psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey coined the term “emotional intelligence” (or EQ), breaking it down into four areas:

  • Identifying emotions on a nonverbal level
  • Using emotions to guide cognitive thinking
  • Understanding the information emotions convey and the actions emotions generated
  • Regulating one’s own emotions, for personal benefit and for the common good

Beginning in 1995, psychologist Daniel Goleman took the concept of emotional intelligence a step further in his five bestselling books. Goleman’s five competencies of emotional intelligence are:

  • Emotional self-awareness: Knowing what one is feeling at any given time and understanding the impact those moods
    have on others
  • Self-regulation: Controlling or redirecting one’s emotions; anticipating consequences before acting on impulse
  • Motivation: Using emotional factors to achieve goals, enjoy the learning process and persevere in the face of obstacles
  • Empathy: Sensing the emotions of others
  • Social skills: Managing relationships, inspiring others and inducing desired responses from them

PositivePsychology.com has created a free guide to help people assess their own levels of emotional intelligence. Discover exercises ranging from classifying facial expressions, emotional articulation tools and communication tasks among other activities.

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