What is Emotional Intelligence?

Think about it. What impresses you the most about someone, their knowledge and degrees behind their name, or how they manage themselves and relate to other people? An individual’s knowledge and academic achievements are their cognitive abilities, how they manage themselves and relate to other people is their emotional competence. Where intelligence quotient (IQ) only takes a person’s cognitive abilities into consideration, emotional intelligence (EI) encompasses both the cognitive skills and emotional competence of the individual. Emotional intelligence is crucial in the practical areas of our lives such as marriage relationships, self-mastery, physical well-being, social popularity and life in the workplace. Emotional intelligence incorporates the following dimensions of intelligence: personal, social, emotional, innovative and survival skills.

Emotional Intelligence versus IQ

Intelligence quotient (IQ) assesses the individual’s intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities. IQ gives an indication of an individual’s ability to learn things and reveals how the individual reasons, manipulates numbers, utilizes analytical thinking and the ability to solve problems through application of prior knowledge.

Properties of IQ:

  • Predicts success at school
  • On average predicts only 10% of success on the job
  • Usually does not change much and peaks in the late teens and early twenties
  • Is mostly culturally bound
  • Cannot be developed

Emotional intelligence encompasses the non-cognitive dimensions of intelligence. It includes the ability to read the political and social environment as well as the capacity to grasp intuitively what others need. Emotional intelligence helps the individual to remain unruffled by changes and be the kind of person others want to be around.

Properties of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Is not fixed, and continuous improvement is possible
  • Has little or no cultural and gender differences
  • Can be realistically and objectively measured
  • When it is developed, it can significantly improve the individual’s chance of success
  • Can be developed in early childhood

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Success

Research has shown that emotional intelligence determines the success of leaders in the work place over 80 percent of the time. Even though children today seem to get smarter, emotional intelligence is on the decline. It has become essential for emotional intelligence to be developed in our children. This can only be done if parents are equipped with their own emotional intelligence.


The Heart of a Winner: Developing Your Emotional Intelligence by Pieter van Jaarsveld
Image from http://pixabay.com/en/users/longleanna-544310/




Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *